Lauki (Bottlegourd) Koftas – Healthy Vegetarian

Bottlegourd is a very unique vegetable and is liked for its very simplistic and mild flavor. It is also known by a host of other names – Lauki & Doodhi, being some of the few. Here we have dressed it up so you can serve it for a party and make it just for the family. So very healthy and you won’t believe how easy it is to make.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6


For the koftas:
Lauki/Bottlegourd/Doodhi – 4 cups (peeled & shredded)
Chickpea Flour/Besan – 3/4 cup
Onion – 1/4, med.
Roasted Peanuts – 1/4 cup
Cilantro/Coriander Leaves – 10 sprigs (finely chopped)
Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
Cumin Powder – 1/2 tsp
Dry Mango Powder /Amchur – 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp
Red Chili Powder – to taste
Salt – to taste

For the gravy:
Oil – 2 tbsp
Onions – 2, med. (minced)
Salt – to taste
Garlic – 4 cloves (minced)
Ginger – 1 tsp (minced)
Green Chilies – to taste (finely chopped)
Tomatoes – 3 large (pureed)
Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
Cumin Powder – 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala – 1/4 tsp
Yogurt/Curd – 1/2 cup
Water – 3.5 cups
Cilantro/Coriander Leaves – for garnish


1. To make the gravy, in a wok, heat the Oil on medium heat.
2. Add Onions and a little bit of Salt to speed up the cooking.
3. Once the moisture has evaporated from the Onions, add in the Ginger, Garlic and the Green Chillies.
4. Allow the Onions to get a nice golden brown color and then add in the Tomatoes.
5. Cook till the oil seperates from the mixture.
6. Add in Turmeric, Cumin, Coriander, Garam Masala.
7. Give it a good mix and add in the well-beaten yogurt.
8. Mix and add in the water to deisred consistency and check and add in Salt to taste.
9. Cover and allow the gravy to come to a boil.
10.Meanwhile, for the koftas, squeeze out excess water out of the shredded Lauki/Doodhi.
11. Open it up and add in the Chickpea flour as needed (enough to form balls for the koftas).
12. Also add in Peanuts, Onions, Cilantro, Red Chili Powder, Dry Mango Powder, Cumin & Coriander Powders & Garam Masala.
13. Going back to the gravy, make sure it is boiling really well.
14. Last thing to add to the koftas is Salt, add it and mix well quickly.
15. Form balls/koftas and drop them in the boiling gravy. Pour some gravy over them if not submerged.
16. Increase heat so the boil does not reduce once the koftas are in.
17. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
18. Turn the koftas over once inbetween if they are not fully submerged in the gravy.
19. Take them off the flame and garnish with cilantro.
20. Serve hot with Chapatis or Parathas.

1. Make sure the gravy is boiling really well or else the kofta will fall apart and not hold shape.
2. For a change, add in some anardana (pomegranate seeds) or a little bit of grated paneer…gives a unique flavor.
3. The koftas can be fried and frozen.

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68 thoughts on “Lauki (Bottlegourd) Koftas – Healthy Vegetarian

  1. I made this and the whole family loved it, even my two picky daughters who do not like greens. I followed the recipe exactly since it was the first time but maybe next time will substitute cashew for the peanuts as I don’t keep peanuts on hand usually. Also could I mix zucchini and lauki together for the kofta?

    1. Hi Smruti,
      Awesome to hear that!
      I have make the only zucchini koftas and they were yummy, so even doing halves of the 2 vegetables will be tasty and doable.
      Happy Cooking!

  2. why not inter exchange ur position? It’s my liking some time Hetal cook n some time Anuja make spice, I think it’s look like good, Please write ur recipe in word (English/Hindi) on the screen (youtube), It will help every viewers. As a well wisher it’s my suggestion..LOL..

    1. Hi Sudipta,

      We always list the ingredient on the screen as we add it in the recipe. In youtube, there is a link to the written recipe directly below the video box.

