Bottle gourd, opo squash or lauki is considered as a boring vegetable by a lot of people. So, I’ve got just the perfect dish for you to enjoy this veggie. This Bottle Gourd Curry recipe is really, really easy to make, flavorful and packed with nutrients too. Use a non-dairy yogurt to turn this Lauki Curry into vegan and enjoy it as a nutritious meal.
About this Bottle Gourd Curry
Lauki (bottle gourd or opo squash) is one vegetable that I simply love because its refreshing and cooling properties makes it a perfect fit for summers. Having a high-water content, nutritious and easy to cook too; I don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen to cook a lovely dish with bottle gourd.
From my mother’s recipe book, this Lauki Curry recipe is just that. It is one of my favorites, where the bottle gourd gets cooked in a base of coconut milk and yogurt. Hence, cooling for the body. This Bottle Gourd Curry is soothing and very light on the tummy.
The tempering that goes in this Bottle Gourd Curry is just of mustard seeds and cumin seeds. It can’t get simpler than this because these are two spices that are always available in an Indian kitchen. For the coconut milk, you can either prepare it at home or use readymade.
One change that I made in my mother’s recipe is that I substituted the dairy curd with a cashew curd, which also makes this Bottle Gourd Curry vegan. Pair this curry with steamed rice, a salad or pickle for a wholesome summer meal.
And if you still feel that the bottle gourd didn’t impress you yet, try this Lauki Kheer. You will definitely be bowled over with this delicious dessert.
How to make Bottle Gourd Curry
- Rinse, peel and chop the bottle gourd into small pieces.
2. Add 1.5 to 2 cups chopped bottle gourd, salt as required, ½ cup yogurt (plant based or dairy), 1 sprig curry leaves, 1 chopped green chili and 2 to 2.5 cups water in a pan. Mix very well.
You can even mix the curd first in the water and then add bottle gourd, salt, curry leaves and green chilies.
3. Stir and cook for 12 to 15 minutes on low to medium-low heat or till the bottle gourd is fully cooked.
4. Add 1 cup thick coconut milk and simmer for a minute. Don’t cook much as the coconut milk will curdle otherwise.
5. Prepare the tempering by crackling 1 teaspoon mustard seeds and 1 teaspoon cumin seeds in 1 or 2 tablespoons hot oil. Pour the tempering over the curry.
6. Stir and serve the Bottle Gourd Curry hot with steamed rice.
- The bottle gourd pieces will take about 12 to 15 minutes to cook in a pan without lid. You can even pressure cook the bottle gourd pieces first separately in water and then add to the curd and water mixture. Make sure to just cook them well without turning them mushy.
- It’s best to peel the bottle gourd when using for this recipe. Mostly bottle gourd is peeled when using in other recipes. There are many recipes in the Bengali cuisine which are made of bottle gourd peels.
- While adding the water, you can first mix the yogurt in the water well, then add the bottle gourd and other ingredients.
- You can substitute the bottle gourd in this recipe with yellow squash, pumpkin, butternut squash, ash gourd or even zucchini. If using zucchini or yellow squash, you can use with their peel on.
- You can increase or decrease the quantity of green chilies in the recipe as per your preferences.
- You can even prepare the tempering for this Bottle Gourd Curry in coconut oil.
- Make sure to not cook the coconut milk for a long time as it will curdle.
- You can use regular homemade dairy curd for this recipe. In that case, the recipe won’t be vegan.
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Bottle Gourd Curry (Lauki Curry)
- 1.5 to 2 cup chopped bottle gourd (lauki or ghia or dudhi or opo squash)
- 1 cup Coconut Milk (Thick)
- ½ cup yogurt (plant based or dairy)
- 2 to 2.5 cups water
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 green chili – chopped
- salt as required
- 1 or 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Making bottle gourd curry
- Rinse and peel the bottle gourd and cut into small bite size pieces. Taste and check if the bottle gourd tastes bitter. If bitter, then trash it and do not use.
- Add the bottle gourd pieces, salt, curd, curry leaves, green chilies and water in a pan. Mix very well. You can even mix the curd well in the water first and then add bottle gourd pieces, salt, curry leaves and green chilies.
- Stir and cook without a lid on low to medium-low heat for 12 to 15 minutes or till the bottle gourd pieces are fully cooked.
- Add the coconut milk and simmer for a minute. Don't cook much as the coconut milk will curdle otherwise.
- Heat oil in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds and allow them to crackle.
- Add the cumin seeds and fry for some seconds till the cumin seeds splutter.
- Pour this tempering mixture together with the oil on the bottle gourd curry.
- Stir and serve the Lauki Curry hot with steamed rice.
- Use fresh and tender bottle gourd. If the bottle gourd tastes bitter or sour, then trash them and do not use.
- Make the curry with homemade thick coconut milk or canned coconut milk.
- If making the recipe with dairy yogurt or curd, make sure it is made from whole milk. Using toned milk curd or low fat yogurt will result in the yogurt splitting.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Bottle Gourd Curry post from the archives first published on April 2013 has been republished and updated on 9 May 2022.