Monday, 21 March 2016

Lauki with Kala Chana or Chola ar narkel diye Lau or a Sundal

Narkel chola diye lau

It isn't often that I hurry to make a post on something that I have cooked the same day or the day before. Since I post what I cook for that day's lunch or dinner, I try to click photos quickly, before we finish off the food. Or, in my case, natural daylight disappears.
I then let the photos rest in a folder, waiting for me to get some time out, edit and make a post.
Which is not happening regularly these days. I mean, not the cooking part, but the clicking part.

But this particular dish turned out to be so beautiful that I could not resist posting this almost immediately ... ignoring all the other recipes sitting in my folder.

The days have turned very hot all of a sudden, and it is not even the end of March. The temperature soared to 39 degrees and stayed there for the last two days ... thumbing its nose at us.
We, on our part, went through the rituals of the day huffing and puffing. Pune's dry climate, when combined with heat, can be deadly.
Too much of dehydration, lethargy. The skin starts to dry and burn, even if you are indoors.

And cooking on such days, and eating, seems like punishment.
While my cooking is always on the lighter side, I am at my wits end to make it even more lighter.

Lauki with kala chana
These days I soak a lot of things and keep them handy. Like brown chickpeas, kabuli chana, green moong dal, rajma, etc.
All I need is to soak them overnight and store them in the fridge.
Sometimes I let them sprout a little too.
And just munch on them when hungry. Or throw in a couple of other things like cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. and make a salad.
The rajma I keep boiled. Makes for a great salad too.

It was one such day when I stood in the kitchen that seemed like an oven at 10 in the morning.
And wondered what to make for lunch.
B had been asking for sambar chawal for a while now. Looked into the freezer  and found some frozen toor dal ( boiled).
And my menu was set.
Grabbed a bunch of vegetables and threw everything together to make a sambar ( I intend to make a post on that too ... some day ).

And then spied half a lauki or bottle gourd in the corner of the vegetable tray in the fridge. Since the Bengali in me cannot have just dal chawal and has to have something on the side ... always, I grabbed the lauki, brought out some soaked and boiled kala chana and tossed them together to make a light side dish.
The tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves and some grated coconut ( yes, I grate and freeze coconut too ) gave it a South Indian flavour.
Went perfect with my sambar and rice.

The best thing that makes it light and a perfect summer dish is the fact that this is cooked with no oil.
And very little oil is used just for the tempering. Easy on the tummy in these hot days of summer.
Here is how I made it.
Chola diye lau er tarkari
Ingredients for Chola ar Narkel diye Lau :

Lau / Bottle Gourd / Lauki - 2 cups, chopped into small pieces
Kala chana / Black Chickpeas / Kalo Chola - 1 cup, soaked and boiled with a little salt
Grated coconut -  ½ cup
Whole Red Chillies - 2, broken
Mustard seeds or Shorshe dana - 1 tsp
Fresh curry leaves - 7 to 8
Cooking oil - ½ tsp
Salt - to taste
Sugar - to taste

How to cook :

Grind the coconut into a rough paste ( you can use it as is too, but grinding brings out the flavours and the sweetness ).

In a heavy kadahi put in the chopped lauki + boiled chana + coconut + haldi + salt and enough water to cook the lauki.
Cover and cook till the lauki is done.

In another kadahi, heat oil.

Add curry leaves + mustard seeds + whole red chillies.

Add the cooked lauki and simmer till desired consistency.

Check for salt.
Add a pinch sugar too.

Cover and let it stand for 5 minutes.

Remove cover and serve hot or cool.

Bottle gourd sundal

This was our lunch plate. Light and easy.
I had fried some sabudana papadams too.

C'ya all around, folks!

Don't let summer get hold of you.
Drink lots of cooling fluids and stay cool and calm.

And do check out my coolers for summer here.  


  1. Hello..

    Somehow I think that you are attuned to my fridge.. I have one fine specimen of lau in fridge as well ;) though lauki chanadal is always done.. This time with Chana..

    I am trying ur moong dal tonight.. Will tell you how it turns out..


  2. I have another chana dal with lauki coming up Ash. :-)


Thank you for sharing Kichu Khonn( a few moments ) with me in my kitchen!