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Saturday, August 20, 2022

A cordial made with split chickpeas and bottle gourd

Lauki and Chana Dal Recipe by The Hoggerz

There is a light in the sky beyond the layers of cloud, maybe this is a contrast to the evening sky like a slate. I always have a bag of lentils at hand and this is a bright colored curry that is full of flavors and memory. This dish is what I make when I am missing my parents and Mumbai so very much. On most days, time goes by, work lends the day structure marking the territory between the week and its end. But the bad days have been bad, and I have been feeling the distance and being unable to see my dear ones.

A bowlful of mama’s lentils and bottle guard curry is a taste of home. I love cilantro and this recipe makes it a star element. A cold pat of ghee would melt readily when placed on it. This is my mama’s version of curry; it is thicker with a kick of spice.

I made it last night letting it cook slowly until the oil sweats the surface. If you make bottle gourd with split chickpea lentils, it tastes even better. I always have it with Indian flatbread rubbed with ghee. For this, I am grateful.

Split Chickpeas with Bottle Gourd Curry

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2-3 persons


1 large bottle gourd, peeled and diced

1 small cup of spilt chickpeas, soaked for at least 7-8 hours

4 tablespoons cooking oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

3 cloves

3 black peppercorns

6 dried red chilies, round ones

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon turmeric powder           

1 teaspoon red chili powder

½ teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

2 tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Water, as required


  • Put the soaked lentils, chopped bottle gourd, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon salt and 2 glasses of water to boil. Reduce the heat and allow the team to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Heat the oil in the separate saucepan and add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, 3 cloves, 3 black peppercorns, 6 dried red chilies, and 1 bay leaf, it will sizzle and splatter a bit. Add chopped tomatoes and fry it for a couple of minutes so that the spices toast in oil and release their aroma.
  • When the tomato becomes soft, add all the dried spices which are ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon red chili powder, ½ teaspoon cumin powder and 1 teaspoon coriander powder. Mix well and add the boiled mixture to the pan. Then reduce the heat, add ½ cup water and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • We like our curry to be a thick consistency, if you prefer on the lines of a soup then adjust the water content accordingly. I sometimes like to have preserved lemon slices on the sides whose brine softened skins taste extremely wonderful with the mellow curry.
  • Adjust salt and spice and garnish with fresh cilantro. When I was little, we often ate this with Indian flatbread however you can also serve it with boiled rice made fragrant with cumin seeds.

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