Good Gourd! (Making lauki taste good)

(pic courtesy:

(pic courtesy:

This one’s for my new saheli Karishma Rajani whose appetite for life is equaled by her appetite for good food and new recipes. The protagonist of this recipe is the often disliked lauki (also called ‘doodhi‘, the english name for which is bottle gourd). I’d go as far as saying that this recipe – Koota – is the perfect PR agent for the veggie. It not only makes the lauki look good but taste good. The credit for this goes to an anonymous person who came up with the first ‘koota’. But I want to thank my maternal grandmother, my Amama who passed this on to me. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve made koota at home. It helps that it doesn’t take time to make and that my husband laps it up each time.

The preparation time is 5 minutes, cooking time is about 20.

All you need is..

1 lauki (bottle gourd)
2 tablespoons moong daal (golden gram)
1 teaspoon rayi (mustard seeds)
1 teaspoon jeera (whole cumin seeds)
1 green chilly slit
1/2 teaspoon haldi (turmeric)
a pinch of hing (asafoetida)
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon jeera powder (cumin powder)
1 teaspoon dhaniya powder (coriander powder)
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
a dash of lime
a fistfull of freshly chopped coriander leaves

And here’s how you do it..

  • Soak the moong dal in a katori of water.
  • While the moong soaks, chop up your lauki into lil cubes
  • Heat the oil in a kadai. Add the rayi, jeera, slit green chilly, haldi, hing, salt and sugar
  • Turn to the moong dal now. Strain it (don’t throw away the water as it has plenty of nutrients in it, use it in your daal or another dish later) and add the moong to the kadai
  • Stir fry the moong in the masala for half a minute, before adding in the lauki pieces. Stir briskly.
  • Pour in the water, enough to submerge all the lauki. Put the lid on your kadai.
  • Let it cook on a medium/high flame. Stir occasionally.
  • When the lauki has absorbed 90% of the water (the dish should have a bit of gravy), add in the powdered jeera, dhaniya and pepper. Stir and cook for another minute
  • Switch off the stove. Garnish with coriander leaves and a dash of lime. Serve immediately. (If you’re not serving it immediately, add the lime just before you do)
    Tastes good with both rice and rotis.

I’m afraid I don’t have a picture of Koota to share. I will take pictures and upload them here the next time I make koota.
If you try this recipe, please share your experience.

Bon Appetit


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Meera Jamalabad
    Apr 19, 2013 @ 10:17:54

    Thank you dear Namrata for sharing this recipe,I”m looking fwd to adding variety to cooking doodhi now . meerapachi

    Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2013 04:28:32 +0000 To:


  2. Tracy
    Apr 23, 2013 @ 11:34:01

    doesn’t the moong dal take more time to cook than the lauki?


  3. Namrata Kilpady
    Apr 23, 2013 @ 15:28:58

    Tracy: Hello. No the moong doesn’t take long to cook, pre-soaking it softens it quite a bitt and it’s such a small quantity (2 tbsps) that the cooking time for the dish is enough. the moong should have some bite to it when you eat it.


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