Prawns with Bottle Gourd

[singlepic id=1897 w=120 h=40 float=left]Bottle gourd or Lauki, is often termed ‘boring’ or ‘Yuck’ besides other negative connotations often depending on the age of the speaker. However this much maligned vegetable is not only versatile but lends itself to all kinds of other foods both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, adding a unique dimension to its taste. For example, vegetarians have Lauki Vadi, a delicious mix of lentil vadis and bottle gourd. Kashmiris cook meat with gourd and it is also used in making Dhoodi ka Halva, a delicious, fragrant dessert which I would unabashedly list among my favorites.

This recipe combines the humble bottle gourd with prawns to conjure a delectable dish fit for a king.

You will need

  • ½ kg Prawns, shelled and de-veined
  • 1 kg Bottle gourd (lauki or dhoodi), peeled and cubed
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tbsps coriander leaves, chopped roughly
  • 2 whole red chilies
  • Oil and Salt according to taste

Method

  1. Heat oil and add whole red chilies to it.
  2. Add the chopped onions and sauté until it begins to turn golden.
  3. Now add the ginger and garlic pastes.
  4. Saute for a minute and add the dry spices with the salt mixed in ¼ cup of water.
  5. Saute once more until the oil separates.
  6. Add the tomatoes and saute further until the tomatoes are cooked and mashed with the masalas.
  7. Now add the cubed bottle gourd and mix thoroughly. Cook covered until done; if you are using a pressure cooker let it simmer for five minutes after the first whistle.
  8. Now add the prawns and cook for three minutes only. Over cooking will turn the prawns hard and rubbery.
  9. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and place on top the whole red chilies which were added in the beginning.

Vinny

a trained singer and an excellent cook. She has been cooking at home for the last 32 years and is now a restauranteur. An Army officer's wife, she has travelled the length and breadth of India and has been exposed to many of the numerous variations of Indian cuisine. She likes to experiment and is particularly fond of breakfast food and meats.