Lau Bori – bottle gourd with sun dried lentil dumplings is a typical Bengali lau recipe. Flavourful and succulent bottle gourd cooked with tomato, grated ginger and simple spices and topped with crisp bodi is a light and refreshing dish.
Bottle gourd or calabash is a white-flowered gourd that goes by many names: opo squash, suzza melon, long melon, Tasmania bean and New Guinea bean. In India it’s known as lauki/ghiya in Hindi, Lau in Bengali, anapakaya in Telugu, dudhi in Gujarati and churakka in Malayalam.
The light-green vegetable with white flesh is widely used in Indian cuisine. Bori or Bodi are called Vadayalu in Telugu.
Bottle gourd with bori or sun dried lentil dumpling is plain simple food – prepared with no onion-garlic and minus rich spices. The low-calorie and easy to digest lauki contains a lot of water and tastes delicious when had in summer.
Lau Bori Recipe Bengali Style:
Fresh bottle gourd with its pale green skin is such a lovely sight in summer – lau with its high water content helps cool you down and it’s a staple veggie in Bengali homes in summer.
Lau sabzi topped with crunchy boris is my favourite summer dish. Bori Diye Lau is easy to cook and best to serve with Steamed Rice.
How to make Bengali lau bori:
To make Lau Bori, peel and chop the bottle gourd into small pieces.
Finely chop the tomato, grate the ginger and slit the green chilli.
Heat oil in a kadai and fry the bori/bodi/vadiyalu to nice golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon into a dish and keep aside.
To the same kadai add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick and cumin seeds. Allow to sizzle. Add the green chilli and grated ginger. Fry for a few seconds for the raw smell to disappear.
Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they turn mushy.
Add the chopped lauki and stir.
Add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder and a pinch of sugar.
Stir well, cover and cook, stirring occasionally till the bottle gourd is tender and the dish is almost dry. There’s no need to add water as fresh bottle gourd releases a lot of water.
Add the fried bori / bodi / vadi and and mix well. Simmer the bori diye lau for a minute and remove from heat.
Serve Lau Bori with white rice and dal.
Bori Diye Lau Bengali Recipe details below:
- Lau/Bottle Gourd – 2 cups chopped
- Bori/dried lentil dumplings – 1/3 cup
- Green chilli – 1 slit
- Tomato – 1 small chopped
- Ginger – 1/4 tsp grated
- Bay leaf – 1
- Cinnamon – 1/2 inch
- Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp
- Cumin powder – 1/4 tsp
- Red chilli powder – 1/8 tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp
- Salt – 1/2 tsp
- Sugar – 1/8 tsp
- Oil – 1 tbsp
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a sauté pan and fry the boris to a crunchy golden brown. Remove and keep aside.
To the same oil, add bay leaf, cinnamon and cumin seeds. Saute for a few seconds.
Add green chilli and grated ginger. Saute for half-a-minute.
Add the tomatoes and fry till they turn soft.
Add the chopped bottle gourd and mix well.
Sprinkle cumin powder, red chilli powder, turmeric, salt and sugar. Combine well.
Cover and simmer on low-medium heat till the bottle gourd is cooked through and all the moisture has evaporated. Fresh bottle gourd releases enough water to cook; otherwise you can add a little water.
Add the fried boris, mix and remove from heat.
Serve Bengali Lau Bori with white rice and dal.
You can also substitute bori with small prawns