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.