What To Do With Bottle Gourd? 5 Ways To Use Ghiya
You will be shocked how far the otherwise dreaded ghiya can go. Here is a list of 5 things you can cook with bottle gourd during the lockdown.
Don’t give the healthy lauki those repulsive looks, they can be turned into delicious dishes! Everywhere you look there is a beautiful light green ghiya (long and round ones) sitting atop the vegetable vendor’s thela, ready to be picked up and turned into a mouth-watering dish. No, we aren’t talking about lauki ki sabzi. We know how you feel about it. But this summer vegetable needs more love and attention than it gets. Here are 5 ideas you can use to turn that ghiya into something that the entire family will love. (Ssshhh…Don’t tell them what is it made of!)
1) Ghiya Raita
Summertime means light meals and lots of cooling agents in your diet. A fresh ghiya (lauki) raita will cool down your digestive system and is a lovely addition to your lunch. Grate the lauki/ghiya. Boil it for 2-3 minutes. Strain and keep aside. Whisk the curd, add kala namak, bhuna jeera, and red chilli powder. You can add some pudina powder or fresh mint leaves too. Add the boiled ghiya, mix, chill and serve.
Ghiya Raita makes for a wonderful accompaniment for lunch, or even a light dinner for days when you want to keep it light.
2) Ghiye Ke Kofte
A great way to introduce ghiya or lauki to the family is via some rich koftas. Grate the ghiya, mix a generous amount of besan, coriander seeds, salt, and red chili powder. Mix lightly with hand. No need to add water, as the water from the ghiya will help bind the koftas. Deep fry in hot oil till golden.
To make the gravy, add ghee in a wok, roughly chopped green chilies, garlic, ginger, onions, and tomatoes. Saute for 5-6 minutes. Add salt, turmeric, red chili powder, and a big dollop of malai. Let it cool down and then whizz it in a mixie/blender. The color of the gravy will change to bright orange. Dilute with a cup of milk, add the koftas. Let them simmer for 3-4 minutes and serve.
3) Chana And Ghiya Dal
A bowl of homely chana dal mixed with chunks of ghiya is so tasty, you would go back for seconds. A small tip to make a creamy, fragrant dal. Add a teaspoon of ghee, some minced ginger and garlic to your dal while boiling it. This will ensure the dal comes out beautifully smooth and aromatic. The tadka can be a simple heeng, jeera, and red chili powder or an elaborate onion-tomato tadka also.
4) Ghiya And Mushroom Soup
Making a ghiya stock as a base for your mushroom, broccoli, or spinach soup is one of the best things you can come up with. It’s neutral tasting and does not mute the flavor of the individual vegetables added to it later.
In a pressure cooker add chopped bottle gourd, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and a stick of cinnamon. After 4-5 whistles, let it cool down. Blend it and strain. Your basic stock is ready. In a pan, saute chopped mushrooms and add this stock on top. Adjust the salt and add 2 cups of milk and a tablespoon of cream (optional). Let it simmer and serve. Top with chopped basil leaves or grated paneer.
5) Ghiye Ki Barfi
WHAT? Yes! Ghiya barfi might be a little rare to find at local mithai shops but it is so tasty, the batch will be over within minutes. Grate the bottle gourd from the thinnest side of the box grater. Do not grate the center white portion with seeds (Don’t throw it away, use it to make soup stock instead). In a pan add ghee, saute the grated lauki. Add milk and cook till the milk dries up. Add sugar, cardamom powder, and slivered almonds. You can add khoya if it’s available. If not, you can skip it or replace it with milk powder. Add desiccated coconut to increase the shelf life of the barfi. Set in a greased tray, cut into pieces and enjoy.
Do you enjoy eating this vegetable or does your mum has to STILL force you to eat it?
Out of ideas for your next meal? Worry not, we’ve got your back! A set of fresh ideas and suggestions to keep your menus interesting! Read these posts to help you choose what to cook for the next meal using regular staples like atta, suji, moong dal, rice and potatoes. We will also give you tips on how to use common condiments like mayonnaise and spices like jeera and turmeric in your diet to maximise the usage of everyday products.
About The Author
Nishtha Asrani Sethi, born and brought up in Delhi, is a content writer who has previously worked with NDTV and Resolver. Her roots are deep within the food industry, thanks to her family business and a keen interest in contemporary food products. Nishtha loves to serve her articles with a side of humor. Her Bachelor’s degree in Home Science comes in handy while researching the science behind the food. When she is not trying to win a battle of fries vs fruit with her daughter, she is busy experimenting with her huge joint family with crazy recipes.