21 January, 2016

Khatta-Meetha Lauki Dal | Sapori Product Review and A Giveway

Learn how to make Khatti-Meethi Lauki Dal ~ One pot sweet and sour bottle gourd lentil soup

A week before the madness of Christmas holidays began, I received a large box of parcel from the Forma House, a UK based company specialising in unique home ware products sourced from around the globe. With all that running, organising and buying mini truckloads of presents for the family and friends, it was a pleasant surprise to receive something special during the festive season. The package contained two beautifully crafted pieces of Sapori Collection from the well-known brand La Porcellana Bianca; Sapori Potato Pot and the Sapori Casserole Pot in a beautiful shade of red. This post is about my experience of using this elegant cookware extensively in my kitchen for the last one month and also about how you can enter a giveaway to win this striking Sapori Casserole Pot worth £55!

I normally work with brands which are best fit for my blog readers and usually take couple of weeks to extensively test the products in my kitchen before posting an honest review as I don't believe in misleading the blog readers with false information. It has been little over a month since I started using the Sapori pots in everyday cooking and it was not difficult to fall in love with such beautifully crafted pieces of cookware. Both products came with very useful instruction manual as how to clean the product before using. The Sapori collection is created to meet the needs of people who are constantly looking for ways to enhance the flavours without compromising the nutrition quotient of food. It is designed for those who want to rediscover the joy and real taste of traditional recipes, whilst still being healthy.

The Sapori range boasts of combining Italian know-how in the field of cookware made with ceramic materials, with the very best cooking technology currently available worldwide. The cookware is made of HFSC (High Fire Stoneware Clay) coated with state of the art ceramic glazes and a non-stick double layer of Ultra CORFLON, Swiss technology, making them suitable for any type of cooking by direct flame and without the need of a heat diffuser. It is also suitable for using in the traditional oven, as well as in a microwave oven. The high fibre stoneware clay body with the ceramic glaze helps to retain heat and thus making it best suited for slow cooking on the hob. And that is definitely a plus for me as I prefer slow cooking the curries and gravies which makes the food taste better when all the flavours blend harmoniously. With its non-stick coating, the food doesn’t stick to the pan and makes it easy to clean every time after cooking.

Sapori collection is excellent cookware for health conscious people who prefer less oil in cooking or oil free recipes. The high fibre stoneware clay body with ceramic glaze and double layer non-stick technology allows the even distribution of heat while cooking making it perfect for Indian cooking, especially when making the Bhuna paste which takes longer time to cook.

I have always been very particular about choosing quality cookware for my kitchen which serves well for long time. As I truly believe in the magic of slow cooking, I was pleasantly surprised to find Sapori products a perfect fit for my Indian kitchen, especially when making slow cooked dishes like Dum Aloo, Rajma, Dal and many other recipes. With its snug fitting lid, you can be sure that all the nutrients are retained during the long cooking process. The round pot helps in even distribution of heat by circulating the steam around the pot and also makes sure that the food doesn't burn and stick to the bottom of the pan.

My only complaint is that the handle is bit too small in Sapori Casserole making it bit clumsy to hold on to when there is lot of stirring to do. Also the Sapori range can be used only on gas hobs may put off some people. Overall this is an elegant cookware which can double up as a serve ware, straight from hob or oven to table. Although it is not dishwash safe, the fact that it requires little elbow grease to clean is still a plus. This beautiful cookware with its snug fit lid is oven safe too and hence is perfect for any Dum-Phukt cooking style. The Sapori Potato Pot is not only good for cooking the whole potatoes for mash and curries, but can also be used to make hearty soups and dals.

The Sapori range includes a casserole dishes and pots, potato pots, small frying pans and tagines. The prices start at £5 for 12cm casserole dish upto £60 for a 30cm tagine dish. Considering the quality of the cookware and its usefulness, I do recommend it if you like your dum style slow-cooked rice, dals or curries. The Sapori range is elegant piece of cookware to own and adds oodles of charm to any kitchen. You can check and buy the entire Sapori range from www.formahouse.co.uk and from selected UK retailers.

This giveaway is closed and the winner of Sapori Casserole Pot is VK. Congratulations, VK! Can you please send me contact details to siakrishna[at]gmail[dot]com

Disclaimer: Please note that this is not a paid post and I was not paid or told to write positive review. The post is based on my experience and is unbiased. Thanking Forma House for sending Sapori Potato Pot and Sapori Casserole Pot for extensive product testing and reviewing.

Now coming to the recipe part, I have this delectable recipe of Khatti-Meethi Lauki Dal for you. As the name suggests, this creamy dal has the tanginess of lime juice and tomatoes and the sweetness of jaggery harmoniously blended with the peppery taste of coriander leaves and a kick of spice from ginger and green chillies. Those who are familiar with the Indian food will know that the lentils are an everyday part of our meals in every season. There are numerous ways to prepare this comfort food; with different cooking methods, different ingredients and also different ways of tempering them. The ingredients can vary depending on the use of seasonal greens and vegetables and sometimes by simply leaving out adding any vegetables to make a simple tadka dal. Also as I mentioned above, the tempering vary as some temper it with just cumin seeds and some like to use mustard seeds in the tadka. Some like to add garlic and onion in the tempering and someone who is following Satvik way of eating will opt to leave them out. Every family has its own version, a twist or two up their sleeves making it very unique from others.

