Bottle Gourd comes in many shapes – huge and round shaped, small and bottle shaped and slim and serpentine. It is a yellowish green vegetable with white flesh inside. It must be one of the oldest known vegetable which was generally used as utensils. When the fruit is allowed to mature and then dry, the outer shell can be used as hard utensils and the natives of Africa did use it for the same purpose. That is how it is known as Bottle Gourd. When it is harvested when it is tender, it is one of the highly nutritious vegetable with more than 90 percent of it with water content. It is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, high in dietary fiber, Vitamin C, riboflavin, zinc, thiamine, iron, magnesium and manganese. This vegetable is available in plenty during the monsoon season since its cultivation requires lot of water. Let us see how to make a very tasty South Indian style Curry with this vegetable and Milk.
Bottle Gourd (also known as Lauki or Doodhi) – 500 Gms
Coconut Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
Urad Dal – 1 tsp
Channa Dal – 1 tsp
Green Chillies – 2 (finely chopped)
Red Chilli – 2 (broken)
Curry Leaves – from 2 twigs
Turmeric Powder – one pinch
Rice Flour – 2 tbsp
Milk – ¾ to 1 cup
Finely Chopped Cilantro – 2 tbsp
Peel off the skin and chop the Gourd small cubes. Use tender Gourd only. If it is a bit matured, remove the inner white portions with the seeds and discard.
Heat the Oil in a pan. Crackle the Mustard Seeds. Now, add Urad Dal and Channa Dal. Roast them pink. Add the Red Chilli, Green Chilli and the Curry Leaves.
Add the Bottle Gourd, Salt and Turmeric Powder. Sauté them for 3 to 4 minutes in medium flame. Add ¼ cup of water. Mix well. Simmer 6 to 8 minutes in low medium flame covered with a lid till the vegetable becomes soft.
Take the Rice Flour in a small vessel. Add water and make it smooth without forming any lump. Add this mixture to the above curry.
Stir cook for 2 to 3 minutes in low flame. Add the milk. Stir well and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.
This Curry will go well with steamed Rice and Kara Kuzhambu.
You can make it a thin gravy by adding a tbsp of Rice Flour and ½ cup of extra Milk.
You can mix ti with steamed Rice and serve with spicy Potato Curry. The combination would be another great one.