1 small lauki (bottle gourd)- unpeeled, cut into cubes (to make 2 cups of cubes)
pinch of turmeric powder
pinch of asafoetida
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup water
2 red chillies – broken into small pieces
1 heaped tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp tur dal
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp saunf or fennel seeds (can be substituted with jeera)
2 peeled garlic pods (optional)
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
coriander leaves for garnish
To Prepare Masala
Dry roast the ingredients – red chillies through garlic. Once the tur dal turns golden, remove, cool and dry grind in small mixer with handful of roasted peanuts. If you don’t have roasted peanuts, then first roast peanuts separately as it takes longer than the other ingredients. Grind to a coarse powder, keep aside.
To prepare Subzi
Heat 3/4 cup water in a heavy pan. Bring to a boil with turmeric, salt and hing. Add the lauki cubes and boil for 5-7 minutes until the pieces are soft but retain shape. There may be some water left, but do not drain it. Alternately steam the lauki pieces and add to half the quantity of water with turmeric, salt and hing.
Add masala powder to the cooked gourd pieces in the same pan. On a low flame, mix the cooked gourd with the masala. The excess water will be absorbed by the powder. Add a little more water if necessary.
Check for salt and garnish with coriander. This dish will pair fantastically with chapatis or even dosai, may be even bread.
You wont miss the oil at all here, for the natural oils in sesame seeds and peanuts give it a rich taste. You can try this with any other squash or gourd, for eg. Zucchini