Monday, June 6, 2016

Lau Chechki - Delicious Bengali Vegan side dish

I love lau / lauki and prepare bottle gourd dishes quite frequently. This one is an authentic Bengali preparation. In Bengali cuisine our dishes have very interesting names, chechki, chachra, labra, chocchori, panch mishali , labra and so on.  Any chechki is based on Black Jeera/Panchforon, green chilli and turmeric powder. Now different vegetable can be used with this combination to form different dishes. I remember my grandma used to prepare this and we used to enjoy it very much in our childhood. I changed her original recipe a bit but it remains to be delicious and easy to cook. It is a very simple preparation with minimum of spices and is Vegan too.

Preparation Time: - 15~20 min

Cooking Time: - 20~25 min

Servings: - 2~3 persons


  1. 1 ½  Medium sized bottle gourd cut into slices
  2. 6 tbsp. mustard oil (Since it is a authentic Bengali dish mustard oil should be used but you can use any vegetable oil)
  3. 2 green chili slited and one more for garnishing. You can use red chili / red chili powder if you like.
  4. 1 Tejpata / Bay leaves
  5. 2 tsp panchforon /Black Jeera (Nigella seeds)/ Mustard seeds. I used panchforon (Bengali five spices)
  6. Salt and sugar to taste
  7. 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  8. 2 ½ tsp mustard paste
  9. Few chopped coriander leaves (Cilantro)


  1. Cut bottlegourd in very thin strips as shown.
  2. Chop the coriander leaves.
  3. Make the mustard paste with the help of pestle and mortar or you can use readymade paste available in market.
  4. Take 6 tbsp oil in a non-stick kadai /frying pan. Heat the oil in high flame.
  5. Add panch foron, bay leaf and 2 green chilis.
  6. When the panchforon splutters add the lauki pieces in it slowly.
  7. Sprinkle salt and stir slowly but continuously.
  8. After few minutes add mustard paste – stir as you do it.
  9. Sprinkle turmeric powder and mix well.
  10. Cover and cook on a low flame. Lauki contains a lot of water. This will be released and you should not need any water for cooking.
  11. Check frequently if the bottle gourd is done. If the gourd is overripe you may need to sprinkle some water to prevent the preparation sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  12. Add sugar if you want it little sweet and cook till lauki is soft but not mushy.
Turn off the burner and garnish with a green chili and coriander leaves. Now our Lau chechki is ready. This is a side dish with rice. Serve hot.

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

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