Lauki or Bottle gourd is a common summer vegetable in India. Easy to prepare and light on stomach, this is a perfect vegetable to cook during summers. Today i am combining rice with Lauki and preparing a dish which brings out new flavours and some old memories to life.
Commonly known as the Opo squash in the USA, lauki/bottle gourd is a little green peel vegetable which is one of the least calorie vegetable, providing just 14 calories per 100g. It is one of the vegetables recommended by the dieticians in weight-control programs. This and the fact that it is easy to digest, made it the best vegetable at my home during my childhood. Everyone seemed to love dishes prepared with lauki, except me. I was one fussy eater who would budge at the sight of lauki and my mother had a tough time feeding it to me. I remember the first time she prepared Lauki pulao and served it without letting us know about it. I had enjoyed that meal a lot and was immensely surprised when she finally revealed the contents of the dish. Since then, Lauki pulao has become one of my favorite dishes.
As i grew up, i developed the taste for lauki and started preparing it for myself too. When i got married, i found out that my husband was not fond of Lauki either. To make him eat it, i did exactly what my mom had done. Made this Lauki pulao and won his votes on this dish. If you have a “Lauki” fussy eater at home too, this is a great dish which would get you the approval 🙂
Lauki ka Pulao
- 1 cup uncooked basmati rice
- 2 cups lauki, grated
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 inch ginger, grated
- 1 green chili, finely chopped
- 2 tsp ghee/ clarified butter (can also substitute with Oil)
- pinch of asafoetida/ hing (optional)
- 2 of each (whole) spices – Bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 cups of water
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp dry mango powder
- Coriander for garnishing, chopped
- Wash and soak the basmati rice in 2 cups of water for atleast half an hour.
- Meanwhile, take a pan. To this, add in the ghee and bring to heat. Once the ghee melts, add in the asafoetida, cumin seeds and whole spices. Let the cumin seeds crackle.
- Next, add in the onion slices and ginger. Saute till the onion becomes translucent, approximately 2 minutes.
- Now, add in the grated lauki, rice (with the water it was soaked in) and all the spices. Mix well.
- Cook on high till the water comes to a boil. Next, reduce the flame to simmer an cover the pan with a lid. Cook for 5-6 minutes or till the rice is cooked well. The Lauki pulao is ready.
- Garnish with chopped coriander on top. Serve hot with Curd, pickle and Mint-Coriander chutney.
I served this pulao with a little more ghee on top and a generous sprinkling of coriander. What a treat ! My family loved it so much that we all ended up eating more than our usual serving 🙂 Serve with a side of mint- coriander chutney. I had some left over kale chickpea kebabs too which i served on the side and the platter transformed into a completely delightful meal. If you not tried this before, i highly recommend it. Trust me, even the most fussy eaters would dive straight into this dish.