THE NUTRI-RICH VEGETABLE IN FAVOR OF BOTTLE GOURD…

    By: Dr. Kaviraj Khialani – Celebrity Master Chef.

    Bottle gourd or Dudhi, Lauki as it is popularly known as in various parts of India is one humble vegetable with a refreshing look and cooling properties to satisfy the needs of our dietary requirements.

    It is one vegetable which is able to be adapted in various forms from a fresh juice as a healthy beverage to snacky dishes, into subtle main course dishes to the exotics as well, blends well with spices, flours, pulses and legumes and sweeteners as well to offer us a varied choice of delicacies on our plates.

    Some of the Culinary Uses of Bottle Gourd/ Dudhi:

    • A lot of us have had it in a fresh extracted juice form as well which is very healthy for weight management.
    • Dudhi ki subzi with a mild tempering of hing, jeera, curry leaves, turmeric, salt and a generous amount of coriander leaves and a little aamchur powder at the end is yum.
    • Lauki ke kofte is a classic recipe from north India and has been done since a long time from the royal kitchen era.
    • Dudhi chana dal is one of the commonly made daily veg and dal combo which goes well with a tadka of shahi jeera and mild spices to be enjoyed with phulkas/rice.
    • Bottle gourd is also good at being stir fried with bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, peas and mushrooms as well.
    • Lauki tamatar nu shaak a popular recipe with it being cooked in mildly spiced tomato based masala with a touch of jaggery and chili.
    • Dudhi ke Parathey, chillas with grated Lauki and sooji, stuffing’s for tikkis and cutlet mixtures with Dudhi.
    • A popular sweet with called Lauki ki kheer, Lauki ka mavedaar halwa etc are also some of the exotic and very tempting recipes from Indian cuisine.
    • Fusion cooking too is delicious using Lauki and Dudhi some of the ideas I tried are basil flavored bottle gourd and nutty cream cheese ravioli pasta served with a sun dried tomato and roast pepper sauce.
    • Indo-Chinese Lauki Manchurian gravy with vermicelli fried rice topped with double fried schezuan egg.
    • Bottle gourd brownie pudding with blueberry salsa and praline cream.

    Here are a few easy and tasty recipes with bottle gourd:

    Recipe-1] SHORBA –E- LAZZAT

    Ingredients:

    • Dudhi- 500gms, peeled and roughly cut.
    • Oil/butter/ghee- 1 tbsp.
    • Jeera-1/2 tsp
    • Slit green chilies- 2 no
    • Ginger- 1 tsp chop
    • Onion- 2 tbsp. chop
    • Salt to taste
    • Veg stock/water- 4-5 cups
    • Curd + besan-1 tsp + 1 tbsp. cashew paste- ¼ cup curd.
    • Fresh cream- 2 tbsp.
    • Garam masala powder-1/4 tsp
    • Mint/coriander/parsley/nuts and seeds to garnish.

    Method:

    1. Prepare all the ingredients for the shorba
    2. Heat oil/ghee/butter in a pan add the ingredients for tempering one by one and saute well.
    3. Add in the Lauki, salt and spices to taste.
    4. Add in the curd, besan and cashew paste mix, add water as desired, bring to a boil.
    5. Cook well, simmer and continue for 10-12 mins
    6. Blend the soup into a nice puree, bring it back to a boil add cream, check for seasonings and serve hot.

    Recipe-2] LAUKI AUR DAL KI JUGALBANDI

    Ingredients

    • Lauki- 500gms peeled and cubed.
    • Chana dal- ¼ cup
    • Yellow moong dal-2 tbsp.
    • Oil/ghee- 2 tbsp.
    • Shahi jeera/ jeera seeds- ½ tsp
    • Slit green chilies- 2 no
    • Ginger garlic- 1 tsp each chop
    • Onions- 1 small chop
    • Salt to taste
    • Tomatoes- ½ cup chop
    • Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
    • Red chili powder- 1/3 tsp
    • Coriander powder- ½ tsp
    • Water as needed
    • Kasuri methi- 1 tsp
    • Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp. garnish.

    Method:

    1. Prepare all the ingredients for the recipe.
    2. Soak the dals in water for 30 mins.
    3. Heat oil/ghee add in the jeera, chilies, ginger garlic and onions, tomatoes saute well for a minute.
    4. Add in the drained dals, Lauki, salt, spices, methi and water.
    5. Using a pressure cooker allow 3-4 whistles and lower the flame for 10 mins.
    6. Open and blend it using a masher and garnish with coriander leaves, serve hot with rotis, rice, pulao.

    Recipe- 3] ZAIKEDAAR TADKEWALI LAUKI

    Ingredients:

    • Lauki- 500gms peeled and cut into cubes.
    • Oil/ghee- 2 tbsp.
    • Hing-1/4 tsp
    • Mustard seeds-1/4 tsp
    • Cumin seeds- ½ tsp
    • Curry leaves- 10-12
    • Slit red and green chilies- 2 no.
    • Onion- 1 small chopped
    • Salt to taste
    • Red chili powder-1/2 tsp
    • Coriander powder- 1 tsp
    • Garam masala powder- ½ tsp
    • Curd- 2 tbsp.
    • Cumin powder- 1/3 tsp
    • Curry powder- 1 tsp- optional
    • Coconut- fresh grated- 2 tbsp.
    • Tamarind pulp-2 tsp
    • Jaggery-1 tsp
    • Water as needed.
    • Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp.
    • Fried red chili- 2 no for garnish.

    Method:

    1. Prepare all the ingredients for the recipe.
    2. Heat oil/ghee add in the tempering ingredients one by one add in the onions and saute them, add in the powdered spices, add ½ cup chop tomatoes- optional.
    3. Add little water, coriander leaves, coconut, Lauki pieces and mix well, add in the tamarind and jaggery and curd and blend it well.
    4. Cover and simmer for 12- 15 mins, open and serve hot with chapattis, missi roti, parathas.

    Recipe-4] BOTTLE GOURD AND SESAME RAITA

    Ingredients:

    • Dudhi- 400 gms, peeled and grated and steamed for 10
      mins
    • Curd- 2 cups beaten and sweet.
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Mint leaves- 10-12 no
    • Roasted white sesame seeds- 1 and half tsp.
    • Sliced almonds, raisins etc if needed.
    • Chop dates- 2 tbsp.

    Method:

    1. Prepare all the ingredients for the recipe.
    2. Combine together the curd, seasonings and Dudhi, add chaat masala/rock salt, dates and other ingredients like mint, coriander etc and mix well with the Dudhi and dates into this raita.
    3. Portion the raita when its chilled garnish with mint/coriander/nuts and seeds and some healthy sesame seeds and serve with choice of rice
      preparations, pulao and biryanis.

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