There are various dishes you can make with Calabash/ bottle gourd, also known as Lauki in Hindi and Doodhi in Marathi. It’s very easy to cook and its mild taste takes on the flavor of the ingredients you add to it. Rather than using corn flour to thicken your soup, you can use boiled and mashed calabash to add body to your soup or stew. Garlic, as usual imparts a great flavor – a tip shared by my sister-in-law. Enjoy this soup as a nice side!
Nutri-info: Calabash is low in calories and contains moderate amount of vitamin C per serving.
Per serving: 38 cals | 1 g protein | 0.8 g fiber | 2 g total fat | 17 mg vitamin C
Ingredients (3 servings)
1 lb (1/2 kg) calabash (bottle gourd / lauki / doodhi)
1 large clove of garlic, chopped & mashed
3-4 spring onions (green onion/ scallion), chopped
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/8 tsp red chili powder/ black pepper powder
1 tsp ghee/ oil
Salt to taste
- Peel the bottle gourd and cut it into long slices. Keep it in a steel container without any water. Place the container in a pressure cooker with some water at the base, covering the stand. It is fine to cook the calabsh directly in the cooker as well. Pressure cook it for 5-7 minutes on low heat after the first whistle (in case of Indian pressure cooker such as Prestige) or for 5-7 minutes on low heat after the pressure regulator starts to rock steadily (in case of US pressure cooker such as Presto).
- You can also cook the bottle gourd in a steel pot. Instead of long slices, dice the gourd to reduce cooking time. Submerge it in sufficient water. Bring it to a boil and then let it cook on medium heat, keeping the pot covered halfway.
- In the mean time, wash and chop the bulb and leaves of the green onion. Peel and chop the garlic and mash it using a mortar & pestle.
- Heat ghee or oil in a steel pot. When it is warm enough, add the mashed garlic and reduce the heat to low. Let the garlic sizzle for about half a minute and then add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle as well. When the garlic becomes light brown. Turn off the heat and keep it aside.
- After the pressure from the pressure cooker is released, remove the bottle gourd and let it cool. Then pass it through a blender or food processor to make a homogeneous puree. You can use the puree as it is or you can strain it through a strainer. Use a flat ladle or wooden spatula to press the puree in order to have as little hard, uncooked residue as possible. Also collect the puree that clings to outer base of the strainer.
- Pour the strained puree over the tempered ghee. Adjust the consistency of your preference by adding some water. Add chopped spring onion, salt and red chili powder and bring it to a boil.
- Serve hot.
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