  3. The recipe is gr8.. Proportion of ingredients just right and the dish seemed to be turning out yummy. But when i sat down for my meal i realized the koftas were completely uncooked from inside..esp theraw besan made it very unpalatable. Alsothe koftas had ansorbed enormous amt of gravy leavin the subzi dry with jes balls of uncooked besan πŸ™‚
    However im a big fan of ur work and dig ur recipes..keep up the good work..its just that this one turned out unexpectedly different

  4. Hi Gals,

    Another awesome recipe from you two. By the way, I agree to one of the earlier comments that we should either steam/roast kofta (making it into kind of muthiya) before adding in gravy. Also, one question, can I instead add milk/evaporated milk/whipped cream instead of yogurt?

    1. Hi Lajja,

      Yes, you can use evap milk or whipping cream. This was meant to be a healthy recipe so we stuck to the yogurt.

  5. You both make cooking so fun and easy. I love the way you cook. I had not tried some of the recipes thinking they are not healthy and very time consuming, but you proved this wrong. I love love love your site. Thanks a lot for providing these wonderful and easy recipes for working women. Good luck for your talent and thanks


  6. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    This receipe is an amazing receipe, once i looked in it, i could not wait and for the same day dinner i made as its amazing mouthwatering dish.

    But would like to let u know that i made some changes while making, in the gravy and the kofta balls i skiped onion / garlic. and in the gravy i added few melon seeds and grinded along with the tomato paste, offcourse u need to soak the melon seeds 1 hr prior, but i had the crushed ones so i didn’t have to soak and just added to the gravy before putting in the mixie. Other side i steamed the kofta balls, my husband normally does not prefer oily stuffs so he never eats any type of kofta, but ur receipe encouraged me and tried making.

    Thank you to both of you for posting such amazing receipes.

  7. This is an awesome recipe – I have already tried it twice.. big hit both times πŸ™‚ Ladies, Keep up the excellent work.

    1. Hi Shilpi,

      We have not tried it in this recipe, but you should be able to use cabbage. You may want to try it out on a small batch the first time.

      1. Hi

        I tried it out with cabbage ,all ingredients same but fried the koftas .Not that healthy but it was just yummy n everybody at home loved it .

        Thanks for your great recipes.

  8. Hi!
    This recipe is easy yet very tasty. I finally made it and came out very good. I realized that once koftas are added, they absorb gravy and so I had to keep adding water. Next time I make it I know to add the koftas 10mins before serving.
    Thanks !

  9. Hi!
    The recipe sounds and looks yummy. However, is there a substitute for besan in this one? (I have got an intolerance for it!)
    Will it work with cornflour?

    1. Hi there,
      It will work but the measurements, the cooking time and the taste will be different. Having said that, we think you should give it a shot and let us know, we are sure it will be useful to other viewers.

  10. I tried it yesterday. It came out pretty good. I roasted the besan and added white of one egg to the kofta dough/mix.

    When we squeeze out the water content from lauki, we lose whole bunch of goodness of this vegetable too. I use the squeezed out water from lauki to make dough for the chapaties. That way, I retain all the vitamins and minirals:)

  11. I loved making this dish. Thanks for the recipe! It was a little tedious to make alone, but it was worth all the effort πŸ™‚
    I was just wondering, is there some way in which I can reduce the tartness? I added both the yogurt and amchur.

    1. Hi Jolene,

      You can definitely skip the amchur. Sometimes the yogurt is very tart and sometime is it mild so there could be a variance there. The same goes for tomatoes.

  12. Hi Anuja/Hetal,

    I tried this dish yesterday and it came out really well. My hubby was so happy that for a change a healthy curry also tastes great πŸ™‚ Am sure gonna make it many more times.

    I also love the kothu paratha recipe and we enjoy it often after office when the stomach is crying out for food but energy is low :0 You guys rock. I love your site.

    Best Wishes,

  13. Hi Hetal,
    I tried the kofta curry.. it came out really well…
    I love all the recepies you guys give.. U guys really rock πŸ™‚

  14. i love your site. thank you very much for all the effort that you take to explain it so beautifully.

    just wanted to add a tip for making the kofta. after making the balls, they can be steamed like idlis for 15 min and then added to the curry. this will ensure that they are cooked thoroughly.

    thanks again.

    1. Hi Preeti,

      What an excellent idea for people who are not comfortable doing just the boiling. So we steam them and they are cooked without the use of too much oil.

