Lauki Chana Dal Recipe | Bottle Gourd and Lentil Recipe

I have a feeling bottle gourd (lauki) is one of the most ignored and rarely used vegetables.  There just don't seem to be enough ways to use them.

bottle gourd, aka lauki, ghiya, or doodhi

If I have to come up with names of some lauki dishes - the main ones I can think of are lauki ki kheer, lauki ke kofte, lauki ki sabzi, and lauki chana dal.  Which other lauki recipes are you aware of?

For now, here is a lauki aur chana ki dal recipe (bottle gourd and bengal gram) from my mom.  When I asked her to send me some lauki recipes two years back, she wrote them down on paper and had my brother scan and send to me.  I feel bad for giving her so much trouble, but every time I look at her handwriting today ... it just makes me smile =)

lauki chana dal

Lauki Chana Dal Recipe
Serves 4

1 bottle gourd (lauki) = about 2 cups when diced into medium pieces
1 cup bengal gram (chana dal) = about 2 cups when soaked for an hour
2 tsp oil or ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera) + 1/8 tsp asafoetida (heeng)
1-2 cloves (laung) + 1 bay leaf (tejpatta) {optional}

1/2 cup onion, chopped {optional}
1 tsp garlic paste, or fresh chopped garlic {optional}
1 tsp ginger paste, or fresh grated ginger
1 tsp green chili paste, or fresh chopped green chilies {or to taste}
2 tomatoes = about 1 cup when chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp red chili powder {adjust spice level to taste}
3/4 tsp salt + 1/4 tsp sugar {or to taste}
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro for garnish {optional}

how to make lauki chana ki dal
1.  Heat oil/ghee in a pressure cooker on medium heat.  When hot, add cumin seeds + asafoetida + clove + bay leaf.  Let cumin seeds sizzle.  {about 20 seconds}

2.  Add chopped onion + garlic paste + ginger paste + green chili paste.  Give it a mix. {about 30 seconds}

3.  Add in chopped tomatoes + turmeric powder + red chili powder.  Give it a mix. {about 30 seconds}

4.  Add soaked chana dal + diced bottle gourd (lauki) pieces. Give it a mix. {about 30 seconds}

5.  Add 2 cups water + salt + sugar.  Close the pressure cooker lid along with the whistle.  Let pressure cook on medium heat until 3 whistles.  {about 20-25 minutes}

Let the pressure in the cooker subside.  When it is safe, open the lid.  {Click here to learn more on the basics of cooking dal in a pressure cooker}

Give the Lauki Chana Dal a mix, taste and adjust the salt.  Mash some lauki and some chana dal with a masher, but leave most of the tender lauki chunks and the individual soft chana dal pieces as it is. 

lauki aur channe ki daal

Lauki Chana Dal is ready.  Garnish with some chopped cilantro, serve it with rice, and may be some papad and achaar along with it.

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