This is one vegetable that doesnt show up in many people's list of favorites, unless it is disguised and fried as koftas. But I fall in the list of people who actually like it even if it is not too dressed up. But you dont have to be a devout health fanatic or a follower of yoga guru ramdev to love lauki ( bottle gourd). I took it up as a challenge to make this vegetable without grating, frying or hiding it under a thick onion gravy. The secret was a little nutty help ..cashews to the rescue and the result was quite good!
Lauki (bottle gourd) 1 medium size peeled and cubed
Garlic 3-4 large ones minced
Cumin (Jeera) 1tsp
whole red chillies 2-3
Kadi patta (curry leaves) optional
Bay leaf, black cardamom (a few)
Tomatoes 2 chopped
Cashews soaked in water and ground to a paste 1/4 cup
Dry masalas (turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander-cumin powder, garam masala)
Black pepper and black salt
A pinch of sugar
Cilantro leaves and chaat masala to garnish
Heat oil and add cumin seeds. Once the seeds crackle, add minced garlic, red chilli, bay leaf, cardamom and curry leaves. Now add all the dry masalas mixed with a few tablespoons of water so that it doesn't burn. Cook for a few seconds till the raw smell goes and drop the chopped bottle gourd in it. Let it cook for a few minutes then add cashew paste and chopped tomatoes. Let it cook till lauki is done. Add a little water as needed for cooking. Sprinkle a little black pepper, black salt and chaat masala along with chopped cilantro.