      Thank you for sharing…we learn so much from our viewers.

  15. Hi Hetal/Anuja,

    I tried kofta recipe and it turned out really well.My husband loved it.
    I have tried many dishes from ur website and all of them turn out well.I m a big fan of u both and ur cooking.

    My suggestion is please come up with besan ke gatte ki sabji recipe too.I have tried many recipes but none of them have worked for me so far that well.

    Looking forward to ur reply and trying many more yummy recipes of urs.


  16. hi hital and anuja

    i tried this receipe its really good.
    but i fried the coftas and then add it to gravy.
    its really nice.
    thanks for sharing.


  17. Hi Hetal and Anuja, thank you for this helpful website. I liked this recipe but I have question for you. Can we make this dish with raw papaya? I have raw papaya at home and want to try this dish. Thanks again.

  18. Hey Anuja and Hetal thanx alot for koftas.i really like ur videos.i was searching for Iindian recipes and found ur website.i m a Punjabi Girl we daily cook Indian food but ur videos helped me alot.

  19. Great recipe. I have one suggestion. If you roast the besan before adding in to the dudhi, it gives a very nice tatse. Roasting removes the rawness from besan.

  20. Hi Anuja and Hetal,

    I am a big fan of your cooking but today i am begging you to please tell which pan are you using in” Lauki (Bottlegourd) Koftas Γ’β‚¬β€œ Healthy Vegetarian” recipe.It seems to be a very sturdy one and am planning to buy a new one very soon.
    – Which brand is it,whats the size(qts) and where in US can i find it.
    I will be really obliged if you can answer this.

    Thanks in advance..

  21. hi everyone
    i did try lauki koftas….turned out to be really good.
    if anyone is concerned that koftas can be raw…try adding roasted besan…but you have to roast besan
    in non stict pan before adding to mixture.
    i am going to try next time with roased besan.

  22. I tried making it yestaurday and it did not come out good. It completely dissolved in with the curry, and did not retain its round shape. I hardly moved it around. Do I have to cook it longer? add more besan?

    1. Sorry, it did not turn out well. Try a few things:
      – squeezing out a lot more water.
      – adding a little more besan.
      – cooking on low heat.

      Hope that helps!

  23. Hi,

    Excellent recipe! Thanks a lot! Just wondering…Can I broil the koftas in the oven prior to adding them to the gravy?

    1. We have not tried it, but broiling the koftas will cook them from the outside and not the inside. So, when you put them in the gravy, the center may not cook properly.

      1. Hey Hetal..Thanks a lot for your quick response!I made this curry yesterday..I baked the koftas in the oven at 400 F for around 30 mins..The koftas were cooked all the way through..and retained their shape as well after adding them to the gravy..
        Thanks again for the recipe..You guys are doing a good job..Keep it up! πŸ™‚

  24. Hi

    Will koftas not taste raw as your are not frying it?How long to cook it so that rawness goes off…esp besan rawness

  25. Hi,

    SOunds awesome! But I am a little scared of the koftas tasting raw. How do you know when the koftas are done from inside also?

    Please reply soon as I want to try it tomorrow.

    Thanks again!

    1. Hi Tina,

      It’s hard to tell by looking at them, but you can just break off a piece from one of them and taste it. It is the easiest and most sure fire way to tell.

  26. Hi Hetal

    Thank you for the immediate response. I did squeezed the water. I think i just need to squeeze quite hard so there is not tiny bit of water. I will try it again and let u know. Thanks a lot.

  27. Hi Sujatha,

    An important step in this recipe is to squeeze out all of the excess water from the lauki before mixing in the besan (chickpea flour). If you don’t, you will be forced to add too much flour and the result will be hard koftas.

  28. Hi

    Came across your site recently. I tried the malai kofta which came out very well. next was this kofta but it was bit hard. i shredded in small piece and did as u said. it was watery, so i added quite amount of flour. It was on stove for quite long, but still it was hard.

    Thankyou for giving great receipes.

  29. Hello.
    I recently tried to cook this and it was really nice.The koftas need to be cooked for a bit longer though. I would say 10 mins. at least).Otherwise they taste raw.Maybe it depends on their size too.

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