Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Lau er Raita / Lauki ka Raita / Bottlegourd with curd salad(?)

( Vegans can blend some silken tofu with a little lemon juice and salt and use in place of curd / yoghurt .... thanks Vaishali for the tip ). :-)

As a child, the vegetables part in my meals were disliked with a passion. And if it was the Lau / Lauki / Bottle gourd, well .... it would stay untouched. But I liked this cooling raita that was made during the summers. And it was always served cold. Maybe that's the reason I used to like it ... the summers back home can be real torturous ... so anything cold was always welcome.

This is a simple dish .... and as I later realised, very quick to make. The main flavours are of the curry leaves and mustard seeds tempering. And of course the cooling tang of curd / youghurt.

If you want it bland, it's fine. Want a little spice ... then add some whole dry red chillies or fresh green chillies ( I have used the former). And for extra flavour, throw in some finely chopped ginger.

It becomes even more quicker to make if you have steamed the lauki beforehand ( you can cook it in a steamer or run it in the MW with a little water and salt for 10 mins).
Even if you have not, I assure you this won't take too long to make.

When peeling the lauki, if you cut thickish peels, then you can make this simple yet wonderful dish, the Lau Khosa Bhaja, that I posted ages back. :-)

Need :
1 Lau / Lauki / Bottle gourd - peeled and cut into medium cubes
Fresh curd / Yoghurt - 1 or 2 cups ( depending on how much lauki you have )
Curry leaves - 6 to 8
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Whole dry red chillies - 2
Cooking oil - 1 tsp
Ginger - 1 tsp chopped
Salt to taste
Sugar - just a pinch

How to :

Heat the oil in a wok / kadahi / deep pan.

Add the mustrad seeds and wait till they start to splutter.

Now add the curry leaves and chillies.

Add the lauki, a little salt, cover and cook till the lauki is done. ( If using precooked lauki, then just toss it around for a while ).

After the lauki is well cooked, add the chopped ginger, stir some more, remove in a bowl and keep aside to cool.

After it has cooled well, add the curd ( beat it a little to make it smooth ) and mix well.

Keep in the fridge serve only when it is real chilled.

Goes great on the side with any meal of rotis or rice. And if you are on a diet, have it as is for lunch. It is healthy and tasty too. :-)

Updated : The following lines are not for my regular readers and friends who have always been generous in leaving encouraging comments for my recipes and writings.

I have noticed that as the number of visits to Kichu Khon are increasing ... and the number of mails, asking for details of recipes, too ... the comments are decreasing day by day. If I go by the number of visits statistics show, my comment box should be overflowing with comments everyday. Sadly reality is far from it.

C'mon folks ... I love to hear from you here .... so if not good manners how about some morale boosting? ;-)

TC all!! :-)


  1. Sharmila, imagine my surprise when I came here to check on you and lo you have posted a new post..hope things are fine your end..

    lovely looking dish, I make dal and kurma with bottle gourd, never tried a salad..

    heheh..nice to read on the comments part..I guess that happens in all blogs...worse would be when some do selective comments on only some blogs....

  2. Sharmila,
    Lao er raita amader O bhalo lage ..tobe ami lao ke ekto grate/kadookus kore banae :)..
    hugs and smiles

  3. That is just so delicous looking and so refreshing.

  4. This is a definite try. The thing is, bottlegourds are available here throughout the year but like you I am not too fond of it. But I am open to raita with any veggie.

  5. Thanks Tina! :-)

    Thanks Vani! :-)

    Thanks Valli! Long time no see. Selective comments on selective blogs is fine ... everybody has a right to their own choice & preference. I was talking of regular readers which include non bloggers too. :-)

    Thanks Jaya! Kaddukas is a good idea ... will surely try the next time. :-)

    Thanks Happy! :-)

    Thanks ISG! You will like it ... is quite refreshing. :-)

  6. Sharmila, vegetable familyr bhetore amar lauta bhalo lage, kintu khoob simple bhabe ranna kori. Post korbo.
    Tomar raita ta garam dine korbo, kakhono korini.


  7. Well! I had commented though I mailed so I am ok:).

    I grate and steam lauki till just done before making raita. Used to be a favourite:).

  8. Thanks Gouridi! Amar lau chingri diye khub bhalo lage. :-)

    Thanks Harini! You are more than just ok ... you are one of the best. :-)

  9. I love lauki, one of the few veggies I loved even as a kid. Lau Chingri was the most loved.
    But I have never had a Lauki raita, will be done when summer is here.

  10. Guilty as charged Sharmila, I am one of those who come back to read some recipes later on. Though I do try to leave a comment. I know how frustrating it is when comments start to dwindle.
    Although it is a rather bland vegetable, bottle gourd is full of nutrition. And this is a rather innovative way of eating it during summers. Have never tried but will do now. Thanks.

  11. Thanks Sandeepa! Try it .. is pretty refreshing. :-)

    Hey Aparna! I did not mean my regular friends and readers ... I know you have always left nice lines. Guess I'll have to update the post now.
    Do give this raita a try once. :-)

  12. I am a veggie lover except beetroots. never has this seems would be great to sooth the heat of summer. Lol on the comments part.

  13. I too developed a taste for bottle gourd only later in life :) But I do love this healthful veggie now.
    This raita sounds delicious-- I would like to try a vegan version with some tofu or soy yogurt.

  14. Thanks Sayantani! Love that LOL of yours ... it was getting a little serious otherwise. :-) I hate beets too. :-p

    Thanks Vaishali! Hope you like it. :-)

  15. Thanks sharmila for dropping by, you have a lovely space. i'll be back for more.

  16. Never heard of it Sharmi, sounds healthy. Tempering must be tasty !! Will try this soon!!

  17. You have a superb blog. I come here often not only for the food and the recipe but also the lovely pics.


  18. ami choto bela thele lau er bhokto:-) Just yesterday my mil was talking of lauki halwa which I never even heard of before.. Love this dish!

  19. Thanks Nisha! :-)

    Thanks Sashi! :-)

    Thanks Shampa! Nice of you to leave a line. :-)

    Thanks Soma! Lauki halwar kotha jano na?!!! I make it regularly .. will post it soon. :-)


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