Lauki ka raita is an easy, refreshing, savory condiment sauce made with bottle gourd and curd (yogurt). Lauki raita recipe (ghiya raita) is cooling to the palate and can be served with pulao, biryani or any Indian meal.
Table of Contents
What is Lauki Raita
In the Indian cuisine, raita is condiment dip or sauce made from yogurt to which veggies, fruits and herbs are added.
Raita can be both savory or sweet. The savory version tastes mild, tangy and pairs greatly with spiced or spicy, biryani, pulao, kebabs or curries.
In fact a savory raita pairs well as an excellent side dish with some dal-rice or with a chapati-sabzi combination. A sweet raita can be eaten as it is – like a dessert.
Lauki is the Hindi name for bottle gourd, calabash or opo squash. Obviously lauki raita means raita made with this watery, juicy bottle gourd.
This raita recipe is pretty uncommon and not popular. Lauki raita recipe is usually made in Punjabi households. The recipe I am sharing with you is a family recipe.
Lauki is also known as ghiya in Hindi, dudhi in Marathi, Gujarati and calabash, opo squash in English. Another name for this raita is ghiya raita.
Lauki is a cooling watery gourd and excellent during summers. It is rich in nutrients and minerals. It is also easy to digest.
So any recipe made with bottle gourd is healthy provided you steam, simmer, sauté it and do not deep fry.
Mother nature blesses us with many veggies and fruits in the Indian summers. Watermelons, oranges, lychee, guava, amla, palm fruit, coconut, musk melon, sugarcane, mango, pomegranate, squashes, gourds, pumpkins (both white and yellow), cucumbers.
So do include these fruits and veggies in your meals to keep the body cool as well to replenish the nutrients in the body.
How to make Lauki ka Raita
Before you begin to make lauki raita recipe, there is some prep work – cooking lauki. I cover all the three method of cooking bottle gourd in my step-by-step guide – pan, pressure cooker and Instant Pot.
Cooking Bottle Gourd
1. Rinse, peel and shred or grate lauki (bottle gourd) – you will need about ¾ to 1 cup grated lauki. I used half of a medium sized lauki to make this raita. You can grate or shred with a food processor or a box grater.
TIP: Before you shred or grate, check the taste of lauki. If it is bitter, then discard.
2. Now take the grated lauki and add 1 to 1.25 cups water in a pan.
3. Stir very well and keep the pan on stove top.
4. Add ⅛ teaspoon salt.
5. Simmer and cook on medium-low heat until the lauki softens and is cooked completely. I have cooked the lauki in a pan, but you can steam or cook it in a stove-top pressure cooker or Instant Pot.
- Cooking in stove-top pressure cooker: Simply add 1 cup water, salt and grated bottle gourd in a 2-litre stovetop pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 5 minutes on the stovetop on medium heat. When the pressure falls on its own in the cooker, then only open the lid.
- Cooking in Instant Pot: Take the grated lauki, salt and 1 cup water in the steel insert of your IP. Pressure cook for 3 minutes on high pressure. Do a quick pressure release after 2 to 3 minutes.
Straining cooked lauki
6. Whether you cook the lauki in a pan, stove top pressure cooker or Instant pot, you have to strain it later.
Strain the lauki using a juice strainer or sieve. Collect the strained water in a bowl.
7. Press with a spoon so that all the water is extracted. You can also press the cooked lauki in your palms when the cooked lauki becomes warm or cools. Use the strained water to add to dal (lentils) or to veggie recipes or to roti or bread dough.
TIP: For a quick method, add the cooked lauki to a bowl of cold water. Then strain and squeeze them.
Making Lauki ka Raita
8. Whisk 1 cup fresh chilled curd until smooth in a bowl. You can use packaged curd but make sure it is not too sour.
9. Add the cooked lauki and ½ to 1 teaspoon finely chopped green chilies or serrano peppers. You can add ¼ to ½ teaspoon red chili powder instead of green chilies.
10. Combine well.
11. Add ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder, a pinch of garam masala powder (optional) and black salt. Stir very well. Substitute black salt with edible and food grade rock salt or regular salt.
