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Friday, April 10, 2015

One Lauki/Lau/Bottle Gourd, Two recipes --- Lau Ghonto & Lau-er khosa Charchari

Lau, as we call it in Bengali, in other parts of India, it is known as Lauki or Dudhi, is very low caloric vegetable and very low in fat. Because of its high water content, it's very cooling, calming, diuretic and easy to digest. Therefore, it's a great summer food. It is rich in iron and also has vitamins C and B complex. It is high in fiber, thus very effective for light, low calorie diet, people with digestive disorders and constipation. If you are planning to loose weight, add it to your diet daily.

Bottle gourd has many healing powers, even though it is not so popular in Western World, but it is widely used in India. Bottle gourd is valuable treating Urinary disorder, balancing Liver Function, treating High blood pressure and heart disease, treating Insomnia and other nervous disorders and many more. Ayurveda, the traditional Indian Herbal medicinal system, suggests bottle gourd juice once daily early in the morning helps treating graying hair, stomach acidity, digestive disorders and ulcers.
Today, I'll share a very simple lauki/lau recipe from bengali cuisine, which is called "Lau Ghonto". 
Another, from the same bottle gourd peel, "Lau er Khosa Charchari". One bottle gourd, two recipe.

Ghonto, is a cooking style in Bengali cuisine, where vegetables (cabbage, gourd, radish etc.) are chopped or grated very finely and cooked with a tempering(like, jeera/ panch phoron) and very few ground spices. Non-vegetarian ghontos are also made, where fish or fish head are added with vegetables. The famous Murighonto is made with fish head and cooked rice. 

For the Lau Ghonto
You Need : 
Lau/lauki : 1 ( medium/big)
Dry red chilli : 1
Cumin seeds/jeera : 2 tsp.
Turmeric powder : 2 tsp.
Green chilli : 1 or 2(chopped)
Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing
Salt to taste 
Oil : 2 tblsp.

Method : 
  • Peel the whole gourd. Don't throw away the peels. In Bengali cuisine, we have many delectable dishes made from it, like crispy fries(lau-er khosa bhaja) or charchari from it. I'll shared the fry recipe before and the charchari recipe follows after this.
  • For cutting the vegetable very fine, first cut the gourds in round rings. Take 3 or 4 rings at a time and  chop them as finely as you can. Continue with the other rings. 
  • Heat oil in a pan, temper with broken dry red chilli and cumin seeds. When chilli turns dark and seeds crackle, throw chopped up gourds. Stir for a while, water will come out. Wait for water to dry up. When water evaporates, add salt, turmeric and green chillies. Mix well , stirring for few minutes.
  • Add very little water and in medium flame let it cook. Gourds cook very fast. Check the seasoning. When all the water evaporates and gourds are quite soft and mushy, remove from heat. Throw chopped fresh coriander leaves, mix well and serve hot with hot rice. 

Lau-er khosa Charchari 
It's a great dish, made from peels of bottle gourds and pumpkin. This dish, I've tried from Sharmistha's blog Cook-a-doodle-doo. I had no idea this dish exists, until She shared her mother's recipe. Instead of throwing all the highly nutritive peels of gourd, we can dish out a great simple relish. To make any dish with peels, do not peel but cut with little flesh on with a sharp knife. Thanks to aunty(sharmistha's mom) and Sharmistha for sharing such great recipe and obviously thanks to blogging, because of it, we get to know such secret recipes. I recommend all to try this dish who loves bottle gourd. You will get the recipe here. I followed her recipe and it was just great with hot rice. 

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