Lauki Sabji (Bottle Gourd Curry)

lauki or dudhi sabji
Spicy, tangy bottle gourd curry with chickpeas.  This curry is a nutritious and tasty combo of veggies and protein rich beans.  Generally, chana dal/split gram dal/split chickpeas are cooked with lauki, I have used whole chickpeas instead.  I guess any other beans would work fine too.
I had blogged a similar recipe earlier - Bottle gourd Chickpeas Stir Fry.

Bottle Gourd/Lauki/Dudhi - 1 medium
Dry Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans/Kabuli Chana - 1/2 cup
Tomatoes - 2 medium
Onion - 1 medium
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp
Dry Red Chillies - 5
Coriander/Cilantro Leaves - few sprigs
Cumin Seeds/Jeera - 1 tsp
Fennel Seeds/Saunf - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric/Haldi - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala or any other spice mix - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp

1. Soak chickpeas for about 5 hours.  Cook them in enough water till soft.  Save the water used for cooking.  You can use 1 cup canned chickpeas as well.
lauki or dudhi or bottle gourd
2. Peel the bottle gourd skin, discard the seeds and dice it into bite size pieces.  Finely chop onion and cilantro leaves.  Roughly chop tomatoes.
3. Grind tomatoes, dry red chillies, fennel seeds, about 2 tbsp cooked chickpeas to a fine paste.  Chickpeas will thicken the gravy/sauce.  If red chillies are not available, use red chilli powder/cayenne pepper.  Kashmiri Laal Mirch will impart a nice red colour.
4. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds.  After few seconds, add onions.  Saute till onions turn soft.  Now add diced bottle gourd and turmeric.  Saute for few minutes at low flame.  Add about 1 cup water and cook till bottle gourd turns soft.
5. Finally, add cooked chickpeas, ground paste, salt and garam masala.  Cook it covered for about 5 minutes or till you get the desired consistency.  Turn off the heat and add chopped cilantro.
6. Serve Dudhi Bhopla Bhaji with chapati and/or rice.  Sprinkle some lemon juice while serving if you like the curry to be more sour.


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