Bottle gourd curry (lau ghonto) step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
Bottle gourd is known for its health benefits. This simple vegetable is full of goodness and helps you stay healthy in many ways. I cook with this vegetable very often. My personal favourite is majjige huli, which is a yogurt-based curry. Next in line is lau ghonto, which is a Bengali-style curry. Simple and very easy to make, this can make a great side dish for a quick weekday meal.
About this recipe
Lau ghonto is a vegetarian Bengali side dish that is made with no onion and no garlic. All vegetarian Bengali dishes are made without any onion and garlic. Like most vegetarian dishes, the flavours from the main vegetable are the hero of the dish. Bottle gourd is a very popular winter vegetable in India and is used in many ways from curry, side dish, and desserts too.
To make this dish, I cook thinly sliced bottle gourd in some whole spices (panch phoron and bay leaves) and ground spices (cumin powder and turmeric powder) and finish it off with lots of coriander leaves. That’s it. I prefer to make this dish with ghee but to make a vegan version, you can replace it with olive oil or any cooking oil of your choice. Cooking this dish with ghee makes it very flavourful and delicious.
How to choose bottle gourd
Bottle gourd (also known as lauki/sorekai/doodhi) is used in a variety of Indian cooking. When choosing bottle gourd, make sure the skin is smooth with no spots or blemishes. The skin of a good bottle gourd will be pale or light green. The seeds of the bottle gourd are edible and are tender if the bottle gourd is tender. As the bottle gourd matures, the seeds become hard and lose their taste.
Bottle gourd: This is the main ingredient here. The way the bottle gourd is cut is really important here. Make sure you cut them into thin long strips.
Ghee: This dish tastes best when made with ghee. However, you may choose to replace ghee with any cooking oil of your choice.
Spices: The spices I use here are panch phoron (Bengali five spice), dry red chilli, bay leaf, cumin powder, and turmeric powder.
Other ingredients: I use ginger and green chilli in the tempering and coriander leaves for garnish. I also add a very small amount of sugar. The sugar will not make this dish sweet but rather balance it really well.
This dish is ready in no time and makes a great side dish for weekday meals. So simple to make and so healthy and nutritious.
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This dish is:
- easy to make and suitable for beginners
- made with few ingredients
- easily made vegan friendly by replacing ghee with oil
Step by step instructions
1. Peel and thinly slice bottle gourd
2. Heat ghee, add panch phoron and let it splutter. Add bay leaves, dry red chilli, ginger, green chilli and fry for a minute
3. Add bottle gourd, turmeric, cumin powder, salt, and sugar. Mix well
4. Mix everything well and cover
5. Cook bottle gourd and spices until completely done
Bottle Gourd Curry (Lau Ghonto)
- Peel and wash the bottle gourd. Cut into long thin strips
- Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a frypan. Add panch phoron and let it splutter. Add bay leaves, dry red chilli, ginger, green chilli and fry for a minute
- Add bottle gourd, turmeric, cumin powder, salt and sugar. Mix well
- Cover and simmer until the bottle gourd is soft. Increase the flame to dry up any excess water
- Turn off the heat, add 1 tablespoon ghee and mix well
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot