This incredible vegetarian dish is aromatic and rich in flavors.

Host Tonoya

Made with a bottle gourd – an often understated vegetable – host Tonoya’s lauki ke kofte with magaj ka saalan recipe will is sure to wow your very own guests!

This recipe was inspired by my grandma Aloka Chaliha’s bottle gourd dish with nigella seeds (lauki ki sabzi). During the summertime in Assam, India, she would often cook for us. She would never waste ingredients so the next day, she would use leftover vegetables and add all her magic ingredients to create the most delicious vegetarian croquettes. As a kid I thought she was a magician to be able to create beautiful dishes with leftovers. 

My grandma has been the biggest inspiration in my culinary journey. I always consult her when it comes to traditional Indian flavors, the use of indigenous ingredients and various age-old techniques that I implement in a modern way. I can’t thank her enough for passing on the secret ingredients to me.

Host Tonoya – The Common Table

Host Tonoya and grandma
Host Tonya and her grandmother

 For the Kofta – Ingredients

  • Lauki  (Bottle Gourd) – 500g
  • Gram flour – 50g
  • Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder – 2g
  • Garam masala powder – 1/8 tsp 
  • Salt to taste 
  • Pepper

For the Kofta – Instructions

  1. Wash, peel & grate the bottle gourd 
  2. Sprinkle salt & let it stand for 30 mins 
  3. Squeeze the water out from the bottle gourd and retain the water (will be added in the curry) 
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together
  5. Roll it into small balls and stuff each ball with the paneer mix 
  6. Shallow fry until golden brown & keep aside

For the Paneer Stuffing – Ingredients

  • Paneer – 200g
  • Cashew – 25g
  • Golden raisin – 25g 
  • Ginger ale -250ml 
  • Double cream – 20g
  • Cumin – 1 tsp 
  • Ginger powder – 1/2 tsp 
  • Salt to taste

For the Paneer Stuffing – Instructions

  1. Grate paneer and keep aside 
  2. Roast cashew and crush it lightly 
  3. Soak the golden raisin in ginger ale, strain once it blooms 
  4. Add all the ingredients and make it into a paste 

For the Magaj ka Saalan  – Ingredients

  • Water melon seeds ( Magaj) 
  • Almond powder – 3 tbsp 
  • White onion medium -2 
  • Saffron -2 pinch 
  • Milk – 2 soak saffron 
  • Ginger paste  – 1 tbsp 
  • Garlic paste  – 1 tsp 
  • Garam masala – 1/2 tsp 
  • Ghee – 2 tbsp 
  • Bay leaf -1 
  • Cinnamon stick – 1 
  • Double cream – 50 ml 
  • Salt to taste 
  • Pepper 
  • Sugar – 1 tsp 
  • Water – 250 ml

For the Magaj ka Saalan  – Instructions

  1. In a heavy bottomed pan add ghee , bay leaf and cinnamon stick 
  2. Add the finely chopped onion and sweat 
  3. Once the onion is translucent add ginger & garlic paste and cook for 2 mins 
  4. Soak and grind the watermelon seeds and make it into a fine paste 
  5. Add almond powder to the paste and grind it again 
  6. Add the watermelon & almond paste to the onion and cook for 2 mins 
  7. Season it with salt & pepper 
  8. Now add water and bring it to a boil 
  9. Add sugar 
  10. Stir the double cream in 
  11. Add a pinch of garam masala & finish it it with saffron milk

To Serve

  1. In a serving dish lay the Koftas and pour the sauce over the Koftas 
  2. Garnish with crushed cashews
  3. Serve it with rice or paratha 

Join host Tonoya and The Common Table for their Happy Holi Supper Club in London! Save your spot here.