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LONG SQUASH CURRY (SORAKAAYA)

March 13, 2012 8:46 pm 0 comments

Long Squash Curry is popularly cooked South India dish made with Bottle gourd cooked in tomato gravy adding Indian aromatic spices, dry coconut and peanuts. It is a simple and quick dish to prepare, taste excellently delicious with chapattis and jowari ki roti.

Long Squash is a popular and versatile vegetable which is also known in different names in India. It is generally called as lauki, ghiya or dudhi in Hindi and Gujarati, Churakka in Malayalam, Sorakaya in Telugu, Sorakkay in Tamil and Dudhi Bhopala in Marathi. Long Squash is used for preparing savory as well sweet dishes. Lauki or Kaddu kheer and Doodhi Halwa are very popular desserts prepared in Indian subcontinent. Lauki is also used in making other variety of dishes like Lauki with Mung Dal, Lazeez Lauki, Sorakaya pulusu with groundnut and bottle gourd curry with sesame seeds etc.

In some parts of India, the dried bottle gourd is used as a float (called surai-kuduvai in Tamil) to learn swimming in rural areas. Indian instruments, such as the tanpura, sitar and rudra veena, are constructed from dried calabash gourds, using special cultivars that were originally imported from Africa and Madagascar. They are mostly grown in Bengal and near Miraj, Maharashtra. These gourds are valuable items and they are carefully tended, sometimes they are given injections to stop worms and insects from making holes while they are drying etc.

The long squash is frequently used in southern Chinese cuisine either in stir-fries or a soup. In Central America, the seeds of the long squash gourd are toasted and ground with other ingredients (including rice, cinnamon, and allspice) to make the drink horchata. Calabash is known locally as morro or jícaro. Lauki, dudhi or bottle gourd holds pride of place in the Indian Ayurvedic medical system. Lauki is 96.1% water, so is light on the stomach and aids digestion. A 100 gm serving of lauki contains just twelve calories and is ideal if you are watching your weight.

Bottle Gourd, or say Long Squash is a wonderful vegetable which can be turned out into several tasty dishes. It’s a very good source of dietary fiber and also a good source of Vitamin C and B6.  Remember, while cooking Bottle gourd, if you are boiling the pieces separately for the curry, do it without salt so as to keep the vegetable low in sodium levels. This way, the nutrition values of the vegetable are restored highly.  This recipe of Long Squash curry is mixed with some dry coconut and groundnut masala. For sure it is a yummy, delicious, simple and fast recipe. But the taste is just double kick to the palate. Here is the recipe for a low fat and one of the fabulous Andhra dishes.

If you are someone who thinks Bottle gourd is a boring vegetable with no special taste or recipe for it, then here is the recipe that might change your mind after all. It’s delicious, spicy and most importantly cooks quickly and easy to prepare.

To prepare this scrumptious and mouth watering Long Squash curry, firstly remove the peel of the long squash and cut into small pieces. Finely chop onions and tomatoes and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard and cumin seeds. When they crackle add channa dal and fry till it gets light brown and add curry leaves. Add chopped onions and fry till they turn light brown and then add the long squash pieces. Let it cook for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile roast peanuts and grind peanuts, coconut, coriander powder and garlic together in a blender to a smooth powder and keep aside. After 15 minutes, check if the long squash is cooked and then add chopped tomatoes, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt to taste. Mix well. When they are cooked, add water (as you like, if you want too much gravy then add more water) and add the ground powder into it. Let this cook till oil starts floating on the top. Switch off the flame and add chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice, roti etc.

Bottle gourd is considered to be one of the healthiest of vegetables. Cooked lauki is cooling, calming and acts as diuretic. It makes you relax after eating. It plays a very important role in treating urinary disorders. If you are on a low calorie diet, suffering from digestive problems, are diabetic or convalescing, then lauki is must for you as it is easily digestible and low in calories.

Enjoy Cooking!

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