It is jokingly said among us Bengalis, that we can cook and eat anything 😉 nothing goes to waste 😀 ………Now that i would consider something good about my community !!!
We hardly ever throw away peels of vegetables, there are some awesomely unique delicious preparations made of them !! I will be bringing all those here to my blog 🙂
Bottle gourds are already rich in health factors so are the leaves 🙂
Lau = Bottle gourd
Shak = leaves and the stalks (usually the tender part)
We cook the tender leaves and stalks of this climber in various ways – with seasonal vegetables called ‘chorchori’, with mustard paste, steamed in rice, or with poppy seeds paste. Cooking this requires minimal oil and spices. Such kind of preparations were often cooked in the kitchen of the Hindu Bengali widows, as I have previously mentioned in my Mulor Chenchki post.
I have memories of mom cooking bottle gourd leaves, most of the times, with poppy seeds because dad loved it 😀 I just went down the memory lane while cooking this and the aroma of it cooking brought back images of mom cooking and dad assisting her with chopping etc 🙂 ❤
I accidently stumbled upon some fresh bottle gourd leaves in the weekly vegetable market in my vicinity and immediately brought a bunch 😉 Called up mom for the recipe and here it is………… 😀
Here’s what i did…………..
a bunch of lau shak ( approx 300 gms)
1 1/2 tbsp – poppy seeds paste
2 nos – green chili (slit from the centre)
1/2 tsp – sugar
1/4 tsp – tumeric powder
pinch of nigella seeds
salt to taste
oil to cook
Chop the stalks approx 1 inch or more. String them well. Wash and pressure cook to one whistle.
Soak the leaves in water for 10 mins and rinse them well. Just tear them up (no need to chop) into 2 or 3 pieces.
Heat 1 1/2 tsp oil and temper with the nigella seeds. Add the bottle gourd leaf and stalks and stir fry for 2 mins. Add the tumeric powder, green chili and the poppy seed paste. Fold it in well and lower the flame. Add the sugar and salt to taste. Cover and cook till the leaves and stalk turns tender, not mushy.
If there is remaining moisture, increase the flame and stir it a few times till all moisture dries up.
Serve with steaming, flaky rice as an appetizer in lunch.
Happy cooking !! 🙂
Cheers !! 😀