Bottle gourd (Lauki) is not a favorite with anyone. It wasn't happily savored in my home either unless I learned a Bengali recipe that uses boiled lauki.
I must say anyone who tries this SUKTO recipe will fall in love with lauki smile emoticon
Introduced to me by my Bengali neighbor - this traditional recipe is a treasure! In north India, we couldn't have thought of this version of lauki.
Thanks to the fusion of recipes these days,and of course, the Internet, we get to savor and learn recipes from across the country, if not the world. It's great to learn about the food habits of people from across the world.
Let's come back to the sukto recipe.
I have been in love with traditional recipes. When I learned this recipe, I was on cloud nine. There is a funny story behind my learning of Bengali sukto recipe. Would talk about it later.
The star ingredients in this recipe are lauki and karela. I did not have karela so I made it without bitter gourd. Nevertheless, it tastes yum. Ideally it is not so watery, but I kept it little flowy!
It has become a favorite ever since. A healthy blend of boiled vegetables, sukto uses bottle gourd and bitter gourd as star ingredients. You may include other veggies as you wish. However, I often make with bottle gourd, bitter gourd, potato, and cucumber.
Bottle gourd (Lauki)- 1 medium size
Cucumber (kheera) - 1 (optional)
Bitter gourd (karela)-1
Mustard seeds (soaked) - 1 tsp
Poppy seeds (soaked) - 2 tsp
Green chilly/red chilly
Panch Phoron - 1/2 tsp (a blend of equal proportions of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, nigella seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds)
Mustard Oil- 1 tsp
Ginger -1 tsp
Salt as per taste
Sugar- 2 pinches
- Cut bottle gourd, potatoes, and cucumber in small pieces and boil with little water. Add salt+ turmeric.(2 whistles will do).
- Soak mustard seeds and poppy seeds in 1 tbsp of water for an hour (water should be just enough to soak the seeds. we do not want more water). After an hour or two, grind mustard+poppy+green chilly/red chilly together. Set aside.
- Take little oil and stir fry bitter gourd. (Sometimes I skip adding bitter gourd, though this is a must-have for a traditional poshto recipe.
- Take oil in a pan.
- Add panch phoron. Let it splutter.
- Add grated/ground ginger. Stir fry.
- Add mustard+poppy paste and fry very well.
- Add little water and keep stirring.
- Add sugar.
- Add boiled veggies and stir well.
- Keep stirring.
- Add little water. You can add the water used for boiling the veggies.
- Mix well. Stir for 5 mins until water evaporates. If you want to keep it watery, do not let the whole water evaporate.
- Add fried bitter gourd and mix well.
- Switch off the flame. Enjoy with steamed rice. I can have this soul-pleasing food with roti (Indian flat bread).