Today is not really a day to write about Lau. I have my sniffles. The temperature is more like Fall than Summer. There is no way that I need a vegetable to cool me down. I am cold already. But this recipe had been cooked and written way back in the heat of summer. With the surfeit of Lau in my blog around that time, I probably gave this a miss.I better post it I thought before the temperature drops further and eating bowlfuls of hot soup in warm jackets make much more sense than eating a lauki.
The lauly thoughts that both my daughters are having these days also pushed me to be done with all lau recipes for this year.
Couple days back, I was home with LS. The big sis was in school and we were supposed to go and drop off something at her school.
On the way to school LS said : Ami Didi ke shobcheye bhalobashi(I love Didi most)
Me, with a flutter in my heart: Ar amake ? (And Me?)
LS confidently : Tomake Medium !!
I did not dare to ask her to elaborate on this further. It was only a month back that she suggested that I live in a separate house and she would come and visit me only in the evenings. She had tried to assure me that it would be just fine and she would play hide and seek when she came by. You might be wondering about my maternal traits and what I do to that child but trust me I am okay and not really all that bad.
Honestly reading a lot of Mom blogs I often have futile hopes that the girls will spout niceties about me which I can put on proud display here. That apparently is not happening.
But I will keep at it for looks like there is hope lurking somewhere.
Big Sis did have something nice to say about me by the way. For their Back to School night they were to write an autobiography. And on that night, we, the parents, were supposed to read it. Big Sis had "smart, nice and hard working" for her Dad and for me the adjectives were "nice" and "luminous". Now clearly I had expected something more than just plain nice; I love words like fabulous, awesome etc. as adjectives.But it was the luminous that actually threw me off.
Me: Why do you think I am luminous ?
BS: Errr...because you are bright.
Ahem. With the scarcity of compliments around here I will grab anything that comes my way.
Now to the Moog Dal Chora diye Lau which is very different from Lau diye Moog Dal.
Confused ? Con-foo-sed ?
Well in the latter, that is in Lau diye Moog dal, the dal plays the main role and the bottle gourd is just an add on. The recipe for that kind of dal is almost similar to the Tetor Dal , yellow moong dal cooked with bitter gourd and lauki, in our home.
In the former it is the bottlegourd--the lauki--which makes the dish with the dal complementing it. The Moog Dal er Chora means a sprinkle of Moog Dal which accentuates the dish but you can really call it by any other name and increase or decrease the proportion of lentils. Some homes use very little moog dal, literally a sprinkle and cook it along with the gourd while my Mother makes it this way. My Ma makes both of these very often and we like the Moog Dal Chora diye Lau a lot around our home.
Wash and peel lau/lauki/bottlegourd. Chop in thin cubes. I had almost 4-5 cups of chopped, cubed lau
Roast 1/4 cup of Yellow Moong dal for couple of minutes till 50% of the lentil turns brown. You will know with the warm nutty smell that it is done. Careful and don't burn the dal.
Cook the dal with about double the water in a pressure cooker. 3 minutes on full pressure.
If cooking in a pan start with 1 cup of water but you might need to add more later. It takes almost 25-30 mins to cook the dal on stove top. The dal should be almost cooked with the lentils separate and a little bite remaining. Also the sabzi is a dry one so the cooked dal should not have any water.
While the dal is cooking start with the bottlegourd.
Heat 1 tbsp Vegetable oil in a kadhai/saute pan.
Temper the Oil with
a slim 2" cinnamon stick,
2 green elaichi,
1 tej patta,
2 dry red chili
When the whole spices starts popping add 1/2 tbsp of freshly grated ginger. Follow soon with a paste of
2 tbsp of pureed tomato or half of a tomato chopped
2 tsp of Cumin Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
Fry the masala for 4-5 minutes and then add the chopped lau aka bottlegourd.
Add about 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder and mix well with the masala.
Add salt to taste.
Add a couple of green chili slit through.
Let the bottlegourd cook. It will release a lot of water but don't panic, let it cook with some quick stirs in between.
When the bottle gourd is almost done check the dal. The Dal should be almost done now. Add the dal sans any water to the gourd. Mix well and let it cook together.
Check and adjust for salt. Add about 1/2 tsp of sugar and a touch of ghee. When both the lau and the dal is fully cooked switch off the heat and garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves.
Type rest of the post here