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Friday, February 19, 2016

Lau shukto - Bengali bottlegourd curry

Yum
Hey Hey I am again back to lau /lauki. My readers may notice that there are three vegetables which I like more – Bottle Gourd, Cauliflower and Brinjal. I like them because all of them are packed with nutrients and they are easy to cook.

Following are the health benefits of bottle gourd. For more details you can refer to http://conscioushealth.net/10-health-benefits-of-bottle-gourd-or-lauki-conscious-health-nahid-ameen/

  1. Fiber -rich
  2. Helps sleeping disorder
  3. Healthy heart
  4. Prevention of hair graying
  5. Dandruff treatment
  6. Stress reduction
  7. Reduction of blood pressure

This recipe is a traditional Bengali one. Shukto is a favorite Bengali palate cleanser, made with a lot of different vegetables including at least one bitter veg, simmered with a hint of sugar and milk to bring out the bitterness of the fresh vegetables. In this preparation lauki is taking place of the bitter vegetable. Hence the name lau shukto.

Preparation Time: - 15 min

Cooking Time: - 20 min

Servings: - 3~4 persons

Ingredients:-

  1. 1 big size lau/ lauki /bottlegourd or 2 medium sized ones
  2. 4 Bay leaves
  3. Peas – ½ cup (optional).
  4. Panchforon / Randhuni (Celery seeds) / Whole mustard
  5. 2 tbsp ginger paste. You can smash ginger or can use the paste available in market.
  6. Pinch of turmeric powder (optional)
  7. ½ tbsp poppy seeds paste + ½ tbsp mustard paste
  8. 2 green chili slit horizontally
  9. Sugar and salt to taste
  10. 4 tbsp mustard / vegetable oil ( I used Mustard oil but you can use any vegetable oil also)
  11. 1 tbsp Ghee

Preparation:-

  1. Peel the bottlegourd and cut into cubes. Wash it thoroughly and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in non-stick kadai and add bay leaves, green chilli and paanchforon. Sauté for 1 minute.
  3. Pour lauki and peas with salt. Stir thoroughly and then cover the kadai. Cook for about 10 min. Intermittently remove the cover and stir so that it does not get sticky in the bottom
  4. Lauki has lot of water and it will be released to aid boiling. But some old bottlegourd may not yield so much water. In that case you may need to sprinkle little bit of water on them
  5. When all the water comes out from lau and gets boiled add the combined paste of mustard and poppy seeds.
  6. You need to add the sugar to taste here. You may skip sugar if you need to avoid sugar for health reason
  7. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes so that it mixes smoothly
  8. Add the ghee, sauté for 1 min and switch off the flame. The dish is ready.

This one is a side dish for rice only. Serve with hot rice.

As always please feel free to comment, criticize and seek if any help is required. I am all ears.

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