Lau Chingri (Lauki / Bottlegourd with Prawns) is a traditional Bengali homemade delicacy. The addition of Prawns cooked with Lauki and a medley of spices tastes simply delicious. This is my version of Lauki cooked with Prawns. This happens to be a hot favourite of any Bong. It tastes awesome with both rice or chapatti. For a vegetarian version, prawns can be substituted with bori / vadis / dried lentil dumplings.
- 750 gms. bottlegourd (lauki), grated / sliced
- 1/2 cup prawns, cleaned & deveined
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 2 green chilies, slit
- 1 tsp. coriander-cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
- salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 2-3 tbsp. mustard oil
- 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
- 2 bay leaves (opt)
- 1" cinnamon stick
- 2 green cardamoms
- 4 cloves
- 1 tsp. ghee (clarified butter)
- coriander leaves to garnish
- green chilies to garnish (opt)
Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a pan and fry the prawns till they change colour. Drain and keep aside. Heat the remaining oil and temper with cumin seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves and cardamoms.
After they stops spluttering, add the onions and saute till light brown. Now add the ginger-garlic paste, coriander-cumin powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and sugar mixed with a little water. Saute till oil separates from the sides of the pan.
Add the bottlegourd, green chilies and salt. Cover and cook on low flame. Water can be sprinkled if it sticks to the bottom of the pan.
When half done, add the tomatoes and the fried prawns. Continue to cook, covered till soft. Before removing off the flame, add ghee and mix well. Serve garnished with coriander leaves.
All the ingredients required for Lau Chingri.
Cut into half and scrape the skin off.
Slice finely and immediately immerse in water to avoid discoloration.
Heat 1 tbsp. oil and shallow fry the prawns for a minute.
Drain and keep aside.
Heat remaining oil and temper with cumin seeds and whole garam masala.
Then add the onion and saute till light brown.
Add the ginger-garlic paste and all the powdered spices (except salt)
mixed with a little water. Saute till dry.
Add the chopped bottlegourd, salt and slit green chilies.
Mix well and cook, covered on a low flame.
When half done, add the tomatoes and the fried prawns.
Cover and cook further till the bottlegourd turns soft.
Before removing off the flame, add the ghee and mix well.
Serve, garnished with coriander leaves and green chilies.