Don’t Like Bottle Gourd? Seven Recipes That’ll Make You Love It!

Now is the right time to eat more of this underrated vegetable as it is a natural coolant.

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Now is the right time to eat more of this underrated vegetable as it is a natural coolant.
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If you too think lauki or bottle gourd (also called Doodhi) is an insipid, tasteless, watery vegetable, then this column is for you! Firstly, now is the right time to eat more of this underrated vegetable as it is a natural coolant.

In fact, this quintessential summer veggie delivers lots of water (is 96% water), is inherently cooling, and is loaded with potassium that helps keep the blood pressure down and electrolyte balance maintained.

It is also easy on the stomach, prevents fatigue, and keeps the body cool and refreshed during the hot months.

Plus it is a brilliant weight loss tool - 100 gm gives just 15 calories and lots of fibre. Eat more of it I say - just make it delicious.

Lauki Soup

Lauki Soup
Lauki Soup
(Photo: iStock)

Chop 1 bottle gourd, 1 carrot, and 1 tomato into cubes, throw in 2 slit green chilies and cook to 2 whistles with some water. Add salt and pepper to taste (and maybe even oregano) and blend. Then add 1 tbsp butter or cream (whatever is handy). You can have it warm or even chill and have as a cold soup.

Lauki Khatti Meethi

Lauki Khatti Meethi
Lauki Khatti Meethi
(Photo: iStock)

Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a pressure cooker. Add 1/2 tsp rai, a pinch of methi seeds, lots of kari patta, and 2 dry red chilies. Now add one chopped lauki, stir fry, add a dash of water and then cook till one whistle. Open the cooker, add 1 tbsp desiccated coconut and 1/2 tsp sugar, cook for a minute, squeeze half a lemon’s juice, and eat paired with fresh rotis.

Peanu-Ty Lauki

Don’t Like Bottle Gourd? Seven Recipes That’ll Make You Love It!
(Photo: iStock)

Grate one peeled bottle gourd and 2 tbsp roasted powdered peanuts, add salt to taste and 1/2 tsp sugar, and mix well. Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil, add a pinch of cumin seeds, 2 sliced green chilies, and the bottle gourd mixture. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes till done. Sprinkle some fresh coriander leaves and squeeze half a lime on top just before eating.

Stuffed Lauki

Stuffed Lauki
Stuffed Lauki
(Photo: Flickr)

Peel and cut 1 small-sized lauki into half lengthwise, then scoop out the centre portion and keep aside. Stuff seasoned, boiled, and mashed potato into the cavity created in the lauki boats and keep aside. Meanwhile grind 1 onion, 1 tomato, some garlic, a few green chilies, and an inch of garlic into a paste. Cook the masala and the scooped out portion of the laud in 2 tbsp of oil in a pressure cooker till done. Add 1 tsp coriander powder, salt to taste, a pinch of haldi, 1/2 tsp red chili powder, and a little bit of water. Then place the lauki in the masala, and cook for one whistle. These lauki boats pair well with parantha.

Lauki Pulao

Lauki Pulao
Lauki Pulao
(Photo: iStock)

Heat 1 tbsp ghee, add a pinch of cumin and heeng and 1/2 tsp garam masala. Add 1 grated bottle gourd and 1 tbsp desiccated coconut and saute for a minute. Add 1 cup rice and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add salt and 2 cups of water. Cover and cook till done. Tastes delicious paired with raita.

Lauki Raita

Lauki Raita
Lauki Raita
(Photo: Flickr)

Grate half lauki, and keep aside. Beat 2 cups yogurt, mix in the grated lauki, half finely chopped tomato and 1 chopped green chili, and season with black salt and roasted cumin powder. Now make a tempering with 1 tsp coconut oil, a pinch of rai, 1 dry red chili, and a few leaves of kari patta, and add to the raita. Chill and have.

Lauki Cheela

Lauki Cheela
Lauki Cheela
(Photo: Flickr)

Grate and mix 1/4th lauki to 1/2 cup besan (gram flour) and add water to make a thick paste. Add chopped green chili and grated ginger and season with salt and red chili powder. Spread over a greased hot pan and make crisp cheelas. Eat with coriander chutney.

(Kavita is a nutritionist, weight management consultant, and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico), Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa) and Fix it with foods.)

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