Lauki or bottle gourd, though high in fibre and nutrients, has always been considered as a boring veggie fit for its die hard fans only. And I m no exception to it. So instead of detesting the very sight of it, I decided to try out an age-old recipe of my mom. The results were good and tasty for a change from the daily aloo and pyaaz recipes. My daughter like it too! Well I couldn't have asked for more from the humble lauki of ours.
3-4cups of skinned and chopped lauki
½ cup of masoor dal or chana dal
1tsp cumin powder
1tsp coriander powder
1tsp black pepper powder
8 cloves of garlic
1 inch ginger
2 medium onions
2-3 slit green chillies
Few sprigs of green coriander leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 bay leaves
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Method: Wash and drain the daal. I prefer to grind he powder along with the spices to give a smooth texture. Grind cumin powder, coriander powder, Black pepper powder, ginger, garlic and one onion to obtain a smooth paste. Slice the remaining onion.
Heat oil in the pressure cooker. Add mustard seed and let it splutter. Add bay leaves. Add slit green chillies. Sauté. Add sliced onion and fry till it obtains a colour. Now add the masala paste. mix. Add salt and turmeric powder and stir. Cover for 1 minute. Add 2tbs of water. Mix. Cover for 1minute. Check when the oil floats on the top. Add the soaked dal. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add chopped lauki. Mix well. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add ½ cup of water. Mix. Close the lid. Cook for 2-3 whistles (chana dal will take 2 more whistles). Garnish with green coriander leaves and ghee. Serve with rice or chapatti.
Tips: Cook the masala on low flame.
If you do not want thick consistency, add less water and cook for 2 whistles only. The lauki itself has lot of moisture in it. Choose the tender ones for better results.