I am super excited today as I have found one of my favorite vegetables in the local farmers market. Hold your breath, drum rolls it is the very humble Bottle Gourd The vegetables available back home in India are not easily available in Perth as local super markets usually stock only popular vegetables and also most vegetables do not grow here.
So I have to hunt for such treasures in the Asian markets. And today when I found this lonely piece of Bottle gourd hidden away in a corner I almost did a little dance confusing the people in the shops who were wondering why was I breaking into “gangam style” in the middle of a crowded shop.
For those of you who are not familiar with this beauty, it is one of the tastiest and healthiest vegetable that is known to us Indians. Infact it is one of the oldest vegetable ever grown. Bottle Gourd is called Lauki or Dhoodhi in Hindi (Dhoodhi literally means Milky as its flesh is milky white) is a powerhouse vegetable with very high water content. It belongs to the cucumber and zucchini family and is low in fat and cholesterol yet high in dietary fiber.
I used to hate this vegetable and refused to eat it till one day a neighbor made it for lunch and got it for us. They were Sindhis and this was another gem from their cuisine which I fell in love with . She was very kind and gave me the recipe and I made it almost every month before I moved here to Perth.
The recipe is so easy to make that it requires literally no stirring, shaking etc. You just put everything in the pressure cooker and it’s done under 15 minutes. I have given this recipe to a few friends who have absolutely loved it. So when I finally lay my hand on the gourd I had to give it a go on the blog.
The recipe is cooked in Ghee (clarified butter). I would strongly encourage that you do not use oil because the flavor that you get with Ghee is not comparable to oil. Trust me on this.
Here is the recipe (cooking time 25 minutes, serves 4-5)
700 gms Bottle Gourd (I just used a medium sized one weighing 700 gms )
2 large ripe Tomatoes finely chopped
1 tsp Ginger Garlic paste (do not add more)
1 1/2 tsp Red chili powder
1 tsp Cumin powder
1 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
½ tsp Asafoetida (Hing)
Salt to taste
1 table spoon Ghee (no substitutes)
Peel and chop the Gourd into chunky medium bite sized pieces. If the pieces are too small they will disintegrate if too large they won’t cook fast. So be careful. Wash the pieces under running water and keep aside.
In a pressure cooker add the Ghee, cumin seeds and Asafoetida. Once the seeds start to splutter, add the tomatoes and the Gourd Add all masalas and Ginger Garlic paste. Mix well, cover and pressure cook for 4 whistles on a medium flame.
If you are using a thick bottomed pan instead of the cooker let it cook on a medium flame with the lid covered stirring in between till the Gourd has cooked
Once the steam has released and if you feel there is a lot of water then put the Cooker back on the gas on a medium flame and let the water evaporate. The consistency of this dish is really dry.
Serve hot with Rotis laden with ghee