10 Indian Lauki Recipes That Are Perfect For Summer
Image Credit: Shutterstock

What makes bottle gourd one of the most important ingredients that Indians love to use during summer months? It definitely has to do with the fact that this nutrient-dense vegetable is in season during summers and it is very easy to digest. Because our metabolism slows down as the temperature rises, eating light and easily digestible dishes during summer is of vital importance. And bottle gourd, more popularly known as lauki, lau, doodhi and sorekkai in regional Indian languages, does provide all these benefits. 

But there’s more to the benefit of adding lauki to your summer diet. Not only are there hundreds of lauki recipes that are cooked up across India, but they vary in taste and flavour like night and day. Because lauki is neutral in taste, it easily transforms into an ingredient that is used in both savoury and sweet dishes. What’s more, there are plenty of snacks that are also made with this humble and versatile vegetable. 

Video credit: YouTube/Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana

So, if you are hoping to stay fit and healthy during this summer while enjoying a variety of traditional Indian dishes that are simply delicious, then here are 10 dishes that you could try out. 

Lau Bodi Ghonto

A simply spiced traditional Bengali dish, Lau Bodi Ghonto is a delicious bottle gourd dish. What makes the dish outstanding are the lentil fritters or Bodi. Usually made without any onion or garlic, this dish is sattvik and bound to have a cooling effect on your body. Mildly spiced with ginger, cumin seeds, turmeric powder and green chillies, the dish is sweetened with jaggery too. 

Lauki Dal

The combination of bottle gourd and lentils is simple, nutritious and delicious, and any North Indian will testify to this. Usually, Lauki Dal is made with chana dal or Bengal gram, but many people also make a lighter and more easily digestible—hence more summer compatible—version with moong dal too. Most Punjabis tend to make this a simple dish with a tadka of cumin and chillies, but many also choose to add more spices and a dash of ghee to make it more scrumptious. 

Lauki Bharta

Popular both in Punjab and Bihar, this simple bottle gourd dish is very easy to digest. Just like other Bharta recipes, this one calls for oven roasting or flame grilling whole bottle gourd. The skin is then removed and the lauki mashed and mixed with tomatoes, onions, chillies and coriander leaves to make a smokey and simple dish. The spices used are very mild too, including turmeric and cumin. 

Sorakkai Paal Kootu

Originating in the state of Kerala, Sorakkai Paal Kootu is a deliciously milky bottle gourd dish that looks as sublime as it tastes. Prepared with bottle gourd cooked in coconut milk, Sorakkai Paal Kootu is flavoured with a tempering of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, urad dal and grated coconut. Needless to say that this milky smooth dish is very easy to digest during summer months. 

Lauki Kheer

A sweet dish that is light, mildly sweetened and very easy to digest even in summer? Yes, that’s precisely what Lauki Kheer is. Skip the rice typically used in a Kheer recipe and use chopped bottle gourd instead, and you will get a dish that is much easier to digest despite the addition of sugar. Flavoured with cardamom and usually devoid of too many dry fruits, this Kheer version is a must-have during summer. 

Image credit: Shutterstock

Lauki Muthiya 

Popular in Gujarat and Maharashtra, Muthiya is basically a wheat-based dumpling that is steamed and then lightly fried with some tadka. Grated bottle gourd is usually added to this dish to make it softer and lighter. Apart from being a very healthy snack during the summer months, many people also make mildly spiced curry out of the dumplings. Have this Lauki Muthiya either way you prefer, or both if you want to make it in a large batch. 

Lauki Raita

Bottle gourd is easily digestible and great for your gut in summers, and so is yoghurt. Put the two together and you get a sublime and summery Raita called Lauki Raita. Making this one is the easiest thing in the world as the only thing that needs cooking is the grated bottle gourd, which can be easily done by boiling it. Add this to a bowl of whisked yoghurt, spices like cumin powder and chaat masala, mix well and serve. 

Doodhi Dhokli Nu Shaak

Dhokli Nu Shaak is a traditional Kathiawadi dish from Gujarat, and once bottle gourd or doodhi is added to it, the dish gets automatically elevated and updated for summer months. The Dhokli is usually made with gram flour or besan and then added to a curry made with tomatoes and chillies. It is to this curry that finely chopped bottle gourd is added to make the dish lighter. 

Sorekai Majjige Huli

Originating in the Mysore district of Karnataka, Sorekai Majjige Huli is a dish that combines the goodness of bottle gourd and yoghurt. Diced bottle gourd is boiled with salt and water, and then cooked with a special spice blend made of coconut, chana dal, asafoetida, green chillies and cumin. Yoghurt, mild spices and a tempering of curry leaves and mustard seeds is added to make this white-coloured delicacy. 


This traditional Nizami sweet dish from Hyderabad is not only cooked during summer months but also during major Islamic festivals. Prepared with soaked sago, basmati rice, grated bottle gourd, milk and condensed milk, this sweet dish is packed with roasted dry fruits. Often topped with edible silver foil or warq, Gil-E-Firdaus is a heavenly sweet dish that celebrates the flavours of bottle gourd.