08 October, 2008

Lauki-Channa Dal Masala: Original Recipe

Lauki-Channa Dal Masala

Bored and exhausted, that was me when I came home yesterday. Exhausted because of work load and little too close for comfort deadlines approaching at lightening speed. Bored because I was not in a mood to cook same dal or rasam to go with leftover rice cooling in refrigerator. I had an option of either ordering food from takeaways or opening a can of soup sitting on top shelf of pantry since Dark Age. That’s it then, oily takeaway food or canned soup for dinner.

Who am I kidding?! I would rather eat some fresh salad than actually order oily, unhealthy food from takeaway or forcefully stuff my mouth with soup from tin can. When I opened a fridge, I found small bottle gourd happily (err, may be not that happily as it was beginning to get all wrinkly) snuggled under packets of fresh herbs and had managed to hide itself quite nicely. Intensely staring at wrinkled bottle gourd on kitchen counter with both my hands on hips was how Krish found me when he came home. With in few mins we went over the list of possible recipes we had tried with bottle gourd and nothing seemed to fit into my day’s objective of cooking something simple and quick and something different from usual stuff.

Just when I was about to give up on cooking something new, I remembered tasting a curry made using Channa Dal and Bottle gourd at one of my friend’s home some decades ago. Although I had no idea as how it was made I went along with the idea of combining nutty split chickpeas with little sweet and watery bottle gourd. With in few minutes I had this recipe in my mind and I could almost taste the final dish. I soaked quarter a cup of channa dal in water to soften while I went on chopping the other vegetables. And by the time Krish finished roasting frozen chapattis; this delicious Lauki-Channa Dal Masala was ready to seduce our taste buds. It was light, mild, delicious, quick, simple and different; everything I wanted it to be. This is my entry for Lore’s Original Recipe event and also my second entry for this month’s My Legume Love Affair hosted by Sra and initiated by Susan.

Channa Dal, Bottle Gourd and Kasuri Methi for Lauki-Channa Dal Masala

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Dudhi-Channa Dal Masala (Bottle Gourd and Split Bengal Gram cooked with crunchy Onions and tangy Tomatoes)
Prep Time: 5-10 mins
Cooking Time: 15-20 mins
Serves: 3-5
1 medium Bottle Gourd (Approx 4-5 cups), washed, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes)
¼ cup Channa Dal/Split Chickpeas, soaked in water for 10-30 mins
1 medium Onion, thinly sliced
2 large/3 medium Tomatoes, finely chopped
1-2 Green Chillies, slit
½ tsp Jaggery/Brown Sugar (Optional)
1 tsp Garam Masala
½ tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tbsp Kasuri Methi/Dried Fenugreek Leaves
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
¼ tsp Hing/Asafoetida
½ tbsp Oil
Salt to taste
Lauki-Channa Dal Masala

Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and hing. When jeera starts to sizzle and turn light brown in colour, add sliced onions. Sauté on medium flame till they turn translucent, about 1-2 mins.
Mix in kasuri methi, slit chillies, garam masala and turmeric powder and sauté for half a minute. Now add chopped tomatoes and mix well. Let it cook for 2-3 mins till tomatoes become pulpy and releases its juice.
Add soaked channa dal, bottle gourd pieces, jaggery and salt to taste and mix well. Pour ¼-½ cup of water and cover the lid. Cook the curry on medium flame for 10-15 minutes on medium flame, stirring in between, till bottle gourds are cooked well.
Serve this delicious Lauki-Channa Dal Masala, garnished with coriander leaves, with Chapatti or Rice and enjoy.


  1. Ah, so you're still on your lauki trip? Excellent, I always look for ideas for that veggie. Thanks for the entry.

  2. I'd made something very similar... you're on a kasuri methi spree :-) I like how lauki adopts the flavour of the spice you put it in


  3. Lauki n Channa masala looks delicious...lovely colour..healthy too..

  4. This is a realy creative dish.
    Yeah We never order take aways simply because i always say one can makes the food oneslf and also it taste better and I know what i put in it. And not to mention i think it is cheaper to do at home.
    I have tried few times, take away and each time i moaned how horrible and oily it is.

  5. Sia, the curry is sure to give you a lot more energy to tackle those deadlines. If it looks this good to a non-bottle gourd person like me you can imagine someone who likes them :)

  6. The dish looks beautiful. Love the combo. Never used jaggery in such a dish before. I usually make this with toor dal, have a pic somewhere, never posted. Will try your method:-)

  7. New to be. I try not to cook bottle guard that often as i do not like it!but then my hubby likes it..so sure i can give this recipe a try!

  8. Glad that you came up with recipe. It looks so pleasing to the eyes and to the stomach as well. I can imagine the taste by the look of it!

    BTW, I tried your Goli Baje recipe and blogged about it today. Check out here:


    It was delcious. We all liked it so much. Thanks for such a yummy recipe Sia!

  9. lauki chana dal masala.. never tried this.. ur dish looks too delicious..

  10. Oh. My. Gosh.

    First, I love, LOVE your new blog design, its gotta be the best one out there!!! Love the colors!

    Second, ahh....the chanadaal-lauki....with kasturi methi! wow. Love it! Its so comforting to eat 'desi' food rather than canned/processed food. I'll take homemade comfort anyday!

    have a lovely evening ahead.


  11. Wow,you were able to come up with such a yum looking dish when your were exhausted..I am impressed :-)

  12. hey Sia! this is one of the staple curries for Gujaratis! we make this all the time, and its my hubby;s favorite!:)

    glad to know your loved the flavor too!:) your curry looks great!

  13. looks lovely, I posted the same today only I dont use kasturi methi.

  14. Ur lauki curry is better than can item or greasy take away! Great with roti or rice!

  15. Gorgeous photo ! I generally mash the chana dal after cooking so that it thickens the Curry and holds everything together as a thick sauce.

  16. even i put together this and that all the time, its so much fun, right? :)

  17. I like simple dishes.This dish looks absolutely tasty and i want to cook it as soon as possible.

  18. Cooking something yourself it's like getting a prize with each forkful isn't it? Especially when it looks as delicious as your dish ;)
    Thanks for sharing it with the Original Recipes Round-Up!

  19. We too make lauki similar to this Sia,Lovely click!

  20. great Sia, I love this curry very much. You have captured it beautifully.

  21. Love this lauki n channa, looks delicious!!!

  22. dear sia, Wish you a Happy Dassera!

  23. I like lauki only in koftas. This one tempts me because of the addition of chana dal! Looks tasty!

  24. Sometimes I think boredom actually comes from exhaustion - too much pressure and stimulation makes everything else seem dull.

    Glad the bottle gourd came through for you. Looks marvelous and so much better than take-out in every way.

  25. Thanks for this recipe! The jaggery and Kasuri methi added a lovely taste which I've not experienced with lauki before!

  26. Hii Sia,
    As all ur recipes this too is great!
    There's one suggestion..try using a paste of red chilli powder and garlic..i hope you will like it :)


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