A Bengali delicacy, lau er kofta is bottle guard dumplings in a spicy gravy. I have baked the koftas instead of deep frying them. I choose to bake or grill over frying in my day to day cooking because they are healthy and best alternative without comprising much on the taste of the dish. Bottle gourd is one of best summer vegetable that we have and it is a must to include them in your diet. There are so many ways we can make this otherwise bland vegetable into an absolute delight!
Grate the bottle gourd, squeeze them as much as you can. Reserve the juice which can be used in the gravy.
Microwave the grated bottle gourd in high for 3 minutes. Allow it to cool and squeeze again if required.
To the grated bottle gourd add ginger paste, garlic paste, chilies, salt, garam masala and gram flour. Mix everything well to form koftas. Gram flour is used for binding so add it little by little and just enough to form the koftas.
Grease a baking dish, place the koftas on the dish. Drizzle a bit of oil and bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 15 minutes and grill for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile grind the tomatoes along with ginger, garlic and green chilies.
For the gravy, temper refined oil with shah jeera and bay leaf. Add the chopped onions.
When the onions turns translucent add the ground mix, cumin powder, coriander powder, salt and sugar. Stir everything well to combine.
Saute the masala till it starts releasing oil. Add water to form the gravy.
Let the gravy simmer for 4-5 minutes, check the seasoning.
Add the koftas and let the gravy simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
Finish it by adding the garam masala and chopped coriander leaves. Turn off the flame and keep it covered for the flavors to combine before serving with rice or Roti.