|1½ cups chopped Lauki (bottle gourd/doodhi)
|1/4 cup Chana Dal (bengal gram)
|1 medium Tomato, finely chopped
|1/4 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
|1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
|A pinch of Asafoetida (hing), optional
|1 small piece of Cinnamon, optional
|5-6 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped, optional
|3/4 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
|1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
|1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
|2 tablespoons finely chopped Coriander Leaves, for garnishing
|Salt to taste
|3/4 cup Water
|2 tablespoons Oil
- Wash and soak chana dal in water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, drain soaked chana dal and keep aside. Peel and cut lauki into small pieces.
- Heat 2-tablespoons oil in a 3-5 liter capacity aluminum or steel pressure cooker over medium flame. Add mustard seeds; when they begin to crackle, add cumin seeds, asafoetida, chopped garlic and a small piece of cinnamon. Sauté until garlic turns light brown.
- Add chopped tomato, red chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder.
- Stir and cook until tomatoes turn soft, it will take around 2-minutes.
- Add soaked and drained chana dal.
- Add chopped lauki and salt.
- Mix well and sauté for 3-4 minutes. This step is necessary to enhance the taste of the curry as the lauki cooks with spices in oil brings out the flavor.
- Add 3/4 cup water and mix well. Close the lid and pressure cook for 5-whistles over medium flame.
- Turn off the flame and let the pressure comes down naturally. Open the lid and taste the curry for the salt. If required, add more at this stage.
- If the cooked curry has too much gravy, cook it again for 2-3 minutes or until you get the desired consistency. Transfer prepared lauki chana dal sabzi to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
- To make simple Lauki ki Sabzi, do not add Chana Dal in step-4.
- Replace chana dal with moong dal in same quantity for variation. Wash and drain moong dal and add directly in step-5 (without soaking it).
- Add 1 small chopped onion in step-2 and sauté until it turns light pink for additional flavor.
- Replace bottle gourd with ridge gourd or pumpkin to prepare other varieties of this simple vegetarian dish.