Sunday, 9 June 2013

Lauki with Soya Nuggets : Healthy and Flavorful

I usually write the posts when I am done with the cooking, clicking and downloading the pictures. But then I have found that I usually miss one or two points which I think during the actual cooking. Sometimes those minor things are very crucial to make a recipe what it is. And its so difficult to go back  to the post when you remember that detail. I sometimes have to edit the recipes on my phone when I am commuting for Office in the mornings. And  considering what  a big bimbo I am in terms of Smart Phones in fact all gadgets, I end up disturbing any formatting or sometimes even the application on the Phone. God Knows how I do this, talent huh !

So I am writing this post in the morning taking few minutes off from the work, just to make sure I don’t miss anything while I cook it tonight. Bottle-guard is a vegetable which sadly does not have that many fans in the world. Despite of tremendous nutritional benefits it imparts, it still comes under the category of Karela ( Bitter Guard ) and Tinda ( I forgot the English name, help !! ) etc. for many people. Since I am one of the weirdest beings on the planet I adore all these vegetables. And Lauki/Dudhi is one of most fav since childhood. Where Mums used to torture or bribe  their kids with different gifts, my Mum never had to raise her voice to get me eat Bottle guard. As a matter of fact, she never raised her voice to get me eat anything.. I was always a big fat foodie.. err.. a good kid

So I came across this recipe through one of my neighbors in Delhi. There was a couple who had opened a tiny Dhaba within their home, and they used to serve the food to students at very little charge. We used to have a proper dinner with 3-4 chapathis, 1 subzi and Raita/side dish at no more than Rs.10 there every day. While everywhere else this much food would have easily cost us at least 25 Rs, Amma ( that’s what everyone called her )  was kind enough to sometimes refill without any extra charge. I reckon they were just doing this to cut their time, since they didn’t seem to have any major financial issues. None of  their kids were living with them and they were alone, hence they felt happy surrounded with chirpy and energetic students all day. Anyway, so this was one of Amma’s recipe  which was a hit among girls specially and none of the boys really liked it. So she used to make it only on our special demand and we used to hug and kiss her at the sight of it.

I moved from that PG after a while, and never got a chance to meet Amma ever again, but am sure she is still winning hearts with her love and care somewhere. Prepared with minimum spices and lots of love, this recipe is dedicated to her.  Its only  through her, that I learnt we can add Soya Nuggets to this  lauki else I haven’t seen it anywhere. Adding Soya nuggets enhances the protein content and builds out a unique taste of its own.

Lauki churns out maximum benefits when eaten lightly cooked with minimum spices. I have seen people who try to make it with a lot of Masala, like a proper gravy but still their kids won’t like it. That much of cooking time results not only in loss of nutrients but also the natural sweet taste of this wonder veggie. It has a lot of water content and is the best vegetable to have in diabetes. Read more about the befits of Bottle guard here  and here.

What you need?
  • 1 long Dudhi/Lauki, peeled and diced small
  • 1 cup Soya Nuggets, raw
  • 1 tbsp Ghee ( you an use oil too, though Lauki tastes best in Ghee )
  • 1 tsp Jeera, Turmeric each
  • 3-4 small green chillies
  • 1 medium onion, chopped very small – optional
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup of water

How to make?
Soak Soya Nuggets in warm water with a pinch of salt for 10 minutes, squeeze all the water out and keep aside.
Heat Ghee in the cooker, add Jeera and fry till it pops.
Throw in chopped onion, green chili, salt and turmeric and cook for 3-4 minutes on low flame.
When the onion start turning translucent, add chopped Lauki and Soya Nuggets, mix well. Add water and cook till 1 whistle, release the lid when pressure ease off
Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with Chapathi or Paranthas for a wholesome meal.

My Notes:
If you are cooking in  a pan, cook it covered after adding Lauki and Soya nuggets for almost 20-25 minutes stirring 2-3 times in between. Lauki takes a while to cook, so cook till you feel its alright for you to eat.
You may also add a chopped potato in this, or replace Soya with potato cubes
Adding Garlic is another fine option, but I wanted to keep it simple hence avoided it . You may add ginger-garlic paste if you want it a bit spicy
Addition of water is totally upto you, I like it less watery since Lauki releases a lot of water of its own anyway.

Linked to Jagruti's Potluck Party for this month


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