Bharwa Lauki ( Rajasthani Recipe)
by Tarla Dalal
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There are two ways to look at lauki. Only the pessimist would think it to be plain and boring; the optimist always looks at it as a wonderful ingredient that absorbs the added flavours very well. Once again, lauki proves its mettle in this recipe, with a grand stuffing of mixed nuts and paneer enhanced with simple but effective spice powders. Drowned in a tangy tomato gravy, the stuffed lauki is nothing short of a delicacy. Garnish the Bharwa Lauki with perky coriander and serve fresh.
- Combine all the ingredients, except the bottle gourd, in a deep bowl and mix well. Keep the stuffing aside.
- Cut the bottle gourd lengthwise to get two halves and scoop out the centre of both the halves. Cut each half into a 50 mm. (2?) long pieces. You will get approx. 10 pieces in all.
- Combine the bottle gourd pieces, salt and enough water in a deep non-stick pan and mix well. Cover with a lid and cook on a medium flame for 4 to 5 minutes or till the bottle gourd pieces are cooked. Drain well and keep aside to cool slightly.
- Divide the paneer stuffing into 10 equal portions and stuff each piece of bottle gourd with a portion of the filling. Keep aside.
- Combine the tomatoes and 1 cup of water in a deep non-stick pan, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 5 to 7 minutes. Allow it to cool slightly and blend in a mixer till smooth. Keep aside.
- Heat the oil in a non-stick kadhai, add the cinnamon and cloves and sauté on a medium flame for a few seconds.
- Add the tomato mixture, ginger-green chilli paste, coriander-cumin seeds powder, chilli powder, garam masala, sugar and salt, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 2 to 3 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Keep aside.
- Just before serving, place the stuffed bottle gourd pieces on a serving plate and pour the hot tomato gravy over it.
- Serve immediately garnished with coriander.
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