Lauki Paratha is an interesting way to use freshly grated bottle gourd in a whole wheat flatbread. Eat this with Indian pickle and yoghurt for a clean homemade nutritious meal! Easy to make and happy to eat!
Bottle Gourd was introduced to me by my umma (mil) through her signature dish Louki Yoghurt Curry. So now that I have the time and passion, I was ready to try making a paratha with Louki because your girl ain't making curries.
How to use bottle gourd?
I have had my doubts on how to use this squash. For example, right at the moment when my knife meets the skin...a doubt arises "should the skin be peeled?" and once I cut it into half, another doubt arise "should the white spongy thing be retained or removed?" "how much can be retained?" So many different schools on how to use Louki!
What I learnt over the time is this:
- peel the skin and wash
- slice and discard the stalk end.
- cut into half horizontally
- cut each half vertically to expose the inside
- If the seeds are mature, remove them along with the white sponge part using a spoon or knife. If this is a young one, I still discard inner most white sponge part.
- Wash again and keep immersed in fresh water until used. This prevents oxidation.
- You can store cut lauki immersed in water in a airtight box in the fridge for upto 3 days.
Other names for bottle gourd
- Louki / Lauki
- Opo squash
- Long melon
So many different names for this highly nutritious and versatile vegetable! Did you know you can make sweet dishes too? From savoury to sweet! Lauki Chana Dal, Lauki Kheer, Lauki koftas, Lauki Chicken, Louki Gosht, etc.
The recipe is very basic and minimal. These ingredients are enough to let the star ingredient shine. But if you are serving someone who does'nt like lauki, then feel free to add more spices like red chilli, turmeric, or garam masala to the dough.
- bottle gourd
- green chillies
- green leaves: You may use dill or coriander or mint or methi or parsley- any greens you have in hand or is in season.
- carom seeds: I sometimes replace it with cumin or crushed fennel.
- flour: I have used whole wheat flour (atta). Some times I have mixed a small quantity of besan for a variation.
- oil: ghee or butter or plain neutral cooking oil
How to use Dill Leaves?
I always wash all my greens the same way. Dill leaves never came with root intact and mostly are much cleaner than the spinach varities. Yet, it is better to go through te entire process to clean leaves.
Remove any pale yellow and rotten leaves. Rinse under a colander and then soak them in a large bowl with plenty of water. Let it sit in the water for 20 to 30 minutes so that the dirt settles down. Then carefully lift off the leaves and let drain in a colander. Lifting the leaves off the soaked water and then draining prevents the settled dirt from going back into the leaves. I use only the leaf part of the dill leaves and discard the stalk. Chop the leaves roughly and measure to use in this recipe.
Time saving tip: Run them in the salad spinner to get rid off water before storing.
I don't have dill leaves, can I skip it?
Dill Leaves in this recipe can be alternated with any other greens like coriander, parsley, mint etc. I have tried with coriander and mint and they work great too. I am sharing the recipe with Dill Leaves because I know most of my readers would not have tried this green. It is not very common on our side but I was introduced to it during my Bangalore days and it is easily available even in the gulf countries. If you are not a fan of green leaves, then skip it.
How to make?
Making lauki paratha is not initimidating because you don't need the expertise of "stuff and roll" parathas. The dough is made with all the ingredients added. You just need to make balls, roll and cook for "roti" version or go another step of folding and rolling again for a layered "paratha". You can fold to triangle or to square. Grease with melted ghee between each folds to enhance the flavour.
Lauki Paratha | Bottle Gourd Flatbread
- 1 cup grated bottle gourd
- 2 to 3 green chillies finely chopped
- ½ cup chopped dill leaves or use coriander leaves or mint leaves, etc.
- 1 teaspoon carom seeds or use cumin or fennel seeds
- 1½ cup whole wheat flour atta
- 1 tablespoon oil any
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 2 tablespoons water
- ghee or butter for roasting the flatbread
Prepare the dough
- Take a large bowl and add the grated bottle gourd, green chillies, chopped greens and carom seeds and mix them well. Stir in the flour and salt and keep aside covered for 5 to 10 mins. The salt will extract the moisture from the grated bottle gourd.
- Bring this mixture together with very little water if required as the juice from the lauki/bottle gourd will continue to release. If the dough becomes sticky, then add some more flour and knead again. Let the dough rest covered for 20-30 minutes.
- Grease your fingers and divide the dough into 5 to 6 equal balls. Take a dough ball, dust the work area and the rolling pin with some flour and roll it out into a palm-size disc.
- Apply ghee and fold into half, then again apply ghee and fold into a triangle. You may shape it into a square by folding it halfway on all sides! Repeat this for all the dough balls and keep them aside covered.
- Heat a tawa on medium to high flame. Take a folded dough ball and roll to not too thin while dusting with flour when required.
- Place it on the hot tawa and flip it when you start seeing air bubbles. Apple ghee or butter generously and roast both sides until cooked. Use the spatula to press the sides to cook evenly.
- Serve hot with any curry or raita or keep it simple with plain yoghurt and pickle.