The Khatti-Meethi Luki Dal recipe I have today uses tender bottle gourd with peels, making it a hearty, nutritious and comforting bowl of deliciousness! You can simply skip the gourd/squash or replace it with any other gourds of your choice or seasonal availability and still end up with a pot of lip smacking goodness. There are no set rules for making Indian dal; a pinch of this and a handful of that will give a delicious pot of comforting dal. You can serve it on its own as a comforting bowl of soup or pair it with rotis or plain steamed rice with a dollop of ghee and pickle and experience how it warps you in its warmth like a mother’s hug. This golden hued Khatti-Meethi Lauki Dal is hearty, bold and completely satisfying to kick away any gloominess or miseries of life and lift your spirit even on the bleakest days!

Khatti-Meethi Lauki Dal (One pot sweet and sour creamy bottle gourd lentil currysoup)
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 20 - 35 mins
Recipe Level: Easy/Beginner
Spice Level: Low to medium
Serves: 6-8 people
Shelf Life: Best served fresh but can be refrigerated for upto 3 days and frozen for a month
Serving Suggestion: On its own as a soup or with plain rice or with roti or any Indian flat breads

2 cups Toor Dal/Split Pigeon Peas, I have used unpolished toor dal
1 small or approx. 4-5 heaped cups tender Lauki/Dudhi/Bottle Gourd, ends trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes with peels
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
2 medium Tomato, roughly chopped
1 – 1½ tbsp. Jaggery/Brown Sugar (Adjust as per taste)
1 cup Fresh Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
Juice from 1 fresh Lime (Adjust as per taste)
Salt to taste

For the Spice Paste:
1 inch Ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
3-4 large cloves of Garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2-3 Green Chillies, stems removed and roughly chopped (Adjust as per taste)
A generous pinch of Salt
1 tbsp. Oil or Ghee

Spices Used:
1 tsp Haldi/Turmeric Powder
½ tsp Garam Masala
1 tbsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves/Kasuri Methi (Optional, but recommended)

For Tadka/Tempering:
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
2-3 Dry Red Chillies, halved
½ tsp powdered Hing/Asafoetida
½ tsp Red Chilli Powder/Paprika
1 tbsp. Oil or Ghee

  1. Wash the toor dal 4-5 times until the water turns clear. Soak it in 7 cups of water and keep it aside until needed.
  2. If using tender bottle gourd, leave the peels on to retain the flavour and nutrition intact. Trim the ends and cut them into 1 inch cubes and keep it immersed in a bowl of water to prevent it from discolouring. Keep it aside until needed.
  3. Chop the onion, tomatoes and coriander leaves and keep them aside.
  4. Crush the roughly chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies with a generous pinch of salt using pestle and mortar or spice grinder to smooth paste and keep it aside.
Proceed to make Dal:
  1. Heat oil or ghee in a heavy bottomed pan or a pressure cooker on a medium flame. Add finely chopped onion and fry them on medium flame until translucent, about 2 minutes.
  2. Mix in ground spice mix and give it good stir for a minute or two until the raw smell of garlic disappears.
  3. Next add the chopped tomatoes and turmeric powder and cook them until the tomatoes turn pulpy and releases its juice, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the toor dal along with the water in which it’s soaked. Mix in jaggery and increase the heat to high and bring the whole mixture to boil. Skim off any skum that rises to the top.
  5. Once the dal comes to a boil, add cubed bottle gourd and half of chopped coriander leaves and stir them well. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover and cook the dal, 3 whistles in a pressure cooker and around 20 minutes in a heavy bottomed pan or until the dal is cooked through and easy to break when pressed between fingers. Switch off the gas.
  6. If using the pressure cooker, wait until the pressure is completely subsided or released before opening the lid carefully. Bring the pan back on the flame on medium flame. Add more a cup or two of water if you find the dal too thick. Crush the kasuri methi, if using, with fingers along with garam masala and salt to taste. Let the dal come to a gentle boil.
  7. While the dal is cooking, prepare the tadka by heating a tbsp. of oil or ghee in a small tadka pan. Once hot, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and dry red chillies. Swirl the spices around to infuse the oil with their flavour. Add hing when the mustard seeds pop and splutter and stir it for couple of seconds. Transfer the prepared tadka to the cooked dal and mix them well.
  8. Finally switch off the flame and mix in freshly squeezed lime juice and remaining finely chopped coriander leaves. Cover and let it rest for atleast 10 minutes for all the flavours to blend harmoniously.
  9. Serve this divine Khatti-Meethi Lauki Dal with plain rice or any Indian flat bread. I like mine on its own served in a large soup bowl! Enjoy every single spoonful of this protein rich nutritious goodness!

