Today’s recipe is Grated Bottlegourd with Red Lentil Dumplings. It is a simple, mild flavoured, dry bottlegourd preparation with melt in the mouth masoor daler bora (red lentil dumplings). This recipe is in honour of my Mother-in-law.
I had first tasted this dish at my in-laws place, it was was like a burst of flavour in my mouth. Such a simple dish with such an enriching flavour; one of my mother-in-law’s wonderful creations. I am glad that I have the opportunity to relish on her delectable food and learn the same from her. In my future posts you will be seeing many more of her delicious recipes.
This dish was completely new for me, I knew of lau ghonto, lauer torkari, dudh lau, lauer kofta….. but this dish is an unique combination of bottle gourd and masoor dal bora (red lentil dumplings), the later giving this dish a very distinctive and refreshing taste.
The lentil dumplings are made by whizzing together masoor dal (red lentils) and green chillies and mixing the paste with kalo jeera/ kalaunji/ onion seeds, salt and a pinch of baking soda and deep frying it. This dumplings can be devoured as it is or can be eaten along with dal as a side. I gulp down 2-3 boras right after frying them. 😉
- 1 bottlegourd washed, peeled and grated
- 1/2 teaspoon kalaunji/ kalojeera/ nigella seeds
- 1/2 inch grated ginger
- 2-3 green chillies
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 dried red chilli
- salt as per your taste
- sugar as per your taste
- 2 tbsp oil
- 50 grams lentil/ masoor dal washed and soaked in water for 20-30 mins
- 1-2 green chillies
- 1/4 tsp nigella seeds
- a pinch of baking soda
- salt as per taste
- oil for deep frying
- Wash and soak the lentils for 20-30 mins, then drain the water.
- In a blender , whizz together the lentils and the green chillies and blend into a fine paste. (the lentil paste should be thick, add water accordingly if required)
- After whizzing add nigella seeds, salt and a pinch of baking soda to the paste and mix it well.
- Heat oil for deep frying. Drop in a small spoonful of the lentil paste in the oil and fry in medium heat until golden brown. Keep aside for later use.
- Wash, peel and grate the bottlegourd and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a deep bottom pan, temper the oil in the bay leaf, dried red chilli and the nigella seeds. when its spluttering add in the green chillies and grated ginger and fry for few seconds. then add the grated bottlegourd and mix everything well and cook on medium heat. Add the turmeric and salt to it and mix .
- The bottlegourd will release water now, cook covered in its own juices for 5-6 mins on low heat.
- Now add in the lentil dumplings and a little water if required, mix well. Check the seasoning, add sugar as per your taste.
- Cover and cook on low heat for another 10-15 mins or until the bottlegourd is cooked.
- Garnish with some fresh cilantro.
- Enjoy with hot rice.
- If you are a busy person or lack patience just like me, you can make the masoor dal dumplings way in advance in a larger quantity and freeze it. Put in an airtight container and freeze it. The dumplings keeps well for a month.
- When you need it, just remove the amount of dumplings you require from the freezer and keep it aside for 15-20 mins to get it to room temperature.
There is a similar recipe which is made with courgettes and these wonderful dumplings. Another fab recipe from my MIL, which I will be posting soon.