Malai Lauki Sabzi: Making Bottle Gourd Less Boring
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Bottle gourd or lauki as it is known in India, is often touted as a vegetable that is bland, tasteless and boring. Frequently used in home cooking, the vegetable is made into sabzis, curries, added to dals and even used to make kheer or halwa. On cooking, bottle gourd takes on a mushy texture that might not feel like the best thing to eat, but that being said, lauki is very good for health and helps in cooling down the body during the summers, due to its high moisture content.

This malai lauki sabzi transforms the overlooked vegetable into a creamy and delicious side that can be paired with piping hot phulkas for lunch or for dinner. Since the original recipe calls for fresh cream spooned off of milk that has been recently boiled, it has a fresh flavour that might be hard to replicate with cream that comes out of a carton. However, if that is all that’s available around you, don’t be nervous to go ahead and use it. You could also make a vegan version of this dish by swapping out the ghee in cooking with regular vegetable oil and the milk cream for ground cashew paste. Find a recipe that serves three, below.



  • 1 bottle gourd, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 3 tablespoons milk cream (doodh ki malai)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Handful of chopped coriander

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  • Heat the ghee in a kadhai and temper the asafoetida and cumin seeds. Once they begin to splutter, add the chopped onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until they turn translucent.
  • Add the turmeric powder followed by the diced bottle gourd and stir everything together. Season lightly with salt. Cover and cook without any water for 3 minutes on a low heat.
  • In case your lauki begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a tablespoon of water to deglaze. Stir in regular intervals and cook for an additional 7-8 minutes with the lid on.
  • Add the black pepper and milk cream once the lauki is fully cooked and adjust seasoning. Cook for a minute on a low heat and take the kadhai off. Garnish with lots of chopped coriander and serve with hot rotis or phulkas.