Chaitra Navratri 2023: Lauki Kofta, Sama Pulao Sattvik Meal
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Fasting during Navratri, whether it is Chaitra Navratri, Sharadiya Navratri or Gupt Navratri, is no easy feat. Ritually, this fast is done for nine days during major season changes to ensure that the human body is properly detoxified and healthy to meet the challenges of the next season. This is the reason why, according to Ayurveda, having nutrient-dense sattvik meals during Navratri is very important. This Falahari Lauki Kofta, which pairs really well with Vrat ke Sama Chawal Pulao, makes for just the time of complete, nutritious meal you need this Navratri. 

A completely sattvik take of Lauki Koftas, Falahari Lauki Kofta not only skips onions and garlic from its list of ingredients, but also spices like red chilli powder and garam masala. Since most whole spices are considered to be sattvik, these are added to the dish to make it richer. The gravy, which is tomato-based, also includes cashew paste to add a bit of depth in flavour and more nutty nutrition to the plate. 

The Vrat ke Sama Chawal Pulao, on the other hand, is a mildly flavoured dish that can be eaten with Koftas or just as a standalone dish. Packed with veggies, dry fruits and whole spices, this millet-based dish is so healthy and delicious that you can actually enjoy it beyond Navratri too. 

Here’s the easy-peasy recipe for the Falahari Lauki Kofta.


2 cups bottle gourd, grated 

1 boiled potato, grated 

2 tbsp Amaranth flour 

½ tsp cumin powder 

¼ tsp black pepper powder 

½ tsp green chillies, finely chopped 

1 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped 

Water, as required 

1 tbsp oil 

Rock salt to taste 

For the Kofta Gravy:-

2 tomatoes, pureed 

2 green chillies, finely chopped 

1 bay leaf 

½ tsp cumin seeds 

1 cinnamon stick 

1 green cardamom pod 

3-4 black peppercorns 

2-3 cloves 

½ tsp ginger, grated 

2 tbsp cashew paste 

½ tsp cumin powder 

½ cup curd 

Rock salt, to taste 

Ghee, for cooking 


1. To make the Lauki Koftas, place the grated bottle gourd, grated potato, amaranth flour, cumin powder, black pepper powder, green chillies, coriander leaves and salt in a large boil. 

2. Mix everything well, then add the oil. 

3. Mix again and gradually add water to make a soft dough. 

4. Divide the dough into equal-sized balls or Koftas. 

5. Heat oil in a pan or wok, then fry the Koftas until they turn golden brown. 

6. Remove and set aside for later. 

7. To make the Kofta Gravy, heat ghee in a pan. 

8. Add bay leaf, cumin seeds, cardamom, black peppercorns, cloves and let them splutter. 

9. Once the tempering stops spluttering, add the ginger and saute. 

10. Pour in the tomato puree and continue sauteeing until the tomatoes are cooked. 

11. Mix in the cashew paste and cook for another two minutes. 

12. Add the curd, adjust the salt and mix well to make a thick gravy. 

13. Now, add the Lauki Koftas and stir them around to coat them in the gravy. 

14. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then serve hot with the Sama Pulao. 

Image used for representative purpose. Image courtesy: Facebook/Pitaara Kitchen

Here’s the recipe for the Sama Pulao. 


2 cups barnyard millet, soaked 

1 tbsp ghee 

1 tsp cumin seeds 

1 cardamom pod 

1 sprig curry leaves 

½ tsp ginger, finely chopped 

2 green chillies, chopped 

1 boiled potato, chopped 

1 carrot, chopped 

2 tbsp peanuts 

2 tbsp cashews 

1 tbsp coconut, chopped 

1 tbsp ghee 

4 cups water 

Rock salt, to taste 


1. Heat the ghee in a wok.  

2. Put in the peanuts, cashews and coconut one by one to fry them, then remove and set aside until needed. 

3. In the remaining ghee, add the cumin seeds, cardamom, curry leaves and ginger. 

4. Once the tempering stops spluttering, add the green chillies, potatoes, carrots and salt. 

5. Mix well and saute until the veggies are semi-cooked. 

6. Now add the fried peanuts, cashews and coconut and mix well. 

7. Add the soaked barnyard millets, pour in the water and cover the pulao to cook until ready. 

8. Serve hot with the Falahari Lauki Kofta.