Monday, August 8, 2011

Lauki with chana dal (gravy preparation of split bengal gram and bottle gourd)

Lately the days have been dragging by, so I needed some good ol' recipe to cheer me up. Thankfully, my husband reminded me of this one and I made it the very day. I was happy that it came out well in spite of the fact that I mostly made it from memory.

Serves 3-4 people
1. Chana dal (split bengal gram)- 1 katori (200ml approx volume)
2. Bottle gourd (Lauki/dudhi) - 2 cups, chopped in medium sized pieces.
3. Oil-1 tbsp
4. Onion- 1 medium sized, blended or chopped finely
5. Tomato- 1 big, chopped finely
6. Garlic- 2 cloves + ginger (1" piece)- made into a paste
7. Green chilly-1 chopped finely or ground with ginger & garlic paste
8. Dalchini (cinnamon)- 1 cm stick
9. Lavang (clove)- 1

10. Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
11. Salt- 1 tsp/ as per taste
12. Coriander powder (dhaniya)- 2tsp
13. Garam masala- 1tsp
14. Red chilli powder- 1/4 tsp

a. Keep chana dal soaked overnight or in warm water for 3 hrs. In tropics even room temperature water is ok for soaking.
b. Take a pressure cooker and heat oil in it.
c. Add cinnamon and clove in it. Add onions, ginger-garlic paste & green chilly and fry on medium high flame till it leaves oil on the sides.
d. Now add tomatoes, all the masalas (spices) and mix well. Lower the flame a little and cook till tomatoes are mushy. Add some water, if required here (I added some 2 tbsp of water).
e. Now add the soaked and drained chana dal and mix well with the gravy made. Add about 1 cup of water and close the cooker. Adjust the flame to high.
f. After 3 whistles, lower the flame to medium. After one more whistle, switch off the gas and let it cool.
g. If you are the impatient kind like me, you can just release the pressure of the cooker and open it.
(Note: the number of whistles may vary according to the amount of water and the time for which the dal was soaked. Basically the dal has to be cooked but still hold its shape)
h. Add Lauki to the dal and close the cooker again. Keep it on fire till 1-2 whistles come. No need to add more water as the vegetable will release its own.
i. Switch off the flame and let it cool before opening.

Serve it with chapati (Indian flatbread) and rice.
Note: Please check the Lauki(bottlegourd) before using it for the recipe. Bitter ones will spoil the preparation completely.

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