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Rest assured, these koftas are much healthier than the usual deep fried versions – even when cooked in very little oil, they taste great. I love the combination of courgettes and gram flour. Enjoy this curry with rice, or make the koftas on their own to serve as canapés or snacks.




For the curry

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

2 onions, roughly chopped

1 green chilli, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1cm (½ inch) fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

2 tomatoes, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons tomato purée

250ml (9fl oz) water

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon chilli powder

½ teaspoon garam masala

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

1 tablespoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)

1 tablespoon double cream


For the koftas

2 courgettes, about 350g (12oz)

50g (1¾oz) gram flour (besan)

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon chilli powder

½ teaspoon amchoor (mango powder) oil, for frying


Start with the curry. Heat the oil in a pan and cook the onions for 10–12 minutes on a medium-low heat until deep golden brown. Add the green chilli, garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. Next add the tomatoes and tomato purée, then cover and cook for 10 minutes on a low heat. Allow to cool slightly.


Once it’s cool enough, blitz the mixture in a blender, then return it to the same pan. Add the water, salt, sugar and all the spices. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. To make the koftas, grate the courgettes and squeeze out the excess liquid. Put them into a bowl with the gram flour, salt, chilli powder and amchoor and mix well – the mixture will bind itself as you stir.


Heat a flat pan or skillet and add the oil. Shape the kofta mixture into 8 balls and lightly press them into patties. Fry them slowly on a low heat for 5 minutes each side, until golden and cooked through – don’t try to use a high heat as they will burn very quickly. Stir the cream into the curry. Pour it into a serving bowl and place the cooked koftas on top to serve. This will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 4–5 days. Heat through before serving.


This recipe is from Chetna’s Healthy Indian: Vegetarian by Chetna Makan


Like this? Why not check out this recipe for Parsee Style Wedding Stew from Simple Spice Vegetarian by Cyrus Todiwala?