Lau or Lauki is a summer staple for us bongs. For others too since the markets and mandis seem to be flooded with it. Tired of making the same old dal-lauki dish, I got a bit adventorous and tried "Lau Ghonto", from my bible to bengali cooking: "Baro mashey tero pod" (Thirteen courses for twelve months" written by some one's great grandmother.
You will need:
Lauki: 1 (The one I had was about a foot long)
Daler bori: 5-6 (Lentil dumplings)
Cumin grains: 1 tsp
Bay leaf: 2
Green Chillie: 2
Coconut flakes: Half a coconut
Kabuli Chana: These are the small dark variety, soaked the night before
Milk: 1/2 cup
Atta: 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar: 1/4 tsp or less
How to or really what I did:
1. Peel the lauki and wash the gourd well.
2. Slice finely
3. Grate the cocounut
4. The kabuli chanas should be soaked the night before, but hey, I already had some
boiled ones left over in the fridge. Boiled channey stay well and are a handy
addition to salads.
5. Heat 1 tbsp oil to smoking in a kadai / wok.
6. Add the boris and stir. They will brown in a few seconds. Take them out and keep.
7. Add the cumin grains and bay leaf to the remaining oil in the kadai.
8. When the cumin grains start popping (which almost immediately), add the sliced
9. Add salt (about 1 tsp)
10. Add the sliced chillie. This is optional, but chillie does give a very nice flavour.
11. Add half cup water.
12. Cover, lower flame.
13. The lauki should be cooked (softened) in about 5 minutes. But it would still
14. Sprinkle some sugar...just a few grains really, add the grated cocounut and the
15. The water will dry up in a few more minutes.
16. While waiting for the water to dry up, stir 1 tsp of atta in the milk so that
there are no lumps.
17. Add it to the lauki.
18. Stir well and remove from flame.
19. Keep the lid on for a while, so that the milk is soaked well into the lauki.
20. Use a pestle to lightly grind the boris.
21. Sprinkle them evenly over the lauki and serve!
22. Best eaten with, as all things bengali, rice.
PS - So what was my shortcut? I didnt have coconut. And so I left it out. Tasted quite nice without it.