Lauki Curry — Bottle gourd in tangy tomato, tempered with south Indian tadka of mustard seeds, curry leaves, ginger and dried red chillies is finished off with warmed whisked yoghurt. Lauki yoghurt curry is best served with steamed rice along with some meat or chicken side dish.
This is my mother-in-law's recipe that I mentioned in my lauki paratha post. She calls this "Louki Curry" though the flavour is very south Indian. Not sure why she calls it Lauki which is the Hindi word for Bottle Gourd instead of Chorakka in Malayalam. All of her family call this Lauki Curry but for the blog's sake, I am calling it Lauki Yoghurt Curry.
I have been making this since the Yanbu days and shared it on Instagram highlights for my reference. But surprisingly many of you tried and loved it too! Therefore, I have been wanting to make it for the blog. Here I am finally sharing the best version of the Lauki Yoghurt Curry recipe with details but with not-so-great pictures. I am so sorry! I don't get to the point of photoshoot whenever I make this... we drown the rice and drink the rest! A perfect summer curry recipe for cooling off the body heat!
- Bottle Gourd: aka opo squash or calabash, lauki etc.
- Green chillies: adjust as per your taste and the variety you have.
- Ground spices: Only turmeric powder and red chilli powder is used in this curry.
- Tomato: A large ripe one should do.
- Full-fat yoghurt: It is best to use full-fat for the taste and body of the curry. If you are running short of yoghurt, you may whisk in laban (buttermilk) to make up the difference. You may add tepid full-fat milk to your yoghurt tub and let it sit on the counter overnight to make it curd. Whatever, make sure you use full-fat ingredients to get the best taste of this simple dish.
- Coconut oil: for tempering aka tadka or like my mil says "kaachioyichu" or like my mom says "thazhichu oyichu"
- mustard seeds: Integral part of a south Indian tadka.
- ginger: Umma's recipe never mentioned ginger but I like to add some. I would highly recommend you add too.
- curry leaves: duh!
- dried red chillies
How to make?
First, we got to keep the yoghurt ready. Whisk well and keep it on the counter to bring it to room temperature.
Then, we start by cooking the chopped lauki with spices and water.
When the lauki pieces are almost cooked, they turn translucent.
add the chopped tomatoes
and cook until all or most of the water is reduced.
Make a quick tempering (tadka) in a smaller pan and pour over the cooked bottle gourd mixture. If your whisked yoghurt is still cold, then switch off the pot and wait until the yoghurt is ready to use.
Stir in the whisked yoghurt on a low to medium flame and continue to whisk gently until it starts to steam. Switch off and remove from the hob.
For lentil based bottle gourd recipe, do check my lauki chana dal recipe.
Lauki Yoghurt Curry
For Lauki curry
- 300 grams chopped bottle gourd approx 2 to 3 cups
- 3 to 5 green chillies slit
- ¾ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- water as required
- 1 large tomato chopped roughly
- 2 cups whisked full-fat yoghurt room temperature
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger optional
- 1 sprig of curry leaves
- 2 dry red chillies
Prep the bottle gourd
- Trim the ends, peel the skin, cut it into half and then slice vertically into half-inch sticks. Slice and discard the seedy and sponge part. Chop into ½ inch pieces. Wash and keep them submerged in water until needed. You may do this a day ahead but keep them in the water to retain freshness. For this recipe, you will need 2 to 3 cups of chopped bottle gourd which is approx 300gms after chopping.
Cook the veggies
- Take a deep saucepot and add the chopped bottle gourd, green chillies, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Stir in enough water to cook the bottle gourd.
- Cook covered on medium flame until the bottle gourd pieces are translucent and are almost cooked. Do stir in between and add more water if required. This will take anywhere between 20 to 25 minutes. You may do this in a pressure cooker.
- Once the water reduces and the bottle gourd is almost cooked, add the chopped tomato. Cover and cook until the tomato chunks turn mushy and all the water is reduced. Do stir occasionally to prevent it from burning. Bring the mixture to a full boil and then switch off.
- Heat coconut oil in a smaller pan. Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Next, add the ginger (if using) and curry leaves and fry for a few seconds lastly add the dry red chillies and switch off. Swirl a few times and pour over the lauki curry. Let this cool before you can add the whisked yoghurt.
Add whisked yoghurt
- Prepare 2 cups of whisked yoghurt and let it sit on the counter until the curry cools. Stir in the whisked yoghurt and make sure it is mixed well with the curry without any trace of yoghurt.
- Switch on the heat to low to medium flame. Do not let the curry boil because it will cause the yoghurt to split and curdle. Keep stirring all the time until it steams. You can place your palm over the pot to sense if it has started to steam. Switch off and remove the pot from the hob.
- Serve warm lauki curry with rice, chicken cutlets and lime pickle. Refrigerate any leftovers for 2 days. Reheat after bringing it to room temperature. Whisk while warming and heat just until it steams.