Is Lauki The Most Versatile Vegetable In Indian Cuisine?
Image Credit: Lauki

How can a green-colored gourd, which is primarily eaten in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, be considered one of the most versatile vegetables in all of Indian cuisine? Well, to know more about this, we need to go into detail about the Lauki.

It has acquired a bit a dodgy reputation as a sick person’s food, but lauki or bottle gourd can be surprisingly versatile. Lauki, or Laukki (Lagenaria siceraria), is a variety of bottle gourd that grows in plenty in Northern India. Lauki’s water content is said to have a cooling effect on the body and is a must-have in the hot Indian summers. Nutritionists are of the view that bottle gourds are one of the healthiest vegetables, as they are chock full of water, vitamins, and minerals that benefit our body. 

Lauki belongs to the cucumber family and grows well in warm and humid areas of the country. When cooked, it is a light vegetable, which is perfect for the horrible summer months, and it is also useful for weight loss.  

Interesting ways to use Lauki to make every day dishes

1.    Lauki kofta: A mild curry topped with koftas made from bottle gourd is dunked in a light tomato-based curry. The curry has a good flavor and a slight tang from the tomatoes. The koftas and the curry are delicious together.

2.    Lauki sabzi: This dish is quick and simple to prepare. You can prepare this lauki sabzi at home, by frying onions, green chilies, tomatoes, spices, and lauki. Then pressure cook them for 5–10 minutes. Enjoy them with hot rotis. 

3.    Laukithepla: an inviting, flavorful thepla made with bottle gourd. The theplas are simple to make and are ideal for breakfast or lunch tiffin. They stay firm and are therefore suitable for takeout or picnic food. The dough for thepla is mixed with flour, grated bottle gourd, and spices like red chili powder, coriander powder, and cumin. Eat it with some cold yogurt and pickles.

4.    Lauki paratha: a healthy whole-wheat flatbread made with bottle gourd, green chillies, and spices These lauki parathas can be eaten for lunch or as a tiffin snack or meal, in addition to being packed in a lunchbox. They do not contain the flavor of lauki, which is good for children who don't like to eat healthy vegetables.

5.    Lauki halwa: A sweet Indian dessert made with bottle gourd, milk, ghee, sugar, and cardamom and nut flavors. This recipe requires a little more time but is good to have in case you don't have ready khoya at home. 

6.    Lauki chana dal sabzi: This delicious, simple curry recipe made with bottle gourd and Bengal gram is perfect with rotis or phulkas. It's an easy and quick recipe that you can make at home.

7.    Lauki kheer: Even a novice in cooking can make this kheer using this recipe. Make sure to use fresh milk, pre-boiled milk, or pasteurized milk to make this kheer. The lauki should be tender and have no taste of bitterness.

8.    Goan dudhi bhaji: an easy, home-cooked lauki sabzi recipe that uses minimal ingredients The sabzi is lightly seasoned with green chilies and has a neutral taste. The sweet coconut added to it enhances the taste of the lauki.

9.    Lauki raita is a savory, refreshing, and simple condiment sauce made with bottle gourd, spices, and curd yogurt. This raita is cooling to the palate and may be eaten with pulao rice, biryani, or any Indian meal.

10.    Lauki curry: The light curry made with lauki, coconut milk, and yogurt is soothing and very light on the stomach. This recipe is really easy to make, flavorful, and packed with nutrients.

11.    Laukiyakhni recipe: Kashmiri pandits' cuisine doesn't use onions or garlic, so the laukiyakhni is fried bottle gourd slices in a light and aromatic yogurt sauce.

12.    Lauki soup is a thick, rich, creamy, and nutritious soup made with lauki. You may consume the soup with bread, rice, or as a starter, or you may serve it as a light lunch or brunch. 

Lauki is a versatile vegetable that is also very healthy and can taste really good with the right recipe. We have already discussed a few ways to make the most of your lauki, and now you can try out some delicious recipes with it. Serve these dishes with lauki as a snack, side dish, or as a part of any meal. It is best to steam or boil the lauki before you use it in any recipes.