Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dudh diye Lau -- one more Gourd Dish

It has been almost a month since the summer vacations started for BS and as far as I can see it, she is having a blast. For one, she is doing NOTHING on most days. Half of her day is spent at the neighbor's place, the second half of the day little neighbor friend spends at our place. I have no clue what they do other than eating a lot of ice lollies and blowing bubbles.

Then there is the numerous park visits with Dadai, about three parties that involved water slide, sprinklers, pool and such, a New York visit and stay at Times Square, couple of visits to the beach, lots of book reading and football watching, staying up late until 10:30 at night. The days are packed to the brim with nothingness.

To bring some semblance to her day I made up a routine involving some study and stuff for an hour each day. When I call up from work to ask whether she has done her day's quota of writing or math or piano, she says she couldn't as she has been "off schedule". Does that even make sense ?

This whole NOTHINGNESS of summer is so addictive that I wish I had a long summer vacation, a real one where I would do nothing but lick ice lollies and read books and blow bubbles.

I wish...

When I think of summer vacation from those days of childhood long past, I can't remember any single one. My childhood summers have just merged into one another, blended into one colorful blob.

I remember....

...the swing that Baba had hung up on the guava tree, the swing fashioned from a wooden plank and hung on narkele dori(coconut choirs). The friend who got hurt when the wooden plank hit her nose when one of us had jumped off the swing midway. Two days later we continued swinging up high, the friend's nose healed.

...rummaging through the huge black storage trunk, digging up Anandamelas and Enid Blytons, to re read.

...the mustachioed ice cream man with his military hat and shorts shouting "Golden" on Sunday afternoon. We called him Bhagat Singh. The orange ice cream bar that I always bought while Ma insisted that I get a Milk bar.

...the couple of weeks at my Dida's place. The visits to Dakshineshwar Temple and the boat ride to Belur. The coolness at the Birla Planetarium and the happiness browsing books at College Street

...writing pages of Hindi in big letters, trying to fit not more than 3 words a line to finish the summer homework. Writing pages of English, cramming as much in a page to finish the same.

What do you remember from your summer vacation ?

Lauki/Lau or Bottle Gourd is a favorite summer vegetable with the Bengalis. It is supposed to have a cooling effect in the summer heat and so a light lauki sabzi or lau tarkari would pop up ever so often during the summer days. My Ma would cook the simple bottle gourd several ways, each lightly spiced, perfect as a summer side dish.

This particular one cooked with milk, the Dudh diye Lau is slightly on the sweet side and one I have never cooked before. I learned it from Ma while she is here and cooked it this Saturday. It is as I said, light, slightly sweet, perfect as a side dish with rice for a light Summer home lunch. Do not expect an explosion of taste when you eat it, it is humble and meek, perfect for your satwik senses.


Dudh diye Lau

Peel and Chop a decent sized Bottle Gourd in small cubes

Cook about 4 cups of cubed Bottle Gourd or Lauki without water and a little salt till done. No need to add water as the Bottle Gourd will release a lot of water while cooking.

Mix 1/4 cup of Milk with 1 tbsp of All Purpose Flour/Maida to make a smooth paste. Once the Lauki/Gourd is cooked, add the milk paste and mix gently

Heat 2 tsp of Ghee in a Kadhai

Temper with 1 Bay Leaf, 2 Green Cardamom, 1" thin stick of cinnamon, 2 cracked dry Red chili and 1/2 tsp of whole cumin seeds

When the spices pop, add the cooked gourd and saute for a few minutes. Add salt to taste, add about 1/4-1/2 tsp of sugar. We Bengalis like this dish light and sweet.

Keep cooking till the water has almost dried up and there is almost no gravy except the liquid clinging to the veggie

Now there are three ways to garnish
(a) Garnish with fresh grated coconut
(b) Fry vadi and crumble them on top
(c)Fry a papad and crumble on top just before serving -- This is what I have done

Similar Recipes:

Lau Chingri

Lau Bori

Tetor Dal -- Dal with Bitter Gourd and Bottle Gourd


  1. Dudh lau er katha anek sunechi kintu kakhano banaini. eta ki ektu mishti mishti khete habe?

  2. I love the idea of papad tempering.

    Summer vacations.. He-Man and Funtime on TV, lots of playing lagori, chor-police, lagdi and ghar-ghar, cycling with friends in the morning, 50 paise "pepsi" (frozen sharbat in a long plastic bag), trying to grind mehendi from leaves of a nearby mehendi plant, aiming stones to knock down kairi and badam.. I guess it is all rolled into one blob as you say! :)

  3. We didn't had TV till I was 16.
    We used to play kitchen in back of the hous we used to take three stone and then put a pot and cook small amoun of rice etc :-)
    When we were very little we did the same but then instead of a pot we took the shell of coconut not thinking it will burn too :-)
    Asking us what we did for summer is sure making me nostalgic, we had so much fun as we had coconut trees aorund and all the kids from the neighbourhodd used to come to our place and we played kabasi, hied and seek etc.... you know i better stop otherwise i will continue and continue :-)

  4. I've been eating bottlegourd a few times a week since the delivery, as it is supposed to help nursing moms. One more recipe for me to try with lauki now :)
    Sounds like a fabulous summer vacation for Bis Sis! :) Hows the baby doing? How is BS doing with the new sibling?
    We're doing good. The little one is 3 months old now already! M started her new class in June and will be turning 4 in a couple weeks. Time is flying!

