Lau er Dalna or Bottle gourd & Potato Curry

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.

Lau er Dalna (Bottle Gourd & Potato Curry)

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Lau ghanto or Bottle gourd curry

Bottle gourd alias “lauki” or “Lau” is one of my favourite vegetables. To my delight, I have found it in the open market here in Netherlands and did not waste time buying. Although Bottle guard can be cooked in the authentic vegetarian way, back home we used to cook it with shrimps which tastes delicious too. However, here I describe the completely vegetarian bottle guard curry recipe with some of the interesting ingredients like “Bori” or dried lentil nuggets. However, it is not absolutely indispensible and the flavour ofLauki is itself self-sufficient. The curry goes equally well both with rice and roti and is a perfect choice for summer menu with a lot of water content in it.

Lau ghanto or Dried bottle gourd curry

Lau ghanto or Dried bottle gourd curry

Ingredients to serve 3-4 :

  1. Bottle gourd – 1 (small)
  2. Potato – 1 (big)
  3. Slit green chilli – 2
  4. Bori (Sun dried lentil nuggets) – 6-8
  5. Cumin seed – 1 teaspoon
  6. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  7. Salt & sugar to taste
  8. Chopped coriander leaves – 2 tbspoon heaped
  9. Cooking oil – 3 tbspoon

Procedure :

Peel the bottle gourd and cut into very thin slices.

Thinly sliced Bottle gourd

Thinly sliced Bottle gourd

Peel and cut the potato into medium size cubes.

Heat oil in a pan over medium flame and fry the lentil nuggets (bori) into it until they turn brown. Take them out and keep aside. As they cool down a bit, crush them by your hand and make small fragments of them.

Add cumin seeds to the left over oil and let them splutter.

Add potato cubes and fry them lightly with pinch of salt.

Then add bottle gourd slices, green chillies and turmeric powder into it. Fry till water releases from bottle gourd.

Then season with salt and sugar. Cover the pan with a lid and put the gas on low.

As the bottle gourd gets cooked and water dries up, add crushed lentil nuggets (bori) and give it a good stir.

Cook for another couple of minutes and put the gas off when it looks dry.

Now sprinkle over the coriander leaves, mix well and cover the pan for few more minutes.

Serve with rice or roti.

Note :

  1. Instead of coriander leaves you can also add ½ tbspoon of ghee and ½ teaspoon of garam masala powder at the end of this recipe. I prefer adding ghee most, but as I didn’t have it in my stock, I added coriander leaves.
  2. Sun dried lentil nuggets or Bori are readily available in market. You can use them. Or it can be easily prepared at home. I will post the recipe soon. 🙂