Personally sorakaya (bottle gourd, lauki) is not a very exciting veggie. It doesn’t fall into the category of kid’s favorite’s alu (potato) or bendakaya (okra), but rather sits along with broccoli and brussel sprouts. I remember, as a kid, eating sorakaraya kura with the least interest and telling my mom not to cook it anymore. But now, after all the years of not liking sorakaya, I started experimenting and using it more than I could imagine 10 years ago.
A little research on bottle gourd told me that is not an important source of any nutrient. The composition of 100 grams of young bottle gourd includes 20 mg calcium and 6 mg of Vitamin C. It is low is saturated fat and cholesterol and high in dietary fiber, riboflavin, zinc, thiamin, iron, magnesium and manganese.
The gourd itself doesn’t have any discernible taste, and the dish is mostly acquired taste from the spices and other ingredients put in it. I used Nagpur garam masala that my mom made (she said it has about 31 or 33 spices in it) and it gave the dish spicy kick.Ingredients:
Sorakaya (bottle gourd)– 1 medium, peeled and cubed
Onion – 1 small
Tomato puree – 2 tbsp
Green chilies – 3
Besan – 3 tsp
Milk – ¼ cup
Water – 1 cup
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Red chili powder – ½ tsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Cumin seeds - ½ tsp
Curry leaves – 5
Salt – to taste
- Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan, add the seeds and curry leaves, after the seeds splutter, add onions, turmeric and sauté till lightly browned.
- Add sorakaya pieces and green chilies, cover and cook till tender.
- When the gourd is tender, add tomato puree and cook for 1 minute.
- Mix besan with milk into a smooth paste without lumps. Add this to the veggies with water and red chili powder. Cover and cook for 5 minutes on low flame.
- Add garam masala and salt, cover and cook for another 2 minutes.
You might have noticed that I have started adding milk in all the dishes. The reason being, my husband doesn’t like dairy, milk/ yogurt/ buttermilk, products that are white and have a distinct milk taste. So I’m sneaking in milk into everything, so he (we) would get the necessary nutrients and calcium. Good idea.. right??