This unusual recipe has plenty of emotions attached as it was introduced to me by none other than my mom-in-law.One fine day, right after marriage, she served me this stir fry and asked me to guess the ingredients. Though I was given a lecture and a crash course in cooking by mom, I had no idea whatsoever about this form of a humble lauki present right infront of me. Forget about all the logic and reasoning, the idea of using or rather utilising the peel of a bottlegourd wouldn't have occurred to me even in my wildest of imagination. I knew that doctors asked to cook veggies mostly alongwith their peel but we seldom practice that. Right? So here was my new venture as cook into new household and a new teacher, my mother-in-law. Though I differ from her in every style of my cooking, I respect her skills and never bother to play around the recipe much. Mothers' knows best you see.
|photo by Neetu N|
1 cup finely chopped peel of bottlegourd
1 cup finely chopped or sliced potatoes
1 cup sliced onion
2-3 slit green chillies
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp black pepper powder
Salt to taste
1 tbs oil
|photo by Neetu N|
Heat oil in the pan. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add green chillies and sauté till it gets a nice colour. Add sliced onion. Saute till golden brown. Add the chopped peel and chopped potatoes. Mix. Cover for 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper and turmeric. Mix. Cover for 5 minutes. Check if the potatoes have turned soft. Mix well. Serve with a dash of lime and ginger juliens. This a great side dish served alongwith rice and dal or parathas.
Tips: The lauki should be very tender (without seeds; see pic) and as fresh as possible. Stale gourds give a bitter flavour. The peel of matured lauki(seeds are hard) is not very soft enough for this dish. In order to avoid the peel from becoming dark, soak the peels in water and then chop them finely. You may or may not peel the potatoes in this dish. I like them with skin provided you wash them well.