  5. Sandeepa ami ajke e bhabchilam etar kotha ... khub khete icche korchilo. Tomar recipe ta pelam bhalo holo. :-)

  6. Sandeepa, that is such a lovely and simple looking curry. I am loving the simplicity of it.

  7. I remember ... answering all the exam question papers again. It irritated me no end. I really don't remember what else I did - parents, grandparents all lived in the same city, so not much scope to go anywhere. We usually went with our parents to cities where their conferences were being held - visited quite a few places that way.

  8. This is a new bottle gourd dish..will try it some time...

  9. I remember getting up early for morning walks around my neighbourhood ,otherwise when it was school time ,my ma has to drag me out of the bed :)..bolto garam er chuti hole ..eto taratari ki kore othe porish :-)...
    Playing all sort fo things that SS blogs here wrote-langi ,ghar-2 and reading "Champak" a Hindi book to brush up Hindi better.And spending time on swing a lot..Dudh diye lao banaeni konodin ..ami shodho Maake dekhtaam dudhi halvah Banate..
    hugs and smiles

  10. Doodh is my least favorite vegetable Sandeepa but summer vacation that I can talk plenty. Just the other day I was reminiscing with my brother about the best part of our childhood which undoubtedly was time we spent in our grandparent's place.

    DDs are doing a similar kind of routine here

  11. Hmmm...never had lau this way, will try it this week....sister and family visiting, will use them as subjects :)
    Enid Blyton jumped out for me....I remember reading them voraciously in the summer. I remember the musty smells of the library and the aniticipation of reading, reading, reading as much as I could.....

  12. Oh dear we all go thro similar things.Rewriting all the exam qustions.What a pain.I used to have an old cassette player and my cousin and I read out comics in our most put on voices and play back laughing at our silly voices all thro summer!Then Enid Blytons,dressing up in Mums sarees,climbing trees and eating raw mangoes.good old days.

  13. Dear Sandeepa,
    First time to ur lovely very Bong page...
    Being a fan of Bong food bought me to ur page...tis gourd dish is simple yet soo comforty...liked it.
    And abt summer vacations...most of em whr travelling to my native-Mangalore or sumother part of India. And if home then mornings were a healthy walk wit fnds plucking every neighbouhood flowers n leaf, badminton n running up n down, in n out every nook n corner.We never got tired n even refused to go home after our deadline of 7 o'clock :-) I even recall hw my mum used to terrorise us to bring us back home then.
    Too funny...I gave her such a hard time.

  14. amra jokhon joint family te thaktam tokhon dudh diye lau khetam, tarpor kono din khayini janina keno. may be the cook we had made it and ma never did. now I remember :-)

    I wish the vacation was nothingness to the brim.. my childhood vacation sounds very much like yours, esp. the orange ice cream bar. added to that was the climbing of guava trees and reaching out for jamrool from our terrace with cousins. meeting friends and playing putul, esp. putul er biye and the feast ma would cook. and some rollicking ood time in mashir bari with cousins. the wee early hours of the mornings were filled with long bike ride with a friend and then gangar dhare hawa khete bosha :-)

    ekhon my days are just to taxi the dds around for their endless activities they are enrolled into. morning and evening every single day .. not a vacation for me. But we get 3 weeks rest, for we quit most of it at the end of july. looking forward to that time.

  15. looks delicious,.summer vacations,..umm dont ask ,...:-) reminds me of so mny things,..

  16. GOLDEN ICE CREAM? BHAGAT SINGH? Remember his khaki shorts and the crisp moush? OMG, Patna?

    Dudh diye lao aamaar Mum banaye, in fact all summer she used to make that and say - pet dhanda thakbe. Uff.

    My summer vacation pet peeve was one-page "handwriting" we had to do everyday as part of the "holiday homework". And I never did. And then on the last couple of days I had to make up. So you can well imagine what my "handwriting" looked like!

  17. Sounds like the perfect vacation :)

    I remember spending my vacations in my grandfather's house in that hot cauldron called Trichy - a sleepy little town in the deep South of India.
    Where a huge Black Rock reflected back the sun with all its heat and I roamed around in my knickers because of the power cuts. BUT there were ice cream parlours and an indulgent uncle used to send all of us cousins off for a tour of the parlours - imagine, parlour hopping in those days!!!

    And the local library called Hobby - we used to take 3 books per child, finish all 15 books in one day and then go back the next day for some more!

  18. Just one question please. For this recipe, Dudh diye lau, would it work if I used some other type of flour, like samo, shingada or rajgira, instead of the plain flour (I think you have used maida or all purpose flour)? I prefer to use gluten free flour whenever possible. Though I will try it with one of those & let you know how it turned out.

  19. @Anon
    I just used Maida/AP Flour. Anything to thicken the milk and imparting no extra taste


Thanks for your Comments. I hope you will be nice and not Spam.