Lau'er Shukto

A light, juicy curry of bottle gourd made with the subtle flavours of milk and poppy seeds— best for the scorching summer.

  • Cooking time
    30 minutes
  • Calories
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Lau Shukto, or shukta, made with bottle gourd, is a mild, creamy, Bengali appetiser served for lunch. Shukto is not just one dish. Like Bengali dalna, or ghonto, it is a type of preparation. Shukto usually has a bitter element—achieved sometimes using bitter vegetables, at other times through bitter spices such as methi (fenugreek) or mustard. But it is always mild (never hot, sour, or spicy) and usually creamy—that comes from either milk, or poppy seed paste, or mustard paste. Shukto is always served for lunch. This is one of the easiest shukto recipes out there.

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6 servings
  • 750 g lau
  • 30 g water (for steaming lau)
  • 20 g vegetable oil
  • 8 pcs dal'er bori
  • 2 pcs bay leaves
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 20 g water (for mixing in ginger paste)
  • 35 g ginger paste
  • 10 g poppy seeds
  • 22 g salt
  • 20 g sugar
  • 25 g milk
  • ¼ tsp maida (flour)
  • 5 g ghee


  1. Soak poppy seeds in water for at least 2 hours. Then, grind to a fine paste.
  2. Cut lau into 3-mm-wide matchsticks.
  3. Set a pan on medium heat. Add the lau. Add half of the salt (10 g) and water. Stir and mix. Cover and steam for 8 minutes. Reserve in a bowl along with the juices.
  4. Heat the pan again. Wipe it dry or the oil will splatter. Add vegetable oil.
  5. Add dal'er bori. Fry until they turn golden (20 seconds). Set aside.
  6. Mix water in ginger paste. Temper oil with bay leaves and mustard seeds. Add ginger paste. Fry on low heat for 4 minutes.
  7. Add steamed lau. Add sugar, remaining salt, and poppy paste. Mix well. Bubble on medium heat for 5 minutes.
  8. Mix flour in milk. Flour will allow the juices to coat the lau.
  9. Break bori into shards. Add to the kadai and mix. Stir and cook on medium heat for 3 minutes.
  10. Add ghee. Turn off heat, cover, and rest for 2 minutes. Lastly, serve hot with rice.

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