Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fennel flavored Chickpeas and Bottle Gourd Curry-(Gujarati dudhi-chana nu shaak)



The predominantly  vegetarian Gujarati cuisine caters to all the five tastes (sweet,sour,bitter,salty and pungent )
The addition of  all five flavors together in a dish wakes up even the most mundane of vegetables and makes them taste exotic .This is my mom's recipe for making bottle gourd (also known as dudhi/lauki/ghiya etc in Indian languages) and chickpeas
It's a very rustic almost ethnic dish but power packed with flavors and my kitchen is smelling awesome with the sweet heady liquorice aroma of tempered  fennel seeds.The chickpeas add a hearty robust bite and the fennel seeds  lighten up the dish  to such an extent that you won't feel heavy after eating it.
You must definitely try this dish atleast once to understand why I'm raving so much about it !!

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium bottle gourd /dudhi peeled ( about two cups when cubed)
1 15oz (425 g)can of organic tender cooked garbanzo beans /chickpeas
Note : If using dry chickpeas ,soak them overnight in water and boil them till  tender but not mushy
1 large tomato
1 small red onion
1/4th inch grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic freshly grated
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice

Tempering spices :
1 tsp Paanch Puran
[Paanch Puran is a mix  five whole spices namely cumin,mustard,nigella(kalonji/onion seed),methi and fennel (saunf) mixed together in equal proportions ]
1 tsp  fennel seeds
1 whole dry red chilli

Ground spices
1/2 tsp turmeric pwdr
1 tsp coriander pwdr
1/2 tsp chili pwdr
1/2 tsp cumin pwdr
1/2 tsp pepper pwdr
1 tsp chana masala pwdr (I like MDH) 

Directions :
Heat oil in a deep pan. Add the paanch puran to the hot oil ,the dry red whole chili  and fennel seeds and toast for 10 secs.Add the sliced onion and stir till transluscent.Add the grated ginger garlic paste and stir .Add the chopped tomatoes and ground spices : turmeric,chili,coriander,cumin ,chana masala pwdr ,  salt and pepper.Stir fry and cook till the oil seperates from the  mixture.
Add the chopped dudhi and mix well.Cook covered for around 5-7 mins. Add the brown sugar  and the whole can of chickpeas with 1 cup water  ,mix well cover and cook for 15 mins or till the dudhi is tender but not mushy.Add the lemon juice .
Serve hot with chapatis or white rice.

Add caption
Tempering fennel and paanch puran spices


  1. Panch Phoron does enliven every dish! i love the flavors and the way they mingle yet manage to retain their individuality.

  2. wow, very unusual combo, never mixed lauki with chhole, looks beautiful !!!

  3. omg... its luks so delicious and mouthwatering.. completely new dish to me... bookmarked it .. loved the way u explained it..

  4. wounderfull combo dear! luks delicious...

  5. I was pretty surprised to see this ingredient 'panch Phoron' here which is a must at very Bengali kitchen. And this chole-lauki combination is really different ...looks wonderful
    thanks for visiting my space...
    Hope to see you again there...
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    Hamaree Rasoi

  6. lauki is one of the veggie i rarely add to my cooking.looks nice

  7. looks delicious, nice recipe ragini

  8. Thank you all for the lovely comments. Do try this dish and you might just start loving dudhi/lauki.It is a pretty underestimated vegetable because of it's bland flavor but when cooked with the right spices soaks up all the flavors and tastes fab.

  9. Never tried this combo..sounds gr8...

  10. Very interesting combo, looks awesome..Thanks for sending dear..

  11. Delicious curry! Never tried this combo..Sounds interesting...

  12. Very homey n tasty dish..loved the addition of panch phoran !:)

  13. Thankyou for such a lovely entry to flavours of gujarat.


Dear All,
Thank you so much for finding the time to comment on these recipes. Your comments are very valuable to me.
Hope you enjoy the dishes and keep visitng this blog for more!!