Lauki / ghiya / doodhi / bottle gourd..... no matter what ever name you call it with, it's that kind of vegetable either you like it or not. Despite having a long list of health benefits attached to it, still it has a very bad reputation, mainly considered as a vegetable to be eaten during sick time(as it's very light vegetable on your digestive system) and also favorite among older generation being healthy & soft. It's also a very versatile vegetable depending on how you want to eat it, you can use it for yogurt dips(doodhi ka raita), vegetable curries, lauki chana dal is one very famous combo, my personnel favorite is ghiya ke koftas, another famous one is doodhi ka halwa, kheer & burfi.... yes it is equally common in sweet preparations also(though I stick with savory versions only) and one latest craze among modern age Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev's followers is Lauki Juice, about which he says "It's best unknown medicine to the world". Personally I have never tasted that juice, I like to stick with soup & curries made with lauki.
As for some benefits :
- cures disorders like jaundice
- excellent for light, low calorie diets
- suitable of hypertensive patients
- cures from kidney problems and toothaches
- very cooling, calming and easy to digest
- very valuable in urinary disorders
- low in fat & cholesterol and high in dietary fiber, Contains around 96% water
- rich in iron, vitamins C and B complex
Now before we move to the recipe, if you don't like lauki try to add little sour(I use x'tra tomatoes) & chilli flavors to it, that worked for him when I made him eat lauki for the first time almost a decade back. But now he eats it any way I prepare..... as long it's in a savory dish & strictly no sweets & juice out of it for him.
What U need :
- 1 medium size Lauki (to see the lauki pic. click here) cut into bite size pieces
- large bunch of spinach washed & chopped
- 1/2 cup nutri nuggets
- 1 large onion
- 2 large tomatoes
- 3-4 green hot peppers
- 1 Tblsp. ginger garlic paste
- 2 tsp. cumin (jeera)
- 1 tsp. turmeric (haldi)
- 1 tsp. coriander (dhania) powder
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- 1 tsp. red chilli powder
- 1 tsp. urad dal
- 1 Tblsp. chana dal
- 1 Tblsp. cooking oil
- pinch of asafoetida (hing)
What U do :
- Boil Nutri nuggets in salted water for 5 minutes, rinse, drain squeeze.
- Heat oil in a heavy bottom karahi/Wok on med. gas. Add urad & chana dal to it. Once dal gets little brown, add hing, cumin.
- Next add ginger garlic and after few seconds add chopped onions. Cook them till they become translucent. Add all the dry spices & salt. Next add chopped up tomatoes.
- After around 3-4 minutes add lauki to the pan, mix everything together, let it saute for 3-4 minutes or so than add 1/2 cup of water, cover & cook.
- After around 10 minute or so add spinach & nutri nuggets to it & let the whole thing cook together for another 10 minute or so.
- Depending upon how fresh and soft raw lauki is cooking time will vary anywhere from 20 minutes to 30-35 minutes. Don't let the lauki get too mushy.
- Once done squeeze some lime juice before serving it with roti / naan / parantha or dosa.
This is again one of the easy All-in-One kind of curry. Got vegetables, greens & soy protein(nutri nuggets) everything in one dish. Enjoy it.
Note : Occasionally(got twice in last ten years) lauki can be bitter also, so I usually eat a piece or two of raw lauki(before cooking) to make sure that it's fresh and not the bitter one , but if that's the case don't use the vegetable just throw it, as it can be harmful on your stomach.