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Carrot and Zucchini Koftas - my twist on a family favorite

Punjabi’s and Sindhi’s are known for their love of food. So being a Punjabi who grew up in a Sindhi town of Ulhasnagar was like being in a foodie heaven. It shaped my taste buds and also introduced me to some really good food which I would not have had a chance to eat anywhere else. My mom used to take private tuition's for various kids who belonged to some affluent Sindhi families. Being a very good and effective teacher my mother was in demand and was treated with respect and as a family member by all of them. During the final school exams my mom used to spend hours at their house ensuring the kids were ready to face the tests.

All the mothers in turn used to ensure that they made dinner and lunch for us so my mother did not have to worry about her own family being fed. So every day in those stressful exam weeks my mother used to use home with some delightful Sindhi food for us. And that is one reason why I used to love the exam season.

One of the regular dishes she used to get was “Lauki ke Kofte”. Lauki or Bottle groud is a gorgeous vegetable with very high water content and can be used to make a variety of Indian food including Desserts. And kofte are fried dumplings using different vegetables and in this case Bottlegroud.

A few weeks ago I had visited my friend “K” for dinner and her mother had made them triggering a lot of beautiful memories. I knew for a fact that we did not get Lauki in Perth so upon probing I found that they had used Zucchini instead of Lauki and made the very delicious Kofte.

So when I had a small Zucchini sitting in my fridge it was literally begging to be made into Koftes. I also had some Carrot which I felt would go well together with the Zucchini. I was happy and surprised with this little experiment.

The Kofte were light and crispy and the gravy flavorful and watery just as I remember.

Recipe (Makes 8 - 10 Koftes. Cooking time 40 minutes)

Ingredients for the Koftas

1 Medium sized Zucchini 1 Medium sized Carrot 3 Tablespoon Gram flour 1/2 Teaspoon Red Chili powder 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin powder Oil to fry the Koftas

Ingredients for the Gravy

1 large Onion 2 medium Tomatoes 1 Green chili 1 tsp Turmeric Powder 1 tsp Red Chili Powder 1 tsp Pomegranate powder/Seeds 1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tsp Garam Masala powder 1 tsp Cumin seeds 1 Tablespoon Oil salt to taste fresh Coriander to garnish

Grate the Zucchini and Carrot and taking small portions of them squeeze all the water. This is an important step as if the water is not drained well you will not be able to make the Koftas and they will break. Add the Gramflour, Cumin and Red chilli powder and mix well. Make small balls out of this mixture. You can make around 8 - 10 Koftas out of this.

Fry the Koftas in Hot oil on a medium flame till nice and Golden brown on all sides. Drain them on a paper towel and keep aside till you get the gravy ready.

Roughly chop the Tomatoes and Onion and put them in a grinder. Add the Ginger Garlic paste, Pomegranate seeds/powder and Green chilli and grind into a smooth paste with a little water.

Heat the Oil in a deep bottomed pan and add the Cumin seeds. Once they splutter add the Tomato and Onion paste and cover it and let the paste cook for atleast 15 minutes or till the raw smell of the Onion evaporates.

This is another important process as if the masala is raw the curry will not taste good. Infact you can smell the rawness of the Onions change during this process. Once all the water has evaporated and oil starts to separate, add the Salt, Turmeric , Red Chili and Garam masala powder and cook for another 5 minutes now add around 2 cups of water and let the gravy boil and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.

When you are ready to serve add the Koftas in a bowl and pour the gravy on top of it. Let the Koftas sit the gravy for 5 minutes before garnishing it with Coriander and serve with steaming hot rotis. Although the gravy is watery the Koftas will soak a lot of it.

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