Bottle gourd (Lauki/doodhi)-A vegetable that every Indian is familiar with. Renowned Doodhi ka halwa a.k.a Lauki ka halwa, is rich traditional sweet preparation probably loved by all. But when it comes to cook lauki as a vegetable, many people might dislike it saying that it has very bland taste, it is very dull and boring veggie to eat. Same was the reaction at my home too, though I like it in any form. Whenever I think about its health benefits, next thought that followed was tricks to induce it in my kids daily meal as they are even not very fond of parathas or muthias. One thing I knew very well that my family loves variety of dal preparations and when this masale wali lauki ki dal was on their plate for dinner, it was a HUGE hit. They enjoyed it with bagharey chawal and kept on licking their fingers. Whenever I ask my daughter about what to cook today, first thing she says is “Mamma, please make Lauki wali dal, I like it alot, its my favourite”. 🙂 Now, this recipe is very regular in our meal menu.
Do you know, how healthy this boring, bland Lauki(Bottle gourd) is ? It has approx 95% water and its high in fiber that aids digestion and treats acidity. It keeps your stomach cool and reduces liver inflammations. Lauki reduces stress levels, prevents heart disease as it has zero cholesterol, high in vitamins and antioxidants.
Next time, when you think about this boring veggie, do recall its health benefits and introduce this in your meals. If you don’t like lauki cooked in sabzi form, this lauki ki masalewali dal is the best way to get around it, You will never say ‘NO’ to this yummy dal 🙂
Here is how I do it…
1 cup, masoor dal (Split Red lentils)
1/2 cup, toor dal (split pigeon pea)
750 gms, bottle gourd, cut in 2 inch pieces
1 nos, large onion, finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
2 tsp, coriander powder
3/4 tsp, turmeric powder
1&1/2 tsp, red chili powder, (you may adjust it as per preference)
1 & 1/2 tsp, amchoor powder(dry mango powder)
1 & 1/2 tsp, garam masala powder
8-10 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
Salt as per taste
Water as required
3 tbsp, oil
1 tsp, cumin seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
6-8 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tbsp, ghee
Clean and wash both dals together
Add both the dals and enough water in pressure cooker and cook until done. Dal should be just cooked well and not mushy.
In a handi or deep bottom pan, heat oil.
Add bay leaf and black peppercorns, fry for few seconds
Add onions, fry until soft and pink
Add bottle gourd pieces and chopped tomatoes. Sauté for 3-4 minutes on high heat
Add chili powder, turmeric, coriander powder and amchoor powder. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes on high heat
Add garam masala powder, salt and cooked dal, mix well. Add 1-2 cups of water and bring it to boil. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Bottle gourd should be cooked well and remain intact, it should not be mushy
Adjust the consistency and seasonings if required. The consistency of the dal should not be too thin. cook for 2-3 minutes.
Heat ghee in a small pan. Aa cumin seeds and allow it to crackle
Add sliced garlic and fry until light golden brown
Add curry leaves and fry few seconds.
Pour this tempering over Dal
Dish out and serve hot with steamed rice/bagharey chawal, salad and pappadam