Lauki, also known as bottle-gourd / opo-squash in English and sorakkai in Tamil is one of the most under-used (or should I say unused, mmm?!?!) vegetables, both in my parent's side and my in-law's side. Though no one could clearly explain the belief or custom behind not using this vegetable, it was strictly followed without any exceptions. Thus, lauki became one of my most loathed vegetables.
Every single time in grocery shop, I have walked past this vegetable with lot of arguments in my mind whether to buy it or not but never had the courage to give in. Recently, I had a friend visiting us and guess what, she had this recipe of lauki with bengal gram that she vouched for. I knew it was so long overdue for me to outgrow my dislike for this vegetable and decided to try it!
Channa dal is the perfect pairing for this vegetable, lending a bite to this otherwise soft & pulpy subzi. I love the way how amchur powder adds a nice tartness to this recipe. With 2 chillies, the gravy was moderately spicy. So, adjust green chillies depending on your spice level. Do not skip cilantro as it adds lots of freshness and flavor to the recipe.
Complexity - Simple
Prep time - 10 mins
Cook time - 30 mins
Serves - 4
2 cups chopped Lauki/Bottle gourd/Opo squash
1/3 cup Channa dal
1 small Onion, finely chopped
1 inch ginger, grated
2 Thai green chillies, chopped
1 medium Tomato, chopped
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
3/4 tsp Coriander powder
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
3/4 tsp Amchur powder
1 tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
Salt to taste
a handful of chopped Cilantro
Wash and soak channa dal in water for 15-30 mins.
Heat oil directly in a pressure cooker. When hot, add cumin seeds and let it sizzle.
Add onion, chopped chillies, grated ginger and sauté until onion turns translucent. Add tomatoes and all the dry spice powder (red chili, turmeric, coriander, garam masala, amchur) and stir until the oil separates.
Add chopped lauki, drained channa dal along with salt and 1 cup of water.
Pressure cook for 2 whistles and after all the pressure is released, add chopped cilantro and mix well. Serve hot with rice or roti.