August 09, 2007

Simple Pleasures of Lau Tarkari (bottlegourd)

We had lau or Bottlegourd several times during the summer months growing up. I've had it many ways, the simple sabzi that my mom made, sometimes ghonto, sometime in dal and sometimes with prawn (chingri). Somehow, I've never tried making it here before.

But I picked up a lau at a Indian store last week when the temperature here was in the upper nineties. And it was probably because I was thinking of my mom's theory that lau is good in the hot weather. The vegetable blends well with different spices and I decided to try it.

I made it simple, just the way my mom makes it and served with simple salad, homemade yogurt and rotis, it made a great dinner.

1 medium lau or bottlegourd
2/3 tspoon cumin seeds
2 green chillis
1" fresh ginger - chopped thinly
1/2 tspoon turmeric powder
1/2 tspoon coriander powder
1 tbspoon olive oil
cilantro bunch - chopped finely
salt to taste

Cut the bottlegourd thinly. My mom cuts it much thinner than I do, but I can qualify my status as beginner lau chopper!

Heat oil in a pan and temper it with cumin seeds and green chillis. Add ginger and saute for a couple of minutes. Then add the lau and let it cook for 5-7 minutes on medium heat and closed lid.

Then add coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt a little bit of water and cook for another 5-7 minutes till the bottlegourd is cooked.

Add chopped cilantro and serve warm.

It also goes well with spicy sambar or even dal and rice.


  1. We make this too, minus the coriander powder. Sometimes, after the curry's done, we simmer it in a little milk.

  2. I make it the same way, but I put some curds on before serving. Nice recipe :)

  3. i love the bottlegourd with dal dish that mom makes.. reminds me of that, the pic i mean :)

  4. I also make this with dal. But I am going to try your version. :-)

  5. Mandira...lau !!! You know you have cut it pretty well, amazing how moms used to cut it so thin, mine is usaully bigger.

    You know if you want some "Bori" I can send you some. My friend found Bengali type "Boris"...the small ones here. Lau Ghonto with crumbled Bori on top is really good.

    Mail me..ok ?

  6. I love those bottle gourds,I got 7 of them already from my plant this year.Looks delicious.I need many recipes with that gourd!:))

  7. We make this in a kootu form grinding green chillies with coconut. looks good.

  8. This is simple and elegent dish.... Looks great

  9. Lovely lau! This is such a simple and delicious preparation, Mandira!

  10. You have given a very apt name to it. it sure is a simple pleasure.

  11. We add some malai to it as well :)

  12. mom's r always right:) i too love bottle gourd. we make plain sambar w/o dal with this. gonna try ur recipe soon:)

  13. Looks delish, this veg is one of my favs

  14. I wish we got this vegetable here, I've seen so many people blogging about it.

  15. Hey Mandira,
    My kids love cat fish or any fish fried! This defintely looks like confort food!
    Hope u're all settled in Ann Arbor! Isnt that where KAnchana of Married ot a Desi lives? Sometimes i think that it would be lovely and fun to have a food bloggers meet!

  16. Hi Mandira,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog:-)
    I have not tried making bottlegourd like this before. Will try your version the next time.
    I have so many recipes bookmarked that I think one lifetime is not gonna be enough time! ;-)

  17. Sra I make the lau ghonto without coriander powder and with milk. It tastes so good.

    Archana thanks. I've never tried yogurt in bottlegourd, will certainly try it soon.

    Nags - thanks, that's a big compliment :)

    Raaga- thanks. I like it with dal as well.

    Sandeepalau ghonto with bori. That is the only thing that is missing. Yummy! macher jhol phulkofi aar bori diye is another favorite :)

  18. Asha - wow, your garden seems to be doing really well. You can try different kinds of recipes.

    Prema- Coconut and green chilli kootu sounds really delicious. Post the recipe.

    Sukanya, Musical - thanks. It is quick and delicious.

    Thanks Sharmi, Jyothsna . It came out really well.

  19. Sia- sambar sounds good. Do post the recipe. :)

    Thanks Saju. I enjoyed making it at home too.

    Cynthia- I've seen it at the Indian store, not in the regular grocery store.

    Latha - thanks. Kanchana is from Ann Arbor! I will leave her a comment. It will be fun to do a bloggers meet.

    tbc - I agree, there are so many recipes I want to try. I've discovered so many recipes through the blogging community.


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