Sia’s Notes:
  • You can skip adding the bottle gourd in this dal or simply replace it with any other gourds/squash, green leafy vegetables like spinach, fenugreek leaves. You can also throw in couple of cubed carrots, French beans or moong sprouts for highly nutritious meal.
  • The cooking time varies depending on the cooking methods, the age and types of lentils, etc. Cooking on a pressure cooker is the easiest and fastest way to cook them, followed by cooking in a thick bottomed pan with a snug fitting lid to retain the nutrients.
  • You can peel the skin of bottle gourd if they are not very tender and have thick skin. I have retained the peels as I find them tastier and healthier.
  • Add the lemon or lime juice once the dal is cooked and after you remove it from the hob. Adding the lime juice while cooking will make the dal taste bitter.
  • Be generous with the coriander leaves as it adds a wonderful flavour to the finished dish.
  • Personally I prefer using ghee in the tadka or tempering as it takes the dal to another level in terms of taste and aroma. You can replace the Desi ghee with any oil to make a vegan version.


  1. The pictures look sooo comforting! :) so perfect and cozy for this snowy winter wonderland!!

  2. The pictures are gorgeous completely bringing out the red and the usage of the cooking vessel. I always like participating in giveaways and competitions. I would love to cook Dum biryani and chicken stew in the Sapori pot.

  3. Beautiful! I see another Indian dinner party in my near future!

  4. tweeted with @MeetSia and @FormaHousehttps://twitter.com/sjd_c/status/690257245498572801

  5. also included forma house in the tweet

  6. This pot would be perfect to cook my roasted/smokey Renghan Bharta with spinach, my mouth is watering at the thought of it :)

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. I would like to make my butter bean, mushroom & herb dumplings casserole in the pot, yummy!

  9. I would love to make my butter bean, mushroom and herd dumplings casserole in this beautiful red pot!

  10. I don't know too many dishes with lauki. Kofta is always my first go. But simple daal with that gorgeous tadka is tempting me so much. Perfect for the season too!

  11. A steaming hot Kerala Sambar.....yummy!

  12. I'd try your recipe here first probably! It looks delicious!

  13. I am not eligible for the giveaway but I wanted to mention how cute those bowls are with the pot.

  14. Beautiful photography Sia, fell in love with these pots. A simple Dal has taken a most interesting look with your amazing photography. I can think of hundred ways to use them for one pot meals. Love to participate in your give away

  15. Hi Sia,
    I tried this recipe yesterday for dinner and my (very) picky 5 year old gulped down two bowls of the dal! Normally getting anything new into her is very big challenge! Totally love this recipe! and will be making it again and again!Thank you for this great recipe!

    1. Anika, your feedback just made my day :) Thank you! Being a mother of 5 year old, I know how on few occasions the dinner table can become a war zone in a blink of an eye. So it always brings great joy to me when I hear from parents as how much particular recipe is loved by the kids.

      P.S: This is my 5 year old son's favourite recipe as well :)

  16. What a wonderful giveaway! And what a great recipe! The pot looks perfect for making dhal - it looks a great soup pan too. Think I may use it to make a hot and spicy sambar!

  17. We made a special trip to Patel's Indian market here outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the US for all of the less common ingredients. It's on for dinner tomorrow night and we are all very excited! I would love to participate in the giveaway, the cookware looks amazing. Hopefully they will consider sending it to the US.

  18. The pot looks so cute and the lovely steaming dal in it makes the dish look all the more appetizing. I love your photography Sia, it is just classic!

  19. I would like to make Shakshouka in this pot. Its too damn cute :)

  20. I would love to get my hands on this beauty n that divine Dal..

  21. I would love that ..my fav color n that Dal looks divine

  22. Wonderful pictures Sia. Loved your recipe for lauki too. I love participating in giveaways. These casseroles will be handy in my meal preps especially when I and my husband have started cooking for the wider community and raising funds for the farmers in India who at present are facing the rude brunts of natural calamities .

  23. Hi. An interesting lentil preparation for the Sopori pot. As a blogger and as an Indian cook who does a lot of slow cooking, I know the pot is very useful. I would love to try Jackfruit Biryani and Dum Arvi from my blog in it.

  24. Tweeted abt the giveaway for your twitter id and formahouse too

  25. These kinds of casseroles will probably be helpful within my food preps specially when My partner and i and also my better half have got started out food preparation for your larger local community and also elevating resources for your farmers inside Of India which currently are usually going through the particular rude or obnoxious brunts regarding normal misfortunes.


Namaste! I am Sia and welcome to Monsoon Spice, my virtual home. Thank you for all your comments, inputs and feedback. I really appreciate the valuable time you spent browsing through my recipe repertoire.

I hope you have found what you are looking for today. Feel free to leave any questions or queries you have on the recipes posted here. If you have any recipe requests, please drop a line at Ask Sia page. I will try to respond to all your queries as soon as possible to best of my knowledge.

I welcome all your valuable inputs and constructive criticism as long as it is meant to help and improve the blog. I reserve the right to delete any comments that are rude, abusive, written with the intent to advertise, contain profanity or considered spam.

I hope that you will stop by again to read my rants, learn new recipes and share your ideas. Have a good look around and enjoy your time here. Thank you once again!