Monday, June 22, 2020

Lau Ghonto with Bori and Lau Chingri

BottleGourd with Bori and BottleGourd with Shrimp...

Lau Ghonto Bori diye, Lau Ghonto, Bottlegourd Sabzi with Vadi

Lau Ghonto Bori diye | Bottlegourd Sabzi with Vadi

Lau Ghonto is a popular Bengali vegetarian dish for the summer months made with Bottlegourd that has been chopped fine and garnished with fried Bori. There is also a non-veg version of this dish, Lau Chingri, where fried shrimp is mixed with the dish.

This post was first done in 2008 when I was pregnant with LilSis. Given that my pregnancies were never an easy affair, I don't know how I made a Lau Ghonto and posted a recipe then. The Recipe and photos updated on June 22, 2020.
I have been eating real simple these days, simple food not laced with too many rich spices or garlic and onion seems to have become my favorite. It is still spring here but my food cravings are like those served in my home during the hot summer months.
Summer veggies like Lau(Bengali)/Lauki(Hindi)/Bottle gourd, Parwal, Green mangoes have caught my fancy. These veggies prepared with simple spices and no onion or garlic and a light fish curry is what is staple food, in most Bengali homes in the Gangetic Plains where summer is hot and humid.

Green View from my Kitchen

Is it the green all around that makes me long for these veggies ? Before the days of air conditioned grocery stores and easy availability of exotic veggies, vegetables in the local markets were seasonal in India. So while winter was colored with deep red beet-root, orange carrots and rich red tomatoes, summer was green with deep green striped parwal, mellowed green bottle gourd, vivid rich green of cucumber and smooth green of raw mangoes.

Lau Ghonto Bori diye, Lau Ghonto, Bottlegourd Sabzi with Vadi
Chopped Lau/Bottlegourd

The tender lau or bottle gourd with its soothing green skin soothes the eyes in harsh summer and because of its high water content has a cooling effect and so is one of the preferred veggies in the summer months.
According to ayurveda, the cooked bottlegourd is cooling, diuretic, sedative and anti­bilious(corrects secretion of bile). It gives a feeling of relaxation after eating it. It is rich in essential minerals and fibre.

Lau Ghonto Bori diye, Lau Ghonto, Bottlegourd Sabzi with Vadi

Lau Ghonto

I am sharing this veggie and the dish with Laurie from Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska who is hosting WHB, originated by Kalyn, this week

The bottle gourd was used in several different kinds of dishes in my home ranging from the dal, the lau-ghonto which I think was made with milk and usually white in color, another lau-ghonto with fish head, the lau ghonto with bori where the dish was garnished with fried moong dal vadis, the lau-chingri where the shrimp was mixed with the dish to dress up the simple homely dish.

The recipe of Lau Bori and Lau Chingri here is as my Ma made it.

Recipe and photos updated on June 22, 2020.

Lau Ghonto with Bori


Lauki/Bottlegourd ~ 3 cups. Peeled and chopped in small pieces. You need to cut the bottlegourd in really small & thin pieces, large chunks are a NO NO.
Tomato ~1 medium finely chopped in small pieces
Green Chilli ~ 3-4 slit through the middle. I use hot Indian Geen Chillies
Ginger - 1" piece

For Tempering

Bay Leaves ~ 2 small
Cinnamon Stick ~ 1” stick
Whole Jeera/Cumin seeds ~ ½ tsp

Wet Masala Paste

Cumin seeds - 1.5 tsp Cumin seeds
Ginger - 1" ginger chopped ~ 1 Tbsp

With a sprinkle of water make a paste of cumin and ginger in a mortar-pestle.

Note: If you cannot make a fresh paste like as I said, then grate the ginger and mix with 1 tsp of Cumin powder to make a paste

Dry Spice powders

Red Chilli Powder ~ 1/2 tsp or according to your spice level. I go with the green hot chillies and do not use any chilli powder.
Turmeric Powder ~ about 1 tsp

Sugar ~ 1/2 tsp or none if you don’t like it sweet
Salt ~ to taste

For garnish

Bori ~ 1/4th Cup of Moong Dal Bori fried and crumbled. If you do not have any Bori, you might skip it. The Bengali Vadis are known as Boris and are small sun dried cones of lentil paste, the shapes are like Hershey's Kisses. Here is a recipe of boris made of Urad Dal. These boris are fried and then added to the dish.
Coriander Leaves ~ a fistful finely chopped

How I Did It

Heat Oil in a Kadhai/Frying Pan.

