Friday, May 28, 2010

Bharwaan Lauki aur Mattar Ki Tarri (Stuffed bottle gourd in peas gravy)

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I ran away from Delhi to escape the heat and went over to Palampur for the week. The heat wave did not spare me there either. It was much much cooler than Delhi and Punjab, but I think they will require some air conditioning too. It was a fulfilling time away from work and good time spent with the family. Over the last few days, we visited a lot of good scenic places and also found time to visit some important religous sites, not to forget the Baijnath temple, which is a Jyotirlinga. Dharamshala and McLeodganj were a disappointment as they were too commercialized.

Coming to this post, I must admit, when I started out with this, I wasn't too sure how it will turn out. Now that it passed the taste test of my better half, and a repeat involving my extended family of aunts and cousins, it is not only a safe bet but also a must try for all those wondering what to cook for the next social evening, unless you don't mind serving the makhani and kadhai stuff.
Stuffed Lauki (bottle gourd) is not a rarity, but a gravy of green peas is surely one. Be a little innovative and play with the stuffing.

Bharwaan Lauki aur Mattar Ki Tarri


Bottle Gourd (Lauki) : 1 (450 gm)

For the Stuffing:

Onions, finely chopped : 1/4 Cup
Garlic, finely chopped: 3 cloves
Ginger, finely chopped : 2 Tsp
Cottage Cheese (Paneer), grated: 75 gm
Potatoes, mashed: 150 gm
Sweet corn: 50 gm
Cheese, grated: 4 Tblsp
Garam Masala: 1 Tsp
Red Chili Powder: 1 Tsp
Raisins: 1 Tblsp
Almonds, finely chopped: 1 Tblsp
Oil: 1 Tblsp
Salt: To Taste

For the Gravy:

Green Peas: 2 Cups
Onions, finely chopped: 1 Cup
Ginger-Garlic Paste - 4 Tsp
Coriander Powder - 2 Tsp
Poppy Seed Paste (Khus Khus paste): 2 Tsp
Green Chili Paste - 1 Tsp
White Pepper Powder: 2 Tsp
Cinnamon: 1"
Kasoori Methi: 2 Tsp
Salt: To Taste
Oil: 4 Tsp
Cream: 2 Tblsp

For Garnish:

Amchur Powder (Dried Mango Powder) : 1 Tsp


To Prepare the Bottle Gourd:

1. Wash, Peel & cut the ends of the Bottle gourd(lauki).
2. Boil hot water with a tsp of salt, and add the bottle gourd as the water starts to boil. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain the water.
3. Scoop out the inside pulp of the bottle gourd. Do not discard.
4. Mash the scooped pulp and mix well with mashed potatoes.
5. Heat oil in a pan. Add in the chopped onions.
6. As the onions turn translucent, add in the ginger and garlic. Cook for two minutes.
7. Add in the lauki and potato mixture. Cook for 7 minutes.
8. Add in the paneer and all the spices. Cook till all moisture is gone.
9. Add in the raisins and almonds. Cook for a minute and take off flame.
10. Mix in the grated cheese.
11. Stuff this mixture in the hollowed out lauki (Bottle gourd).
12. Bake the stuffed bottle gourd for 30 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius or till cooked.

To Prepare the Gravy:

13. Heat oil in a pan. Add Cinnamon and as it starts to crackle, add in the onions.
14. Cook till onions turn light golden. Add in the ginger-garlic pastes.
15. Stir fry till mixture turns golden.
16. Add corainder powder (dissolved in 1 Tblsp of water to prevent it from burning). Cook for a minute.
17. Add in the poppy seed paste, green chili paste and salt. Cook till fat starts to leave the sides.
18. Add the green peas, white pepper powder and a cup of water. Cook till peas are done. Add in the kasuri methi 2 minutes before switching off the flame. Stir well.
19. Remove from flame and cool. Puree in a blender.
20. Pass this puree through a soup strainer in a pan.
21. Put the pan back on flame. Reduce, add in the salt and cream. Cook till it almost comes to a boil.

To Arrange:

22. Cut the cooked bottle gourd into 1" thick slices.
23. Pour the gravy over the sliced bottle gourd pieces.
24. Sprinkle some amchur powder on top and Serve hot.


Jaya Wagle said...

First of all I never knew you could stuff lauki and that too with such delicious stuffing. Second, you dish looks something out of a gourmet restaurant. I am very impressed.

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