With summers becoming harsher every year, we must make sure to consume foods that cool the body and help us get through the heat without compromising our taste for nutrition.
Most summer vegetables are not on my list of favourites, but I can make do with some… bottle gourd or calabash being one of them. Bottle gourd/lauki (in Hindi) is a common vegetable at this time of the year, and it is the star of my recipe today. Having learnt it from my grandmother I assure you of its taste and health benefits.
Bottle gourd is a food rich in vitamins and minerals that strengthens your immune system. It is also known to keep the heart healthy and protect the skin. This vegetable is very good for the gut and is considered one of the top foods that can aid weight loss.
This simple and light stew makes for an amazing supper recipe. You can have it with rice, or just as it is.
Ingredients (Serves for 4)
Bottle gourd/lauki – 400 gm
Tomato (diced) – 1 small
Green peas – 2 tbsp
Mustard oil – 2 tsp
Ginger – 1tsp
Cinnamon – 1 small stick
Cardamom – 2
Dried bay leaf – 1 small
Butter – 2 tsp
Milk (cold) – 3tbsp
All-purpose flour/ cornflour – 2tsp
- Fill a pot with water, add the chopped lauki and heat it in medium-low. Let it simmer for at least 3-4 mins. Then drain the water.
- In a pan heat 1tbsp mustard oil, and add the cinnamon and cardamom. Saute them for a minute then add the bay leaf.
- After another 30 seconds add the grated ginger and chopped tomatoes. Sprinkle some salt and saute them for a couple of minutes until the tomatoes soften.
- Then add the chopped lauki, and cook well for 5 minutes
- Add 2-3 cups of water, mix all the ingredients well, then throw in the green peas.
- Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes at least while stirring occasionally.
- Add salt and sugar to taste, and mix well. Then turn off the heat after a couple of minutes.
- In a small bowl mix the milk and the flour until there are no lumps. Then add that mixture to the stew, and give it a quick stir.
- Serve the stew hot with a dollop of butter and freshly crushed black pepper.
Bon Appétit! 🙂