Lauki Chane ki Dal is a curry is a healthy and simple curry of Bengal Gram lentil(Chana Dal) and Bottle Gourd(Lauki/Ghiya) cooked with onion, tomatoes, garlic and ginger. This is a complete meal in itself, with the goodness of vegetable and dal(lentil) and a regular in my home for weekday meals. You can have it with Rice or Chappatis, I even make Paranthas with it. A good way to feed Lauki to your kids and family who don’t like eating plain Lauki vegetable. For simple Lauki vegetable click on the link.. Lauki Ki Sabzi(Bottle Gourd Curry)
Lauki or Bottle Gourd is one of the most nutritious vegetables, that cools down the body, good for digestion, beneficial in stomach, skin, and kidney related disorders. It is a good source of vitamins like Vit C, B and also contains minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, sodium, manganese and magnesium. Outside India, it is available at Indian Grocery stores.
Chana Dal is one of the most popular lentils in Indian sub-continent. Chana is split and peeled Black Gram Chickpeas. It is one of the richest sources of proteins for vegetarians and has a low glycemic index. It is good for people who have high sugar levels or diabetes.It has slow fat content and also recommended for people who are on weight loss diets or are trying to lose weight.
Chana Dal can be prepared in many ways. As Dal or curry or in combination with veggies like spinach and bottle groud. It is also can also be roasted and eaten as a snack. The flour that is made from grinding this dal is used popularly known as Besan (Chickpea Flour), that is extensively used in Indian Cusine for making desserts, snacks, curries, and flatbreads. For those living outside India, it is available at any Indian or Middle Eastern grocery store.
Chana Dal takes time in cooking, it is better to soak it for 15-20 minutes before cooking it. I make in the pressure cooker to speed up the process, and then temper it with tomatoes, garlic masala.
This is how I make this healthy, gluten-free Lauki Chane ki Dal..
Chana Dal(Split Bengal Gram Lentil)–1 cup
Lauki(Bottle Gourd)– ½ medium size
Ginger(finely chopped or crushed)– ½ -1 Tbsp
Hing (Asafoetida)– ¼ Tsp
Cumin Seeds–½ Tsp
Turmeric Powder–½ Tsp
Garam Masala– 1Tsp
Red Chilli Powder–½ Tsp
Green Chillies–1-2 (optional)
Chopped Fresh Coriander– 1Tbsp (for garnish)
Salt to taste
Desi Ghee/Oil–1-1½ Tbsp
Wash and soak Chana Dal in enough water for at least 15-20 minutes. Dal becomes soft as it absorbs water. This cuts on the cooking time.
Wash and peel Lauki(Bottle Gourd) and cut into cubes.
Discard water and take fresh water in a pressure cooker, add dal and lauki pieces and put on medium flame. When the water starts boiling, remove the forth is formed and floats on the top.
Add turmeric powder and salt mix, put the lid on and cook on medium flame till 3-4 whistles. You can cook this dal in a saucepan also but it will take too long to cook. So if you are planning to cook it in a saucepan, soak the dal overnight or at least 5-6 hrs.
After 3-4 whistles, lower the flame and cook for another, 10 minutes. The cooking time also depends on the quality of dal. Sometimes it may take less time and gets too mushy and sometimes it takes little longer. If you are making this dal for the first time, I suggest, after 3-4 whistles, take the cooker off the flame, let the pressure subside and open the lid and check the doneness. Lentil should be soft but hold it’s shaped.
Adjust the consistency of the dal by adding water. We like thick dal when having it with chappatis and a little thinner consistency when having with rice.
Finely chop onion, tomatoes and crush or very finely chop ginger and garlic. You can also make this dal without onion and garlic as no onion-no garlic recipe, it tastes great with it also. Many times I don’t add onion to it.
In a pan, add ghee or oil. I make the tempering for dals(lentils) in desi ghee(Indian Clarified Butter). You can use any flavorless oil.
When the ghee heats, add cumin seeds, when seeds start spluttering, add finely chopped/ crushed ginger and garlic and saute for a minute. You can also add finely chopped 1-2 green chillies depending on your spice level. Many people add curry leaves in the tempering, I don’t add in this dal, love the flavor of curry leaves in Arhar Dal (Pigeon Pea lentil curry) that I make.
Add onion(if you are using it), saute till it turns light pink, add tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes get mushy and soft.
Add garam masala, and cook for another minute.
Add the prepared tempering to cooked dal. Mix nicely and let it cook for another 5-6 minutes so that the flavors of masala, infuse with dal.
Garnish with finely chopped fresh Coriander leaves.
If you want just before serving make the tempering of cumin seeds and red chilli powder in a ½ Tsp of ghee/oil and add to dal. I will enhance the flavor and aroma of dal. Skip this step if you want low fat and less spicy dal/curry.
Serve hot with Chappatis, Paranthas or Steamed Rice.I made some Methi(Fresh Fenugreek) Paranthas and Chass to go with it!! It’s a perfectly balanced meal, ideal for summers and times when you want to go light on stomach!! Add this Dal/curry to your menu if you have high sugar levels or cholesterol issues.
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