May 17, 2008

Masala Lauki Chana Dal

I have stopped counting the number of people who tell me they can’t stand Lauki/Ghia/Bottle Gourd/Sorekkai. I really don’t know why. It is not even like bitter gourd that has such a distinct bitter taste. I’ve always found that Bottle Gourd has almost no distinct taste of its own and, as a result, blends in beautifully with just about anything. I experimented with this last week and was so pleased with the results. I am going to be making this more often this summer. It is quick, it is tasty, it is healthy. Do you need any more reasons to try this recipe?

One of the reasons I was able to make this in a jiffy was the inclusion of Aashirwad Multipurpose Cooking Paste. I discovered it many years ago in Hyderabad and rediscovered it a couple of months ago. According to ITC, “The Multi-Purpose Cooking paste is the latest offering from the ‘Aashirvaad’ brand. The ‘Aashirvaad’ Multi-Purpose cooking paste is positioned as a kitchen aide. The product, ‘Bhuna hua taiyaar masala’, is a fried paste of onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic shallow fried in refined sunflower oil. It is a basic paste used for most north Indian dishes. It is suitable for all tomato-based dishes.” At just Rs. 10 per packet, it is a big hit in my kitchen.

2 cups Bottle Gourd, peeled and cubed
1 Packet (100g) Aashirwad Multipurpose Cooking Paste
¼ cup Chana Dal, washed
1 tsp Chilli Powder
¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Pav Bhaji Masala
1 tsp Oil
¼ tsp Cumin Seeds
Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a pressure pan and add the cumin seeds. When they crackle, add the cooking paste and fry for a minute. Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder and pav bhaji masala and fry for another minute. Add the bottle gourd pieces, chana dal, salt and a little water. Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.

That’s all it takes to get a mouthwatering side dish ready. It feels like zero effort, but tastes quite the opposite. Try it and let me know if you like it. If there are any bottle gourd haters out there, let me know if this doesn't change your opinion of the vegetable and I shall do some more R&D.

This recipe is part of a recipe marathon and my fellow runners have come up with these dishes for Day 1:

Bhags: Tomato Shorba.

Dhivs: Bhindi Jaipuri

Swati: Dum Ka Murg Zafrani

Divya Vikram: Peas Kurma

Srivalli: Chicken Semi Gravy.

Lakshmi: Sour Cream Cake

Arundathi: Kuwaiti Tea

Siri: Baked Cauliflower


Swati Raman Garg said...

so good to see that somebody has similar opinions about lauki... i too love lauki chana dal and simple lauki tamatar... and urs looks perfect to go with hot chapatis...

ok i came in looking for your day 1 entry to the marathon.. i have linked to your recipe..

would like to take d opportunity to tell you that iam a regular visitor to your blog and love your style of writing...its unique and original..

Rajitha said...

love lauki..and i am happy that jeeves does not like it..more for me the color of that dish

Siri said...

I like Lauki Raaga and the combo of lauki and chana dal is super. Nice post Raaga. Hope you are having a nice time on ur vacation. Hats Off to ur passion to participate in the Marathon.

I linked up everybody today's posts Raaga, Could you please do the same too!.. Thanks dear. and take care.

cya again tmrw.. with a brand new recipe..:D


DK said...

That looks absolute yum! This is one combo I need to try! Bookmarked..and hope you are having a gala time vacationing

EC said...

thats a new combi raaga...all the best for the marathon

Unknown said...

Lauki is probably the only thing that S doesn't enjoy much - so I make it only for myself...your does give a masalaedar twist to the bland ol vegetable. Have tagged you for a meme!

Radhika said...

Your recipe is quite good and thnx for the info on Multipurpose paste. Though I have seen it in the aisle I felt hesitant to buy it. But now I will. Thank U for a nice recipe.

Sia said...

i will look out for ashirwad multi-purpose paste when i visit india next time. it looks delicious raaga

Unknown said...

i m also a g8 fan of lauki.i can just eat boiled lauki with salt and pepper adding little lime juice. i m very glad that u also love lauki.even simple rasa bhaji of lauki is also very delicious. it is very healthy keep eating more and more of lauki