There are some vegetables that never make it to our favourites' list. Most gourds, especially the bitter gourd for obvious reasons, and also the bottle gourd for being so tasteless. DH is absolutely a non-fussy eater but gourds deter him too. When I tried out an experiment with the bottle gourd for my lunch, inspired by what our friend in Bangalore had made for us, it turned out so good, that it was entirely report-worthy and repeat-worthy. I made an effort to spare some for dinner, and when I gingerly served some to DH, he said - "Is there more of that??". That moment, the poor dudhi had recorded it's place in the annals of our household.
I must give due credit to an Andhra recipe which our friend had shared with me verbally. Since I couldn't recollect much of it, what went into this recipe, were ingredients thrown in by intuition, in my own approximations. The idea of dudhi in a thick gravy is her traditional recipe though.
Before I share this zero-oil, tasteful wonder with you, I must announce that a good friend Manasvi has started his own food blog called - From the Bachelor's Kitchen. As good ladies we must encourage a man's efforts in the kitchen, shouldn't we ;)
DUDHI / LAUKI KI SABZI
Bottle gourd in gravy - a zero oil recipe
Category: Vegetable, low-carb, zero-oil, diabetic recipe
Time taken: Under 15 minutes
Source: Adapted from a friend's recipe
1 small dudhi -peeled cut into cubes (to make 2 cups of cubes)
pinch of turmeric powder and asafoetida each, 1 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
2 red chillies - broken into small pieces
1 heaped tablespoon sesame seeds (white ellu)
1 tbsp tur dal
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp saunf or fennel seeds (substitute with jeera if you dont have this, but good to use fennel)
2 peeled garlic pods (optional)
1/4 Cup roasted peanuts
Coriander leaves for garnish
To prepare masala
Dry roast the ingredients - red chillies through garlic.
Once the tur dal turns golden, remove, cool and dry grind in small mixer with handful of roasted peanuts. If you dont have roasted peanuts, then first roast peanuts separately as it takes longer than other ingredients. Grind to a coarse powder, keep aside.
Heat 3/4 cup water in a heavy pan. Bring to a boil with turmeric, salt and hing. Add the dudhi cubes and boil for 5-7 minutes until the pieces are soft but retain shape. They may be some water left over, but do not drain it.
Microwave for 3 min on high
Add masala powder to the cooked gourd pieces in the same pan. On a low flame, mix the cooked gourd with the masala. The excess water will be absorbed by the powder. Add a little more water if necessary.
Check for salt and garnish with coriander. This dish with pair fantastically with chapatis or even dosai, may be even bread.
You wont miss the oil at all here, for the natural oils in sesame seeds and peanuts give it a rich taste
You can try this with any other squash or gourd, for eg. Zucchini
Bottle gourd is low-carb as are many others from this family, this makes an excellent diabetic recipe as well as a low-carber's recipe.
You can use the saved bottle gourd peels to make a chutney by sauteeing it with spices and dried lentils, and pulsing it in the blender.