Friday, May 6, 2016

Lau Kakra / Bengali Bottle Gourd Curry with Crab

We are all more or less accustomed with Lau chingri in a way or other. It’s the most preferable recipe of mine on the days of cooking with bottle gourd. Mostly because I was never and still am not much a fan of veg recipes. So when I came across with this subtly spiced bottle gourd recipe of Lau Kakra, I did not think much.

easy and simple bengali bottle gourd recipe and preparation Lau Kakra recipe / Bengali Bottle Gourd Curry with Crab recipe with step by step with pictures

Crabs are readily available here in Abidjan from any fish sellers, so buying just some pieces of them was not much of a hassle. And the vegetable lady who comes by our flat every Saturday made me buy a bag of bottle gourd, saying that they are good and sweet and not old.

easy and simple bengali bottle gourd recipe and preparation Lau Kakra recipe / Bengali Bottle Gourd Curry with Crab recipe with step by step with pictures
Fry the crabs until orange from outside.
easy and simple bengali bottle gourd recipe and preparation Lau Kakra recipe / Bengali Bottle Gourd Curry with Crab recipe with step by step with pictures
Temper the rest of the oil with panch foron.
easy and simple bengali bottle gourd recipe and preparation Lau Kakra recipe / Bengali Bottle Gourd Curry with Crab recipe with step by step with pictures
Add onions and cook until golden from the edges.
easy and simple bengali bottle gourd recipe and preparation Lau Kakra recipe / Bengali Bottle Gourd Curry with Crab recipe with step by step with pictures
Add ginger -garlic paste and saute to ward of the pungent garlic flavour.
easy and simple bengali bottle gourd recipe and preparation Lau Kakra recipe / Bengali Bottle Gourd Curry with Crab recipe with step by step with pictures
Add the cooked bottle gourd and add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and ground dry roasted cumin and coriander powder. Cook them until dry.
easy and simple bengali bottle gourd recipe and preparation Lau Kakra recipe / Bengali Bottle Gourd Curry with Crab recipe with step by step with pictures
Add the kept aside boiled bottle gourd water and fried crabs and simmer until the curry thickens.
So there I was, folding up my sleeves to get into the battle. When it comes to traditional recipes....I don’t like experimenting with them. I like them the way they had been passed along the families for generations. So when everyone is busy making a modern day versions of every other traditional recipes, I just like to stick to the original one. May be someday...when I am experienced enough I can do my own version, but till then I will always trust my instincts.

easy and simple bengali bottle gourd recipe and preparation Lau Kakra recipe / Bengali Bottle Gourd Curry with Crab recipe with step by step with pictures

Lau Kakra / Bengali Bottle Gourd Curry with Crab
Serves 4

easy and simple bengali bottle gourd recipe and preparation Lau Kakra recipe / Bengali Bottle Gourd Curry with Crab recipe with step by step with pictures

Ingredients:
4-6 crabs
1 large / 2 medium bottle gourd – peeled and grated
1 small onion – chopped
3-4 garlic cloves – minced / paste
½ inch ginger – paste
½ tsp panch foron / Bengali five spices
2 dry red chillies
1 tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp ground dry roasted cumin and coriander powder
Salt
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp mustard oil

Method:
Take the grated bottle gourd in a cooker and add some water and salt to it. Pressure cook it until the cooker blows 2 whistles. Once done, put off the flame and keep the cooker aside to let the steam pass. Then drain the cooked gourd and keep that water aside.
Heat oil and fry the crabs until they become orange from outside. Take them out of the pan when they are done.
Temper the remaining oil with panch foron and dry red chillies.
Saute them for half a minute and then add the chopped onions to them.
Cook the onions till they are lightly golden from the edges.
Then add the ginger Рgarlic and chilli paste and saut̩ for another 1 or 2 minutes or until the raw garlic flavour is gone.
Then add the drained and cooked gourd to it.
Cook the gourd in that masala for 5-7 minutes.
Next add the water and crabs in it.
Also add in the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and ground cumin and coriander powder, and simmer until the gravy thickens.

Taste and adjust the seasonings and put off the flame.

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