Bottle gourd has many healing powers, even though it is not so popular in Western World, but it is widely used in India. Bottle gourd is valuable treating Urinary disorder, balancing Liver Function, treating High blood pressure and heart disease, treating Insomnia and other nervous disorders and many more. Ayurveda, the traditional Indian Herbal medicinal system, suggests bottle gourd juice once daily early in the morning helps treating graying hair, stomach acidity, digestive disorders and ulcers.
Today, I'll share a very simple lauki/lau recipe from bengali cuisine, which is called "Lau Ghonto".
Another, from the same bottle gourd peel, "Lau er Khosa Charchari". One bottle gourd, two recipe.
Ghonto, is a cooking style in Bengali cuisine, where vegetables (cabbage, gourd, radish etc.) are chopped or grated very finely and cooked with a tempering(like, jeera/ panch phoron) and very few ground spices. Non-vegetarian ghontos are also made, where fish or fish head are added with vegetables. The famous Murighonto is made with fish head and cooked rice.
Ingredients :Lau/lauki : 1 ( medium/big)
Dry red chilli : 1
Cumin seeds/jeera : 2 tsp.
Turmeric powder : 2 tsp.
Green chilli : 1 or 2(chopped)
Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing
Salt to taste
Oil : 2 tblsp.
- Peel the whole gourd. Don't throw away the peels. In Bengali cuisine, we have many delectable dishes made from it, like crispy fries(lau-er khosa bhaja) or charchari from it. I'll shared the fry recipe before and the charchari recipe follows after this.
- For cutting the vegetable very fine, first cut the gourds in round rings. Take 3 or 4 rings at a time and chop them as finely as you can. Continue with the other rings.
- Heat oil in a pan, temper with broken dry red chilli and cumin seeds. When chilli turns dark and seeds crackle, throw chopped up gourds. Stir for a while, water will come out. Wait for water to dry up. When water evaporates, add salt, turmeric and green chillies. Mix well , stirring for few minutes.
- Add very little water and in medium flame let it cook. Gourds cook very fast. Check the seasoning. When all the water evaporates and gourds are quite soft and mushy, remove from heat. Throw chopped fresh coriander leaves, mix well and serve hot with hot rice.