Lauki Sabzi is a simple Indian side dish of bottle gourd cooked with onions, tomatoes and minimal spices. It is a traditional and basic dish you can cook easily when you want something comforting and healthy. Lauki Sabzi can be eaten with plain steamed rice, roti, chapati and bhakri (multigrain flatbreads). If you prefer to extend your menu, try out this Dal fry.
Lauki is the Hindi name for the vegetable opo squash. The cylindrical shaped (longer variety) are known by other names such as bottle gourd and long melon, while the round varieties are known as calabash. It is neither a squash nor a melon but is a gourd & is used in cooking.
In Indian cuisine, lauki is used to make various dishes like curry, stir fry, stew, dal, chutney, raita, sambar, kheer and sometimes also added to kofta, thepla and paratha dough.
This Lauki Sabzi is the simplest you can make and unlike other Indian dishes it is cooked with lesser oil and minimal spices. It is a comforting dish and is a perfect one when you want to eat something light or want a break from all those spicy and oil-laden foods.
I also use this Bharwa Baingan recipe to make bharwa lauki. But I reserve that for occasions when I have plenty of time and want to eat something different.
How to choose Lauki
Here is a little guide on how to choose lauki from the stores or market. Look for the smallest sized lauki that is also pale green in color with a thinner smooth skin. This kind of lauki have minimum or no seeds inside. It should be heavy which indicates its freshness.
Often lauki with darker skin (dark green skin) indicates tougher skin which requires peeling deeper. This kind may also have larger seeds, which you may need to discard while chopping.
How to Make Lauki Sabzi (Stepwise Photos)
This recipe makes 2 to 3 servings. If you want to cook more, increase all the ingredients proportionately.
1. Prepare the following ingredients: If you have a chopper or dicer, use that to save time.
- 1 lb (450 to 500 grams, 3 cups) lauki (chopped to ½ to ¾ inch pieces)
- ½ cup (1 medium) onion (fine chopped)
- 1 cup (1 large) tomato (chopped, deseeded if preferred)
- ½ inch (1 teaspoon) ginger or garlic (peeled and fine chopped)
- 1 green chili (slit, leave out for kids)
- 1 sprig curry leaves (optional, pat dry rinsed leaves)
2. If you want you may chop the lauki to larger pieces but that increases the cook time slightly.
3. Pour 2 tablespoons oil to a hot pan. Add half teaspoon cumin seeds. When they begin to sizzle, add the curry leaves (pat dry first).
4. Add the onions, ginger/garlic and green chili.
5. Saute until transparent on a medium heat.
6. Add tomatoes and ¼ teaspoon salt. Mix and cook on a medium heat until soft and mushy.
7. Stir in the following ground spices:
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon Kashmiri Chili powder (reduce for kids)
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- ¾ teaspoon coriander powder (optional, I don’t add)
8. Mix and saute for a minute.
9. Add the chopped lauki and ¼ teaspoon salt.
10. Stir fry for 3 to 4 minutes on a high heat.
11. Pour ½ cup water and mix well. When the water comes to a boil, reduce to medium and cover. Let cook until tender, adding more water only as required. I used ⅔ cup water in total but that change depending on your gourd.
12. When the lauki is soft and tender, taste test and add salt as required. If there is a lot of water in the pan, evaporate by cooking on a high heat for 2 to 3 mins. Add ½ teaspoon garam masala and ½ teaspoon teaspoon fennel powder (saunf powder). Turn off and keep covered for 5 mins before serving.
Garnish Lauki sabzi with 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice, roti or bhakri.
Lauki Sabzi (Dudhi Recipe)
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1 lb (450 grams, 3 cups) lauki chopped to ½ inch pieces
- ½ cup (1 medium) onion fine chopped
- 1 cup (1 large) tomato chopped, deseeded if preferred
- ½ inch (1 teaspoon) ginger or garlic peeled and fine chopped
- 1 green chili slit (optional, leave out for kids)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 sprig curry leaves (leave out if you don't have)
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon salt (divided)
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder (cut down for kids)
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- ¾ teaspoon coriander powder (optional)
- ½ teaspoon garam masala (adjust to taste)
- ½ teaspoon fennel powder (saunf powder, leave out if you don't prefer)
- 2 tablespoons coriander leaves fine chopped to garnish
- ½ to ⅔ cup water (to add in 2 batches)
How to make Lauki Sabzi
- Rinse and chop onions, tomatoes and ginger. Pat dry the rinsed curry leaves. Slit the green chili.
- Cut off both ends of the lauki and peel it. Chop to ½ inch pieces and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. When they begin to sizzle add curry leaves, followed by onions, ginger and green chili.
- Saute onions on a medium heat until transparent, for about 4 to 5 mins. Add tomatoes and half of the salt. Saute until the tomatoes turn mushy, for about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir in the red chili powder, turmeric and coriander powder if using. Saute for a minute.
- Add the lauki and the rest of the salt. Stir fry on a medium high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Pour water and give a good stir.
- Cover and cook on a medium heat until lauki is soft and fully cooked. Add more water as you cook if required.
- When the lauki is cooked, taste test and add more salt if required. For more flavor you may sprinkle garam masala and fennel seeds powder at this stage.
- If the sabzi has lot of water, you may evaporate by cooking uncovered, on a high heat. Turn off and garnish with coriander leaves.
- Serve Lauki sabzi with rice, roti, bhakri or chapati.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me
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