Call it Bottle gourd, Calabash, or Opo Squash, this fairly bland but versatile vegetable lends itself well to cooking many interesting dishes.
Koftas is a favorite in my kitchen, served with some flavorful sauces. Typically koftas are balls, but, sometimes I make them into small flat patties.
In this recipe, grated opo squash and kale with some onions and garlic forms the core of the koftas and patties. A bit of rice flour and chickpea flour with seasoning is used to bind the vegetables so they can be shaped into balls and patties.
Rather than baking, I fried the kofta balls in a pancake puffs maker a.k.a Appa Karal as I was making just a small batch of koftas. The patties were cooked in a cast iron skillet of medium low heat till cooked through on the inside.
1 medium opo squash
½ cup finely chopped kale leaves
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 Tablespoon grated ginger
1 tsp finely minced garlic (optional)
1 tsp crushed red pepper
½ medium yellow onion, finely diced
salt to taste
¼ cup chickpea flour
1/3 cup rice flour
2 to 3 Tbsp oil for cooking patties and kofta balls
- Peel the opo squash, remove the spongy core and seeds, and grate it. Squeeze to press out as much water as possible from the grated opo squash.
- Combine the kofta ingredients to make a thick yet loose/pliable dough. Add a little flour at a time till desired consistency. Add more flour as needed, in case the grated opo squash has retained too much water even after being squeezed out
- Shape the dough into even-sized balls that would fit in the Appa Karal or Pancake Puffs Maker
- For Kofta Balls: Heat a small amount of oil in the Pancake Puffs Maker or Appa Karal, drop the shaped balls of dough and cook over medium heat till done on the inside and crisp on the outside; alternately deep fry if preferred
- For Patties: Heat a tablespoon of oil in a cast iron skillet, flatten the balls into patties and cook over medium heat, flipping as needed to brown both sides and cook the insides
- Sauce: The sauce this time is a simple tomato-based one. But, either Jalapeno-Cilantro Sauce or Spicy Beet Sauce or Creamy Chard Sauce would be wonderful with these Opo squash & Kale koftas