Lauki a.k.a Dudhi in Marathi or Ghiya in Punjabi is a summer vegetable. As per Ayurveda, its one of the best vegetable to be consumed every day without any side effects. It is low in calories and high on nutrition, due to which it’s always on the menu for elderly, sick, children and overweight people. To know more health benefits of lauki, click here.
Tips to select a good piece of lauki:
Try and choose a small or medium sized, firm bottle gourd with bright and shiny green colour. Not pale green or whitish. Big sized lauki could be over ripen or mature and would have thick skin to peel. And would also have large, thick seeds which don’t taste good and take much time to get cooked.
A good dudhi is tender to touch and not very smooth. You may lightly press your nail in the bottle gourd peel, if it is tender and fresh then your nail will very easily pierce the bottle gourd but if you cant press easily then it is surely over ripe and hard so avoid buying such type.
This lauki tamatar sabzi is again a simple, no onion-garlic, quick dish that you can prepare for dinner. Not too many spices are added to the dish so its really light on stomach and gets digested very easily. Lauki releases water when cooked and tomatoes are a watery vegetable too. So when combined, they make a runny type of sabzi (side dish) which tastes excellent with plain phulkas.
It is typically vegan, but ghee goes very well with lauki so I add a spoonful on top for myself. If not ghee, then I prefer to make it in coconut oil and avoid mustard and sesame oil completely due to their strong flavours.
What you need?
- A medium sized lauki – about 500-600 gms
- 2 medium tomatoes , chopped roughly
- 2-3 green chilies, chopped small
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ red chili powder
- 1 tsp Oil Or Ghee
- 1 tsp salt OR to taste
- A handful of fresh coriander leaves for garnish
How to make?
Peel the bottle guard using a potato slicer of knife and dice it in small sized cubes.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker. ** See notes if you are using a pan. Tip in cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle. Add in tomatoes, green chilies and all the spices. Let the mixture gets cooked for a minute, covered with a lid.
Once the tomatoes are mushy enough, add chopped dudhi and mix. Add a few tbsps. of water if required and pressure cook up till 2-3 whistles. Take the lid off once the pressure eases off. Garnish with chopped cilantro (dhankiya leaves) and serve hot.
Accomplishments: Phulka/roti/chapathi, raita or any variety, chutney
If you are cooking in a pan, select a deep and heavy bottomed pan/wok. Use about ½ cup of water and cook for 30-40 minutes, covered, till lauki gets all mushy and properly cooked.
Like I said before, serving lauki with a dollop of ghee tastes excellent. I also prepare lauki in ghee and add extra on top.
If you wish to serve this ghiya sabji with rice, add more water and adjust the spices accordingly.
Another one of my favourite lauki recipe is this Lauki alu sabzi, a no onion garlic quick side dish