Dudhi Kofta Curry (Indian Squash Dumplings) Recipe (2024)

Recipe from Raghavan Iyer

Adapted by Kim Severson

Dudhi Kofta Curry (Indian Squash Dumplings) Recipe (1)

Total Time
1 hour 45 minutes
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The Indian cookbook author Raghavan Iyer experienced his first Thanksgiving, in Minnesota, in the early 1980s. “Coming from a land of spice, I thought, ‘Man, how boring,’" he recalled. He shared this recipe for squash dumplings in a creamy tomato sauce spotted with cashews and raisins, a bright and spicy dish welcome on any table, any time of the year. In a pinch? The sauce and dumplings can be prepared a day ahead and refrigerated separately. —Kim Severson

Featured in: The American Thanksgiving

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Yield:8 to 10 servings

    For the Dumplings

    • 2pounds zucchini, trimmed
    • 2teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt
    • 1small red onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
    • 2tablespoons raw cashews
    • 4large cloves garlic, peeled
    • 4lengthwise slices fresh ginger (each 2 inches long, 1 inch wide and ⅛-inch thick)
    • 4fresh green Thai, cayenne or serrano chiles, stems removed
    • ¼cup chickpea flour
    • 2tablespoons rice flour
    • 2tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
    • Vegetable oil for deep-frying

    For the Sauce

    • 2tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
    • 1teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 1small red onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
    • 4fresh green Thai, cayenne or serrano chiles, stems removed, coarsely chopped (do not remove seeds)
    • 2tablespoons raw cashews
    • 2tablespoons golden raisins
    • 1(14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
    • 1teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt
    • ¼teaspoon ground turmeric
    • ½cup half-and-half
    • 1teaspoon garam masala
    • 2tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, for serving

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (10 servings)

138 calories; 9 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 13 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 6 grams sugars; 4 grams protein; 422 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Dudhi Kofta Curry (Indian Squash Dumplings) Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Prepare the dumplings: Shred zucchini using a food processor or box grater. Collect shreds in a large bowl and mix in salt. Let stand for about 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, place onion, cashews, garlic, ginger and chiles in a food processor. Pulse until mixture forms a spicy-smelling, slightly chunky paste.

  3. Step


    Wrap zucchini in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out all the liquid. (Discard the liquid.) Transfer squash back to bowl and stir in onion paste mixture until combined. Add chickpea flour, rice flour and cilantro and stir to combine into a slightly wet batter.

  4. Step


    Working quickly, place a heaping tablespoon of batter in the palm of your hand and squeeze it to condense it into a ball; transfer dumpling to a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining batter to make about 25 dumplings. (The longer you let the batter stand without shaping it, the more liquid the squash will release, making it difficult to handle. Adding more flour will make it manageable, but will also make the dumplings too dense.)

  5. Step


    Pour oil into a wok, Dutch oven or medium saucepan to a depth of about 1 inch. Set over medium heat until a candy or oil thermometer registers 300 degrees. Meanwhile, line a plate or baking sheet with paper towels.

  6. Step


    Once oil is hot, gently slide 8 dumplings into pan. Fry, turning occasionally, until they are honey brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove dumplings with a slotted spoon and drain on the paper towels. Repeat with remaining dumplings. You may need to adjust heat to maintain the oil temperature.

  7. Step


    Make the sauce: Heat ghee or oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and cook until they sizzle and darken, 5 to 10 seconds. Immediately add onions, chiles, cashews and raisins. Stir-fry until onion is soft and golden, chiles are pungent, cashews have turned honey brown, and raisins have swelled and darkened, about 5 minutes.

  8. Step


    Add tomatoes, salt and turmeric to the saucepan, stirring once or twice to combine. Transfer to a blender and purée, scraping the inside of the jar as needed, to make a smooth and spicy-sweet red sauce. Pour sauce back into saucepan. Pour ½ cup water into blender jar and swish it around; add this liquid to pan. Stir in half-and-half and garam masala.

  9. Step


    Gently add dumplings to sauce, making sure they do not break apart. Heat curry over medium heat until sauce starts to bubble, then lower heat, cover the pan, and simmer until dumplings are warmed through and have absorbed some of the sauce, about 5 minutes; do not stir. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.



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Cooking Notes


Great recipe the only thing I would caution people about is that a total of 8 Thai green peppers (4 in the dumplings 4 in the sauce) with seeds is for most people I know too spicy! I'd actually start with 1 or 2 in the dumplings and maybe just 1 in the sauce, also I'd seed them to further decrease the heat. It's always easier to add peppers or include seeds more if you want more of a kick, but to start I think it's best to err on the side of caution!


This looks good! As with any Indian curry recipe, you can adjust the number of chillies to your taste.
Don't throw away the liquid that is released from the zucchini. You can use it in place of the water required for the curry - and make sure to adjust the salt accordingly! Or use it in place of vegetable stock.
If you are making this ahead, keep the dumplings and the sauce separate. Bring them together just before serving, or the dumplings will disintegrate.


