Bottle Gourd Curry with Spinach
Lauki (Dudhi) aur Palak ki Sabji/Bhaji
Here, a simple bottle gourd has been cooked with spinach, giving it a little extra colour and flavour. Serves 3-4.
Edited and pictures changed August 2018
500 gm. lauki (1 medium sized lauki)
A good handful of fresh spinach leaves.
1 heaped tsp. grated ginger
1 fresh green chilli, sliced. You can use a dry red chilli instead.
2 medium tomatoes, chopped finely
1 tbsp. cooking oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds*
A large pinch of asafoetida or hing
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. coriander powder
1/6 tsp. or less chilli powder
1/2 tsp. Garam Masala powder (use less if using home made garam masala)
Salt to taste
1/2 cup water
Wash, peel and slice lauki into cubes.
Prepare tomatoes, ginger and green chilli.
Wash and drain spinach leaves. If leaves are large, chop them roughly.
Heat oil in a wok or kadrahi. Add cumin seeds and hing/ asafoetida powder and let it splutter.
Add ginger and green chillies, fry for 15-20 seconds. Do not let it burn.
Add lauki, chopped tomatoes and all the spices, except garam masala.
Stir fry for a few minutes. Then add spinach leaves and mix.
Add water, bring to boil.
Reduce heat and cook covered until tender. If the lauki is fresh, you need to add only a little bit of water. I cook lauki in a pressure cooker, which gives it a nice, creamy texture. Add less water, 1/4 cup, and cook under full pressure for 2 minutes.
Taste and adjust seasoning, add garam masala powder and mix.
Serve hot, garnished with fresh Chapatties.
*This dish can also be cooked with a South Indian style of tempering or tarka. Use mustard seeds instead of cumin seeds and add 7-8 curry leaves at step 3.