Fry the Bori/Vadi till it is a nice warm rich brown. Remove and keep aside

Temper the oil with Bay leaf, Cinnamon Stick and Whole Cumin seeds
When the cumin starts sputtering add the finely chopped tomato and green chillies.
Sauté till the tomatoes are soft and mushy with no raw smell.

Add the wet masala paste of ginger-cumin. Saute the masala for 2 minutes. Sprinkle some water if necessary

Add the chopped bottle gourd and mix with the spices. Sauté for 3-4 minutes.
Add Turmeric powder, salt and mix well

Once you have mixed it nicely, cover and cook. Intermittently remove the cover and give it a good stir. You don’t need to add water as bottle gourd releases water on cooking. If the bottlegourd is dried up or not that fresh you may need to add little water while cooking.

When the bottlegourd/lau is fully cooked, add sugar and cook for a minute. The water should have dried up by now and the result would be a dish with no gravy but moist.

Now crumble the fried bori on top
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves

Lau Chingri aka Bottle Gourd with Shrimp

Lau Chingri, Lau Ghonto, Bottlegourd Sabzi with Vadi

Everything is same as the Lau-Bori recipe. Except for the Bori you need about ½ cup of shrimp. Wash the shrimp and mix with a little turmeric and salt and let it marinade for 30 minutes. Fry them to a light yellow and remove and keep aside. Cook Bottlegourd exactly as above. Instead of the bori, mix the shrimp with the bottlegourd at the second last step. Sauté for a minute and you are done.

Other recipes of similar Bengali Lau er Tarkari:

Tetor Dal with BitterGourd and BottleGourd

Trivia: Ektara the most ancient form of string instrument found in the Eastern parts of India, is constructed out of a half of a dried gourd shell serving as the sound-box, with a metal string running right through the middle of the shell. The Ektara was used by the Bauls of Bengal for their folk singing


  1. Sandeepa,
    Lao torkari bori diye , oh amar mokhe jol asche .....
    and green veggies are always so good to eat in summer ..
    love ur kitchen side view ..
    hugs and smiles

  2. wow..the view from your kitchen is lucky you! you really get to cook when you can indulge in such beauty...:))..

    that dish looks great! add non-veg with veggies..we don't normally do that!..its so healthy!

  3. Nice tidbit about the ektara. I remembered you yesterday watching Sanjeev Kapoor cook some bengali delicacies, and was explaining shorshe, payesh etc to my much surprised hubby!:)

  4. OOh, what a view!

    I have one long, fat lau in my refrigerator - its fate gets decided tomorrow!

  5. 1. Love the third picture (cherry tomatoes?)

    2. I envy you for that awesome view from your kitchen.....The view from my kitchen contains just concrete structures..the only greenery being my potted herbs.

    3.Love the shrimp dish and the irregular-shaped bowls even more :)

  6. no. 1 was for the pic in the header

  7. We make a very light fish curry with aloo and lau or lau and bilahi(tomato).

    Btw, that is a fantastic view from your kitchen :-)

  8. These 2 are excellent recipes... Love them all... that BottleGourd with Shrimp rocks....nice pics...

  9. I love the idea of crunchy bori in a bhaji! Nice to see green & flower blossoms after the stark cold winter, na?

  10. Beautiful view Sandeepa. About the curry, We (coastal area people) had small shrimp to pretty much all veg, but not ging garl paste! Very delicious curry :)

  11. That's a nice name and the green picture is just beautiful. The curry looks delicious.

  12. Loved that view, Sandeepa. Your picture of lau chingri is making me hungry. Delicious!

  13. I am drooling at the shrimps and bottlegourd dish Sandeepa. I am going to try that soon. It looks so tasty. Slurp...

  14. Amaar favourite summer dish . Bhishon bhalo laagey . Bhaja moong dal diye o bhalo lage .
    I've tagged you BTW. Simple and easy.