12. Serve lauki raita immediately or refrigerate and serve later within a couple of hours. You can garnish with coriander leaves while serving.
In our family recipe, we don’t garnish with coriander leaves. Only for photographic purpose, I added some coriander leaves. But if you like you can add coriander or mint leaves.
- Rice recipes: Lauki raita does taste good with a pulao, veg biryani and even ghee rice.
- Lentils: Ghiya raita also pairs nicely with a side of dal tadka, masoor dal, moong dal or dal fry with some roti or steamed rice.
- Vegetables: You can even serve it as a dipping sauce with vegetable crudités and even snacks like pakoda or aloo tikki. As a side dish it tastes great with any North Indian vegetable dish or curry.
- Paratha: Any stuffed paratha tastes good with this ghiya raita.
Refrigerate the leftovers in a covered container only for a day. Lauki raita tastes best when freshly served.
- Lauki: Use tender lauki when making this ghiya raita recipe. Always taste test lauki before you use it. If it tastes bitter, then throw it away. Sometimes you may get lauki that takes a longer time to cook. In this scenario, simply cook the lauki for some more time.
- Curd: I always suggest homemade Curd for any raita recipe. If using packaged curd, then you can use whole milk or toned milk or low-fat curd. But make sure that the curd is not sour. You can also include greek yogurt or Hung Curd for this raita.
- Spices: The spices added to this recipe are roasted cumin powder which adds an earthy, nutty flavor. For some pungency and heat, I add green chillies. You can skip these if making raita for small kids. In place of green chillies, you can add red chilli powder or cayenne pepper. I also add garam masala powder, but you can omit it.
- Herbs: This is a family recipe and I have stayed true to it. We do not add any herbs like coriander leaves (cilantro) or mint. I have only added cilantro as garnish so that my photos looks pretty. But feel free to add them if you like.
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Lauki ka Raita
- ¾ to 1 cup grated bottle gourd (calabash, opo squash, lauki, ghiya) or 100 to 125 grams
- ⅛ teaspoon salt – for cooking bottle gourd
- 1 cup Curd (dahi or yogurt), chilled or 240 to 250 grams
- 1 to 1.25 cups water
- ½ to 1 teaspoon finely chopped green chilies or serrano pepper or ¼ to ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- 1 pinch Garam Masala (optional)
- black salt or salt, as required
Cooking bottle gourd
- Rinse and peel bottle gourd.
- Then shred or grate the lauki and keep aside. You can use a food processor or a box grater. Aim for ¾ to 1 cup of grated bottle groud.
- Now take the grated lauki and 1 to 1.25 cups water in a pan.
- Stir very well and keep the pan on stove top. Then add salt.
- Simmer and cook till the bottle gourd softens.
- Strain the cooked bottle gourd in a sieve. Press with a spoon so that all the water is extracted from the cooked bottle gourd.
- You can also press the lauki in your palms when the cooked lauki becomes warm or cools. For a quick method, just add the cooked lauki to a bowl of cold water. Then strain and squeeze them.
- Use the strained water to add to dal (lentils) or to any vegetable recipe.
Making lauki ka raita
- Whisk fresh chilled curd until smooth.
- Add the cooked lauki and chopped green chilies.
- Add the roasted cumin powder, a pinch of garam masala powder and black salt or regular salt.
- Mix very well.
- Serve immediately or chill (refrigerate) and serve later in a couple of hours. You can garnish with coriander leaves while serving.
- Rice recipes: Lauki raita tastes good with a pulao, veg biryani and with any flavored or spiced rice varieties.
- Lentils: It also pairs nicely with a side of dal tadka, masoor dal, moong dal or dal fry with some roti or steamed rice.
- Vegetables: You can even serve it as a dipping sauce with vegetable crudités and even with snacks like pakoda or aloo tikki. As a side dish it tastes great with any North Indian vegetable dish or curry.
- Paratha: You can serve any stuffed paratha with this raita.
- Refrigerate the leftovers in a covered container only for a day. Lauki raita tastes best when freshly made and served.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This lauki ka raita recipe post from the archives (April 2015) has been republished and updated on 18 Jan 2021.