When you want a simple tasty vegetable curry to be ready without much effort, this stew of bottle gourd, potatoes and tomatoes is your answer. Use a pressure-cooker and you save a lot on time too.
You can vary the quantity of the three vegetables in lauki aloo to suit your taste. I cook this with approximately the same amount of bottle gourd as potatoes.
- Bottle Gourd – 400 grams
- Potatoes – 2 large
- Tomatoes – 2
- Red chili powder – 1 teaspoon
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt – to taste
- Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Mustard or cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Asafoetida – a pinch
- Mustard oil – 2 teaspoons (1 teaspoon will do, but since this stew is low on other spices I like to balance it with the extra tang of mustard.)
Peel the potatoes and bottle gourd.
Chop the three veggies – potatoes, bottle gourd and tomatoes – into large chunks.
Heat mustard oil in the pressure cooker. When hot, add fenugreek seeds and mustard/cumin seeds. Within a few seconds, the fenugreek seeds will turn brown and the mustard/cumin seeds will have popped. Then add asafoetida powder and potato cubes. After 2-3 minutes, add turmeric and red chili powder.
Bottle gourd and tomato chunks go in next along with salt. Cook on high flame for another 2-3 minutes. The tomatoes will begin to turn mushy and the spices will have evenly coated the vegetables.
Add a cup of water to the pressure cooker and close the lid. Cook on high flame till one whistle, then set the flame to low. The time for which you need to cook further depends on the size and type of your pressure cooker. Mine takes one more whistle (approximately 4 mins).
Let the cooker release steam naturally. Serve lauki aloo with chapatis or rice, and a dry vegetable fry on the side.
1. I prefer to use either mustard seeds or cumin seeds, not both together. You could, if you like, add both at the same time.
2. If you use asafoetida as granules instead of powder, it should go into the hot oil before fenugreek + mustard seeds.
3. If you are not using a pressure cooker, a pan with a closed lid will work. It will only have to stay on the heat a while longer.