My family moved to India from Kuwait when I was just out of high school. The move made me an angry-at-the-world seventeen year old. To add to the pain, we moved to very a remote town, where there was little to do. Ammi (mother) was worried and tried to comfort me by cooking my favourite meals. When that failed, she asked me if I would like to teach at the town school, which was looking for a temporary replacement.
It turned out to be a life-changing experience, where I made my first real friends, including a vegetarian girl who forced me to try malai koftas (cheese dumplings), despite my protests about not liking paneer. I still didn’t like them until one day she made the koftas with bottle gourd instead.
Today I make these spicy, melt-in-your-mouth vegetarian 'meatballs' in creamy tomato and coconut sauce with zucchini and serve them with cumin rice and a side of simple onion salad, but it is also great with flatbread.
This recipe makes double the koftas you need; the additional koftas are what the cook gets to munch on while cooking. Halve the recipe otherwise.