lauki yakhni or al yakhni is a dish from kashmiri pandit cuisine which does not use onion and garlic. lauki (bottle gourd or opo squash) and yogurt are the main ingredients that go in the making of this kashmiri dish of lauki yakhni.
in kashmiri language lauki is al and yakhni is a yogurt based sauce. hence the term al yakhni.
the yogurt sauce is flavored with ginger powder, fennel powder and some whole spices. this dish is not garnished with anything. i have used mint leaves just to add some color in the photographs.
i have adapted this lauki yakhni recipe from the handy pocket size book which i have. all the kashmiri & indian recipes i have tried from this book so far have been very good. i have already blogged two of the recipes – kashmiri dum aloo & sukhi arbi (spiced dry taro roots).
what i like about kashmiri vegetarian recipes is the ease of cooking. simple everyday ingredients with easy cooking method. the end result is a spiced or sometimes mildly spiced and aromatic dish like this lauki yakhni. this dish goes well with steamed rice or jeera rice or even saffron rice.
i served lauki yakhni with kashmiri pulao and onion-tomato raita. if you are a regular reader of my blog, you will see that i cook simple easy to make indian lunch or dinner meals. i usually cook a dal or curry with rice or rotis and a side vegetable dish paired with some salad or raita. sometimes there is a pickle or papad by the side. and on some days i make a lavish biryani recipe.
if you like bottlegourd or lauki, then do try this recipe of al yakhni. you can also make yakhni with cauliflower, bitter gourd (karela) and lotus stem. this dish is very good for the summers too.
al yakhni or lauki yakhni recipe below:
lauki yakhni recipe - fried bottle gourd slices in a light and aromatic yogurt sauce.
- 12 to 15 slices of lauki (bottle gourd or opo squash)
- 1 inch cinnamon (dalchini)
- 1 to 2 black cardamom (badi elaichi)
- ½ or ¾ teaspoon shahjeera (caraway seeds)
- ½ teaspoon dry ginger powder (saunth)
- 1 teaspoon fennel powder (saunf powder)
- 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
- 1 cup water
- ¾ or 1 cup curd (yogurt or dahi - dairy or vegan) - whisked till smooth (i used cashew yogurt)
- 1 or 2 tablespoon oil for frying the lauki slices
- 1 tablespoon oil for the yogurt sauce
- salt as required
- few mint leaves for garnish (optional)
- heat oil in a flat pan. pan fry the lauki slices till they are browned and cooked well.
- in the same pan or in another pan, heat oil. if there is leftover oil, then just add some extra oil to the same pan so that it becomes approx 1 tbsp oil.
- add the whole spices - shahjeera, cinnamon,black cardamoms and fry till the oil becomes aromatic.
- now switch off the fire and let the pan stand for 1-2 minutes if its very hot.
- add water.
- be careful when pouring the water as if the oil is very hot, the oil will splutter.
- let the water come to a boil.
- add the fried lauki slices, ginger powder, fennel powder, asafoetida and salt.
- simmer for 2-3 mins. slowly add the whisked yogurt and continue to stir while adding.
- simmer for 4-5 minutes or till the sauce thickens a bit.
- serve the lauki yakhni with some steamed basmati rice or saffron rice or kashmiri pulav.
step by step al yakhni or lauki yakhni recipe:
1: rinse, peel and slice the lauki in round slices. pan fry the slices in a few tbsps of oil.
2: fry till they get slightly browned from both sides and completely cooked. keep aside.
3: heat oil in another pan. add the whole spices – shahjeera/caraway seeds, black cardamoms, cinnamon. fry the spices till they become aromatic and release their flavors in the oil.
4: add 1 cup of water. be careful while adding water as the whole mixture can splutter. switch off the flame and then add water slowly. let the water come to a boil. add the ginger powder, fennel powder, asafoetida and salt. stir well. also add the fried lauki slices. simmer for 2-3 mins.
5: lastly add the yogurt and stir. simmer for 4-5 minutes till the sauce thickens a bit.
6: serve the lauki yakhni with steamed rice or kashmiri pulao or kashmiri biryani.