    BTW what an inpiring view from your kitchen.

  15. Love that view from your kitchen! It got my mind off my rumbling tummy for a few moments! :)

  16. hey sandeepa, nice to hear from you after a long time. we have been married for a little over a year ..we have been together for 8 :)

    I love lauki for the simple reason that it's so light and harmless a vegetable.....i love them with luchis or parathas....they neutralize the "heaviness" of luchis. but my husband cant stand it..he cant stand any green-colored vegetable :DD, so we make lau-chingri sparingly ........he sometimes gives in though when i add enough haldi (holud ?? :D) to mask the grren color of lau :)

    love the green view from your kitchen..we have almost a similar view from our deck...and as always, yet again my new apt. kitchen does not have a window.....i have been dying to have a kitchen with window...but if wishes were horses....

  17. Shrimps with bottle gourds sounds delicious. We are a shrimp loving family so this is one is a must try.

  18. What is bori?

    I love the veiw from your kitchen.

  19. Thanks Everyone

    For all who loved the View

    The green disappears and gives way to bare scraggy branches for 5 months of the year !!!


    I thought as much :) May you have a window "wala" kitchen soon. Mostly it helps to get the smell out.
    Coming to think of it, my apt. didn't have one either, is it a design flaw ?

    Bori is like the Punjabi Wadis. The Bengali ones have very little spices and there are several varieteies. the ones to be used here are to be fried till crunchy.

    In the recipe I have given a link to blogger who made boris at home

  20. Sandeepa lau-bori and lau-chingri, both look mouth-watering. I never liked lau as a child, but just love it nowadays. My fav - though is lau-er khoshaa bhaaja! Hmm, I should buy lau on my next trip to the indian store!

  21. Sandeepa, only you can make a recipe write-up into sheer poetry. Hope you love blogger again, and post more wonderful recipes in your inimitable style.

  22. Lovely wooded backyard! Spring is a beautiful time, isn't it?

  23. Sorry, that last comment was me.

  24. Hi...this was my first time on your blog and I look forward to coming back again. I am not a big fan of lau but don't mind if it has a machher mudo in it...

  25. Tried your lau chingri recipe today. thanks a bunch for posting it. i didn't think i would ever be trying this but it turned out quite well, even with my reputation as a very unaccomplished cook :) and i would like to report that your recipe tastes almost identical to how they make it in Bangladesh. I also tried the bati charchari recipe but added onions. Very light dish - perhaps will make again in summer. I have been following your blog - which is a delight to read - for some time but only recently started trying the recipes. Again, thanks for taking the time. Hopefully slowing down the network doesn't mean disappearing altogether, cuz that would be a shame.

  26. Samia

    The bati charchari is very light. On days we make it just for ourselves, we jazz it up with more mustard oil and green chili. If you are from Bangladesh try that

  27. Thank you for posting and sharing this recipe; I tried it two nights ago and it turned out really good :) I was born in Bangladesh but unfortunately never picked up on cooking the awesome Bengali dishes. I get cravings for authentic Bengali style dishes every now and then; so it made me so happy and excited to come across your blog. Look forward to visiting your site again soon.

  28. This is a completely vegetarian Lau tarkari without bari or chingri maach. First cut lau into small pieces and then boil for 10 mins in Pressure Cooker. chop half of a big onion. Add oil in saucepan. Fry red pepper(burn) with panch Foran for aroma.Add onion after turned brown add Haldi powder, little bit red chilli powder and fry.Add salt ,sugar, jeera powder, garam massala. Now mix cooked lau.Add Ada bata(Ginger paste).Close and cook for 15 mins in simmer so that spices get mixed. Now add chopped kancha lanka(green pepper) for flavor). Close and cook for 2 mins.

  29. Darun .. I have missed this one , I think

  30. These two recipes are really worth trying & i really love the view from your kitchen.


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