This is a great dish.Some variants:For those who want to avoid the oil in the koftas: add an extra spoon of chickpea flour, make the dumplings and steam them in a steamer. You will not get a crisp outer coating but there is otherwise no difference in the taste.Replace chickpea flour with boiled mashed potatoes. The koftas will bind better and will not disintegrate when fried.The cashews are optional- for those counting calories!


I'd recommend almost doubling the amount of chickpea flour for the inexperienced Indian chef (or for anyone who has never made falafel). They hold together much better when frying, and the texture is not unpleasant at all.

I also made the dish with 2 peppers in the fritters and 4 in the sauce and thought it was just right, but my family is not afraid of spice.


The recipe is titled 'Dudhi Kofta Curry', but dudhi is not listed as an ingredient! Dudhi is bottle gourd, or calabash, and I frequently see it in South Asian markets, and occasionally in Trader Joe's. While I'm sure this recipe is fantastic with zucchini, I'd highly recommend trying it out with dudhi!


Sorry to be the dissenting voice here, but I made these last night and they were not worth the work--lots of vegetable shredding, big pans dirty from frying, etc. and then the results were quite unremarkable. Moreover as you gradually fry these stupid little vegetable balls, the later ones disintegrate more and more.


This was an amazing tasty flavorful dish. I highly recommend it. However be careful of the spice level and how much pepper you add. Also, it created quite a mess and lots of dishes but this is a special occasion recipe that is well worth the effort. I had no problem frying my dumplings but I can see how some people did. Make sure your oil is hot enough, do a test dumpling first and don't turn them too early.


This sounds interesting and delicious. For health reasons, I prefer not to eat fried foods. Can these be baked?

Kitchen Princess

I'm wondering the same. Maybe I'll try pan sear and bake. Might require more binder.


The other huge change I made was baking the dumplings instead of frying them. I used grated carrots, so the dumplings stayed together nicely. At 400 degrees for 35 minutes they were crisp on the outside and soft inside.

Kiran starosta

This was perfect recipeSo good and authentic

Jan C.

IKEA sells frozen vegan meatballs that look similar and they are delicious!


I don’t care for most Garam Masala mixes that I find, so for the second time making the sauce I substituted 2 tsp. of mild curry powder and liked the result much better.


Make sure that you really press out as much water as possible from the zucchini. My first batch did not work out at all. I added an egg to the second, and they bound nicely. The taste is great.


I just made this. Most of the dumplings fell apart in the frying oil. I'd recommend adding more flour? (Really no clue!)


This is an excellent recipe. I just used less chilis as it gets quite hot and just the chickpea flour then rolled the balls in the excess flour before frying. Will definitely make this again.


I thought the dumplings in the recipe were very meh BUT the curry is absolutely delicious!! Be forewarned, adding 4 serranos unseeded is VERY spicy and I would probably only do 2-3 next time.


One of my favorite dishes, even without an excess of zucchini to use up. I am wondering whether it would work to make the balls up to the point of frying and immediately freeze them, then cook in the hot oil while frozen? My one attempt to make extra and freeze, sauce and kofta stored in separate bags- well, it was still tasty, but most of the kofta disintegrated while reheating, despite my most gentle stirring.


Made these as a warm appetizer and they turned out EXCELLENT!Here are the changes that make sense to me and the “feel’ and color of the dough balls:added a small amount of julienne carrot as part of the total 1lb. Weight of zuchinnikept chili’s to only 2, and added ½ red Fresno chili, and jalapeñoadded 1 beaten egg and 2 extra TBLSP chickpea flouradded more spices such as coriander sprayed w/coconut oil, and AIR FRIED them until crunchy. Added coconut to tomato curry dipping sauce delish!


Wow I never thought I could make something that tasted like authentic Indian food but that hit the spot. I made the sauce w/ coconut oil and will do the same next time. I split the sauce in half before adding 1/2 &. 1/2 since it was SO GOOD without the cream... so I kept a portion “vegan” . I added 1/2 & 1/2 to the rest and it was tangier. I rec. treating zucchini throughout the day w/ paper towels to absorb as much moisture as possible. Didn’t blend the cashews into the fritter becuz: TEXTURE

Kiran starosta

It was very hot I would cut down on Thai peppers , just put two instead of 4


This is very good. The balls don't hold well together though even with almost 2x the chickpea flour. I found baking them worked better. I would make 2-3x the quantity as this only lasted for 1 meal for a family of 4.


Zucchini is not Dudhi!The title should be Zucchini kofta curry! Great recipe though


We did the dumplings in the air fryer and they came out well. We took the advice of others and cut down on the spice and unfortunately we cut down too much.


These were surprisingly easy to prepare. After prepping the zucchini, everything went together quickly. I did cheat and use butter masala from a jar but it worked well. Omitted cilantro to suit husband. Outstanding flavor and texture.

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Dudhi Kofta Curry (Indian Squash Dumplings) Recipe (2024)
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