Lau Chingri is fresh bottle gourd cooked with prawns Bengali style. Bottle gourd or Lau (Bengali) is available aplenty in summer. Its high water content makes it a preferred vegetable in most Bengali homes.
Lau Chingri cooked with simple spices goes well with white rice and dal or even Rotis/Chapathis. Chingri is Bengali for prawn and Lau is Bengali for Bottle Gourd/Lauki. This Bengali bottle gourd recipe has a unique flavour and taste.
Fresh, light-green bottle gourd with white flesh is commonly grown in tropical areas. Lauki contains 90% water and is easy to digest.
Bottle gourd has a cooling effect and reduces the risk of urinary infection. It is an excellent weight loss remedy. According to Ayurveda, drinking fresh bottle gourd juice prevents premature greying.
Prawns or chingri are very low in calories and fat but very rich in protein and selenium. While prawns have high cholesterol content, they also contain heart-friendly omega-3 fatty acids.
Lau Chingri Bengali Recipe:
Lau diye chingri or prawns cooked with bottle gourd is a tasty dish that goes well with hot steamed rice. Small prawns (kucho chingri) are ideal for this dish.
How to make Bengali lau chingri:
To make this bottle gourd and prawns recipe, first clean the prawns and sprinkle salt, turmeric and red chilli powder on them. Keep aside for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel and dice the Lau.
Temper hot oil with bay leaf and cumin seeds. Add the marinated prawns and fry till the raw smell disappears and the prawns change colour.
Add the diced bottle gourd pieces and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
Add grated ginger, green chilli, cumin powder, a pinch of turmeric and salt to taste. Combine well.
Cook covered; remove lid in-between and stir. No water is required to be added as the bottle gourd releases a lot of water during cooking. However, you can sprinkle a little water in case the Lau isn’t fresh. When the prawns are cooked and the bottle gourd turns tender, add sugar and mix gently. The Lau diye chingri macher dish will be slightly moist.
Serve Bengali Lau Chingri with Steamed Rice.
Bengali Chingri Maach Recipe details:
- Bottle Gourd/Lauki – 1 ½ cups
- Green Chilli – 1, slit
- Ginger – ½ inch, grated
- Cumin Seeds – ½ tsp
- Bay leaf – 1
- Sugar (optional) – ½ tsp
- Turmeric – ¼ tsp
- Salt to taste
- Cumin Powder – ½ tsp
- Oil – 1 tsp
- Prawns – ¾ cup
- Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
- Red Chilli Powder – ¼ tsp
- Salt – ¼ tsp
- For this Bengali lau chingri recipe, clean, devein and marinate prawns with turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt for about 10 minutes.
- Wash and peel the bottle gourd. Cut into small pieces.
- Slit the green chilli and grate the ginger.
- Heat oil in a frying pan. Add bay leaf and cumin seeds and allow to splutter.
- Add the prawns and sauté for 1-2 minutes till they change colour.
- Add the chopped bottle gourd and mix well.
- Add turmeric powder, ginger paste, green chilli, cumin powder and salt. Combine well.
- Cover and cook on medium flame for 4-5 minutes. Remove lid, stir and cook covered till done. If required, sprinkle a little water.
- Add ½ tsp of sugar and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Remove and serve Lau Chingri Bengali Style with Rice or Roti.
* You can use Onion seeds (Kala Jeera) instead of Cumin Seeds.
* Bori or sun dried lentils, fried and crumbled can also be added for a vegan version of the dish.