Lauki Chane ki Dal is a healthy and simple curry /stew 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 is a regular in my home for weekday meals. You can have it with Rice or Chapatis, 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 Subzi(Bottle Gourd Curry)
Benefits of the Ingredients..
Lauki or Bottle Gourd is one of the most nutritious vegetables, that cools down the body, good for digestion, beneficial to stomach, skin, and kidney related disorders. It is a good source of vitamins like Vit C, B and has 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 subcontinent. 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 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 gourd. Flour of this lentil is used popularly known as Besan (Chickpea Flour), that is extensively used in Indian Cuisine for making desserts, snacks, curries, and flatbreads. For those living outside India, it is available at any Indian or Middle Eastern grocery store. Bengal Gram is also available at good grocery stores in US like Walmart or Hyvee.
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.
With the convenience of Instant Pot, I now make it in it also. Shall soon update Instant Pot method.
This is how I make this healthy Lauki Chane ki Dal..
Lauki Chana Dal
- 1 Cup Chana Dal(Split Bengal Gram Lentil)
- 1/2 Medium sized Lauki(Bottle Gourd)
- 1-2 Tomatoes(medium sized) can use tomato paste(1-2 tbsp)
- 1" piece Ginger(finely chopped or crushed)
- 3-4 cloves Garlic
- 1 Onion(small)
- 1/4 tsp Hing (Asafoetida) optional..for gluten free avoid it
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
- 1-2 Green Chillies optional as per the spice level required
- Chopped Fresh Coriander for garnish
- 1-2 tbsp Desi Ghee/Oil
- Salt to taste
- 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 from Dal, take fresh water in a pressure cooker, add dal and lauki pieces and put on medium flame.
- When the water starts boiling, remove the froth 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.
- Adjust the consistency of the dal by adding water. We like thick dal when having it with chapatis and a little thinner consistency when having with rice
- Meanwhile when the Dal is cooking in pressure cooker, finely chop onion, tomatoes and crush or very finely chop ginger and garlic.
- 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/Toor Dal (Pigeon Pea lentil curry) .
- 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 and then mix tempering in the 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. It will enhance the flavor and aroma of dal. Skip this step if you want low fat and less spicy dal/curry.
Stepwise pics for the method..
Serve hot with Chapatis, Paranthas or Steamed Rice. It's a perfectly balanced meal, ideal for summers and times when you want something light for lunch or dinner!! Add this Dal/curry to your menu if you have high sugar levels or cholesterol issues. It is good for weight watchers and suitable for vegans. To make it gluten-free omit Asafoetida.
Try out Chana Dal and Yam Kebabs recipe from the blog that uses the lentil and yam to make melt in mouth delicious kebabs or cutlets.
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