Here is a simple yet a delicious side dish made from lauki / Bottlegourd and split moong dal in a Bengali style. I learnt this dish from my mom with some slight variations. In many Bengali homes, this particular veggie is made in various methods in combination with bodi (dried lentil dumplings / vadi), prawns and fish head for the non.veg. version.
Bottlegourd is considered light on the stomach and instead of preparing on its own, addition of a little bit of fried moong dal and fried bodi enhances the flavour and also gives a slight crunch to the dish. I also love adding lots of chopped coriander leaves along with its stems and a tsp. of ghee to the end product.
I usually make this dish when I want something simple, yet healthy. Light on the stomach no doubt, it requires minimum of spices and best had with chapattis. It can also be enjoyed as a side dish with rice too. The use of mustard oil gives it an authentic Bengali taste and flavour.
- 1 medium size lauki (bottlegourd), chopped finely or grated
- 1/4 cup split moong dal (split green gram), dry roasted till light brown colour
- 1-2 tbsp. mustard oil
- 7-8 bodi / badi/ mangodi / fried lentil dumplings
- 1/2 tsp. panch phoron (equal quantities of fennel, fenugreek, mustard, cumin & nigella seeds)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 tsp. asafoetida
- 1 tsp. ginger, finely chopped
- 1-2 green chilies, chopped
- salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp. roasted cumin powder (opt)
- 1/2 cup coriander stems, chopped
- 1 cup coriander leaves, chopped
- 1 tsp. ghee (clarified butter)
Heat oil in a pan and fry the bodi till golden brown in colour. Drain and keep aside. Temper the same oil with panch phoron and bay leaves.
After it stops sizzling, add the asafoetida, ginger and green chilies. Saute for a few seconds.
Now add the lauki, salt, fried bodi, turmeric powder, cumin powder, roasted moong dal and coriander stems.
Cover and cook on low flame till the lauki turns soft and the moisture dries up. Water can be sprinkled at intervals if it sticks to the bottom of the pan.
When done, add the coriander leaves and ghee. Mix well and serve with chapattis or as a side dish with any rice-dal combo.