Lau Shukto (Bottle Gourd Curry with Mild Bitter-Sweet Gravy)

‘Shukto’ is a generic term for vegetables with light gravy in Bengali food platter. Normally it’s a bitter food which is served as the entrée. It is said to clean up our body system and also the taste buds, ‘shukto’ to be taken at the beginning of your meal. Normally ‘shukto is served in lunch with rice in Bengali meal.

I generally make ‘lau’ (bottle gourd) in summer like it is generally made in every Bengali kitchen. But this ‘Lau Shukto’ recipe is not with traditional bitter-sweet taste gravy. It is very light and almost no spices are used in it. Both fenugreek (methi) and fennel (mouri) help to clean our system and keep our body cool. More over ‘Lau’ or Bottel Gourd is full of water which helps to rehydrate our system. So in this entire recipe is ideal for any summer day lunch. Fenugreek gives very mild bitter taste in this gravy. I have used lentil fritter (motor daler bora) but you can use sun dried lentil dumpling (motor daler bori) according to your choice!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups Lau or Bottle Gourd – (small diced)
  • ¾ tsp Methi or Fenugreek
  • ¼ tsp Mouri or Fennel
  • ¾ tsp Ginger Paste
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 2 Green Chilli
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 10 – 12 Motor Daler Bora or Lentil Fritter
  • 2 tsps Oil
  • ½ tsp Sugar
  • To taste Salt
  • drops (optional) Ghee – Few

Steps:

  1. Peel and cut the bottle gourd in small cubes and keep them aside.
  2. Prepare the Motor Daler Bora or Lentil Fritter (For recipe click Here). If using ‘bori’ then fry them in a little oil and keep them aside.
  3. Heat more oil in the pan if required. Add fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds and bay leaf. Fry till they exude aroma.
  4. Add cubed bottle gourd. Stir for a while.
  5. Add ginger paste, turmeric powder, salt and sugar. Mix well.
  6. Add 1-1½ cup of water and green chilli.
  7. Transfer these whole things to a pressure cooker. Close the lid and cook till one whistle comes. Allow the pressure to settle. Do not overcook lau.
  8. Add fried fritters. Boil for 1-2 minutes.
  9. Drizzle a little ghee on top.
  10. Serve with steamed rice.

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