Bottle Gourd is the only vegetable i always disliked as a kid. Lately, the two dishes made with bottle
gourd which i started liking and later fallen in love with were Lauki Halwa and Lauki Kofta. I have seen my mom making typical spicy gravy with lots of bottle gourd dumplings drowned in it. Since
long i had been wanting to make lauki kofta in a rich thick creamy gravy. Today while hunting veggies in the fridge i came across a lauki and some left over fresh cream/malai and of course the cashew nut paste which i always keep handy for making creamy stuffs.
The calabash or bottle gourd, also known as opo squash or long melon, is a vine grown for its fruit, which can either be harvested young and used as a vegetable, or harvested mature, dried, and used as a bottle, utensil, or pipe. The fresh fruit has a light-green smooth skin and a white flesh. Rounder varieties are called calabash gourds. They grow in a variety of shapes: they can be huge and rounded, small and bottle shaped, or slim and serpentine, more than a metre long. In India, it is known as lauki , laau , dudhi or ghiya in Hindi/Urdu/Gujarati/Bengali/Marathi; Laau in Oriya; aal in Marwari; churakka in Malayalam; jatilao in Assamese; sorakaaya or anapakaya in Telugu; dudhi-Bhopala in Marathi; sorekayi in Kannada; sajmain in Maithili and Labu in Sinhalese and suraikkaai in Tamil. Although its slightly bitter taste can be repelling but its high nutritional value can’t be overlooked. In fact, traditional healers recommended consumption of this bottle gourd to treat various conditions.
My preparation was simple, quick, easy and full of goodness of the vegetable and richness of cream and cashew nut. I teamed up the exotic dish with plain wheat chapatis, cucumber raita, salad and plain steamed rice. The melt in mouth texture of the koftas and the smooth silken gravy not just gives an amazing taste to your palate but also makes one fall in love with this vegetable (like me). Let’s proceed to see what all ingredients are required to make this and the procedure too….