Month of July can be regarded as an ideal month for rainy season. However, in Delhi it is hard to find a completely rain drenched day. For me, here, the extended summer starts in April and ends in September. I dearly miss the good old Monsoon of my growing years in Kolkata.
However summer brings with it a plateful of vegetables among which ‘Bottle Gourd’ or ‘Lauki’ or ‘Lau’ (in Bengali) is perhaps the commonest and still my beloved. Thinking of bottle gourd, the dish which comes in my mind at the foremost is Lau Ghanto or the traditional bottle gourd curry. For preparing ‘Lau Ghanto’ one needs to chop the bottle gourd very fine which is a bit time consuming. While an alternative preparation with bottle gourd, known as ‘Lau er Dalna’, can be prepared much easily which I present here.Potato and bottle gourd chunks are simply cooked in Indian spices to make a curry for Lau er dalna. This dish is very delicious too with an aroma of garam masala and ghee and indeed a great accompaniment of plain rice or roti or paratha.
Ingredients to serve 3-4:
- Bottle Gourd – 500 gm.
- Potato – 2 (medium size)
- Chopped tomato – 1 (small)
- Ginger paste – ½ tbspoon
- Slit green chilli – 2
- Sun dried lentil dumplings (Bori) – 15 (small)
- Whole garam masala (½” cinnamon stick, 2-3 cloves & 2 green cardamom)
- Cumin seeds – ½ taspoon
- Bay leaf – 1
- Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
- Cumin powder – ½ taspoon
- Red chilli powder – ¼ teaspoon
- Salt & sugar to taste
- Mustard oil – 7-8 tbspoon
- Ghee or clarified butter – ½ teaspoon
Peel the bottle gourd and cut into medium chunks.
Also peel the potatoes and cut into cubes.
Heat oil in a kadai or frying pan over medium flame.
Fry the sun dried lentil dumplings (bori) till golden brown and keep aside.
Fry potato cubes till half cooked in the remaining oil. Add some salt and turmeric powder while frying the potatoes. Remove the potatoes from the oil and keep aside.
Now put the bottle gourd chunks into the same oil and cook on low-medium flame till it becomes soft. Again remove the bottle gourd chunks from the kadai and keep aside.
Add whole garam masala, cumin seeds and bay leaf into the remaining oil (add little more oil if the remaining quantity is very small). Saute the spices till nice aroma comes out from them.
Now add chopped tomato, slit green chilli and ginger paste, cook till tamato gets mushy.
Then add turmeric powder, cumin powder and chilli powder. Cook the spices till oil comes out from the mixture.
Now add cooked vegetables (potato & bottle gourd) into the spice mixture and mix them all very well. Cook for another couple of minutes on low-medium flame.
Now add 1½ large cup of hot water and let it comes to boil.
Check for salt, add if necessary and sprinkle some sugar.
Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook over medium flame till the gravy thickens to your desired consistency.
After that put the fried lentil dumplings and ghee. Mix them well and again cover the pan with the lid. Put the flame off and give it a standing time for 2-3 minutes.
Serve with plain rice or roti or paratha.
For the first time I am featuring this recipe in “A-Z Recipe Challenge”. As the theme of this month is letter ‘B’, I chose ‘Bottle Gourd’ as the key ingredients of my dish.