Thursday, August 4, 2011

Two of a kind- Koftas Baked & Fried

Ever heard of a saying: 'Necessity is the mother of invention'. Never did it ring so true  for me as this past month. Just about two-weeks of a restricted diet was wrecking havoc on my sanity. How long can one survive on moong-dal khichdi and bland, soupy lentils- I ask you. So as soon as the doctor mentioned returning to a regular diet- I was escatic.Except 'no fat, and low spice' rule sort of dampened the enthusiasm a bit. I realized that I'd have to come up with some way of keeping abreast with family food, along with taking care of my delicate digestion. 

Weekends, especially Saturdays, are days of indulgence in my family. I let everyone wake up on their own, at whatever time they want, and then we decide what to do the rest of the day. Based upon all this, we work up a food schedule- which usually ends up being demands for deep-fried stuff. One of such days, when the family woke up near noon time, I decided to do an early lunch rather than late breakfast. I had the halves of a zucchini and a yellow squash on hand; but no way that my family would agree to eat that on a weekend. I thought I'd make them into koftas instead. And to save myself from eating the oily stuff, I decided to try and bake some koftas for myself, instead of deep-frying. Surprisingly, the experimentation worked very well, and I ate a much less-fattier version of the same food as my family!

Two-Squash Kofta

For the Koftas
 Zucchini  1/2 grated
Yellow Squash  1/2 grated
Besan/Gram flour 4Tbsp
Salt & red pepper powder to season.

For the gravy
1 medium onion
1 medium tomato
1Tbsp Tomato paste
1tsp ginger paste
1tsp coriander powder
1Tbsp cooking oil
Salt & red pepper powder to season
Water 1cup

To make the Koftas:
  1. Squeeze out as much water as you can from the squash and zucchini by pressing them between your palms. Save this water for gravy.
  2. Add the salt and pepper and the besan to bind, and shape the koftas either into balls (for frying) or flat oblongs (for baking)
  3. To bake: I put the koftas in an over pre-heated to 450F, till they turned brown. Flip over and brown on the other side. It took about 25 min. in my oven to do this.
  4. To fry: Deep fry them in a shallow pan on medium-high heat. They burn really fast so, keep an eye on them.
To make the gravy:
  1. Puree the onion and tomato together.
  2. In a heavy bottomed pan, bring the oil to smoking hot, then add your ginger puree. Stir for about a min.
  3. Add the onion-tomato puree, tomato paste and all spices. Stir-fry on medium heat till the mixture sweats and starts to leave sides. Take care that it doesn't burn.
  4. Add the water squeezed from squash, plus another cup of water. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat to simmer for 7-10 min. or till the gravy thickens a bit.
To serve: Ladle a generous amount of gravy and serve 2 koftas in it. Serve hot.

My two cents: The picture above is of the baked koftas. They were just as crispy and crunchy as the fried ones, minus the exhaustive oil. The only flip-side is that it takes considerably longer to bake vs. fry them. I was not sure of the outcome of this thought so I'd fried most of them for my family. There's no compromise on taste however. 

My gravy here is the simplistic version of what a kofta gravy generally is. But it is still really good. This side dish is good served with any roti, naan, or even over rice.

Linking this to
  1. Let's Cook - Sabzis for Rotis event at Tickling palette. 
  2. Healing Foods: Zucchini & summer squash event started by Siri