Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Dudhi/ Lauki sabzi ~ Bottlegourd in peanut gravy curry ~ With Stepwise Pictures

Here's the thing I like most about bottle gourd/ calabash or lauki/ dudhi , it is a great veggie to consume when counting calories. This gourd has one of the lowest calorie counts,  100 gms of the vegetable only has about 14 calories or so. It is one of those veggies that contains mostly water, yet it is also rich in vitamins and minerals. This vegetable is also said to be heart healthy,  benefits in weight loss and is supposed to be good for aiding digestion.

If all the above reasons aren't enough, here is one more reason to like dudhi....it's very versatile. It works well in a good range of recipes. Usually I make this kootu with it if I am planning for a south Indian menu or if I am planning to make dudhi to go with phulka I make a curry that is somewhat similar to this curry. But recently I wanted some kind of "different" curry to make with dudhi, but was not in the mood for something elaborate like kofta. So I decided to make a curry with a gravy that is similar to the one I used in this capsicum/ bell pepper masala.  We loved this curry, it was rich, creamy and tasted amazing with phulkas. It is really quick and easy to make too, so that's an added bonus. So if you have dudhi on your menu this week or weekend, give this recipe a try and enjoy it with some phulkas/  flat bread or even plain steamed rice:)

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make Dudhi/ Lauki sabzi
5 and 1/2 cups Bottlegourd pieces of about 3/4 inch each (lauki/ dudhi/ sorakkai) (about 2 small bottlegourds)
2 medium tomatoes cut fine (tamatar/ thakkali)
1 Tbsp oil
3/4 tsp cumin seeds (jeera/ jeeragam)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi/ manjal podi)
1/4 tsp red chili powder (optional, or to taste) (lal mirch/ thani molaga podi) 
salt to taste

2 Tbsp finely cut cilantro (coriander leaves/ hara dhania/ kothamalli)

For the masala ( dry roast each ingredient separately and grind into smooth paste)
3 Tbsp raw peanuts (groundnuts/mungphali/verkadalai)
1 Tbsp sesame seeds (til/ ellu)
1/2 Tbsp coriander seeds (dhania)
3 dry red chilies (or to taste) (lal mirch/ molagai vathal)
3 Tbsp grated coconut (nariyal/ thengai poo)

Peel and cut bottle gourd into 3/4 inch pieces and keep aside. Prep all other veggies and keep aside.

Dry roast each of the items mentioned under masala separately and keep aside to cool. The peanuts until light pinkish, sesame seeds until it splutters a little, coriander seeds until aromatic, red chilies for just a few seconds until it is warm and coconut until it turns lightly creamy golden. Coriander seeds and red chilies can be roasted together. Cool to room temperature and grind together with a little water until it is a smooth paste.

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add cumin seeds. When the seeds splutter, add tomatoes and stir until tomatoes are cooked and soft.

Add turmeric powder and stir a couple of times. Add bottle gourd pieces, salt to taste, chili powder if using and a little water and allow the bottle gourd to cook until it is soft but retains its shape.

Add masala paste, water as needed to achieve required consistency and simmer for a few minutes until the flavones mingle. Garnish with cilantro.

Remove from heat and serve hot with phulkas/ rotis/ chapathis/ Indian flat bread. 
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