Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Lau Chingri / Sweet Bottle Gourd With Shrimp

I had been a rebel for the last one year. I did everything that I could not do for the last 25 years of my life. In short...I broke every rule of my life...everything that I have maintained so far..to be a good girl, to make my life a good one.  One of the factors that made me do all these was the frustration of living alone in a god forsaken unknown country. I used to neglect my appetite, the household chores that needed my attention and mostly I neglected my health. Instead I used to sleep all day long.....one day I slept for almost 18 hours!!! I became unnecessarily irritated over small matters, and always wanted to crawl back home...where I would feel like being home and do something meaningful.

how to cook bengali style lau chingri

But now...a long vacation in India and a short trip in Dubai has made me all happy happy again. I am finally back to my normal self and doing all the things that I should have started doing a long ago.

how to cook bengali style lau chingri

Lau Chingri or Sweet Bottle Gourd with Shrimp is a lovely dish...which is both sweet and spicy at the same time. Done with minimum spices, Lau Chingri can be the star attraction of any meal. My sister and I can finish our whole lunch with just lau chingri. You can also substitute shrimp with "bori" to make it vegetarian, and it will be equally tasty.

Lau Chingri
Serves 4

how to cook bengali style lau chingri

  • 1 big bottle gourd - 400-500gm - grated
  • 1 tomato - chopped
  • 1/2 cup shrimps / 10-12 tiger prawns
  • 2 green chilies - silted
  • 1/2 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp panch phoron (mixture of cumin seeds, mustard seeds, nigella seeds, fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder or green chili paste
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp + 2 tbsp oil
  • Mix the prawns with salt and turmeric powder. Marinate for 10-12  minutes.
  • Heat oil in kadai / pan and fry the praws till they become firm and golden in color. Keep aside.
  • Now in the same kadai / pan heat the rest of the oil and temper with panch phoron.
  • Add the silted green chilies and saute for 5 seconds.
  • Put the chopped tomatoes, ginger and green chili paste and cook until they become mushy and starts to release oil. You will know the tomatoes are ready when they will not smell like tomato anymore.
  • Now add the grated bottle gourd.
  • Add salt, turmeric powder, cumin powder and mix well.
  • Put cover and cook until the bottle gourd is properly cooked. It will release a large amount of water, so be patient and cook till all the water evaporates. It will take some 15 minutes of time.
  • Now add the already cooked prawns / shrimp.
  • Add sugar.
  • Mix well.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  • Simmer for another 2-3 minutes and put the flame off.

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