Lau'er Ghonto

A dry, spicy curry of bottle gourd with roasted moong dal and sun-dried lentil dumplings.

  • Cooking time
    1 hour
  • Calories
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Lau’er ghonto, the close cousin of Lau Chingri, is a dry, hot-and-spicy curry that is prepared by steaming the bottle gourd in its own juices. This dish benefits from a low-and-slow cooking method, which really helps draw out all the flavours of the lau. The vegetable is to be cut into about 3-mm-wide matchsticks. Larger pieces will not only fail to yield curry of the desired texture, but will also prevent the seasoning and spices from entering the lau. Throughout the cooking process, keep the heat low and the pan covered. Stir occasionally to ensure that the lau doesn’t stick to the pan. In this version of the lau’er ghonto, besides the usual suspects (ginger, cumin powder, garam masala, etc.), we have also added some roasted moong dal and fried dal’er bori. Both these lend the preparation an amazing nutty undertone, along with a subtle bit of crunch. This dish can be absolutely delightful if prepared right.

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5 servings
  • 700 g bottle gourd
  • 4 pcs dal'er bori
  • 10 g moong dal
  • 15 g mustard oil
  • 1 pc dried red chilli
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 pc cardamom
  • 1 pc cinnamon
  • 1 pc clove
  • 1 pc bay leaf
  • 16 g sugar
  • 10 g ginger paste
  • 2 g turmeric powder
  • 2 g cumin powder
  • 25 g water (for making spice mix)
  • 8 g salt
  • 6 g coriander leaves
  • 2 pcs green chillies
  • 6 g ghee


  1. Cut and discard the two extreme ends of the bottle gourd. Divide it into 6–8 cm segments. Remove the skin.
  2. Now, cut the segments into 3-mm thick slices. Stack 3 to 4 slices at a time and cut into 3-mm wide matchsticks.
  3. Before you start cooking, make a spice slurry by combining ginger paste, cumin powder, turmeric powder, and water.
  4. Heat a pan. Dry-roast moong dal till it turns pinkish brown. Stir continuously for even browning (3 minutes). Set aside.
  5. Heat mustard oil in a kadai. Add dal'er bori. Fry till golden. Set aside.
  6. Temper the same oil with dried red chilli, bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, and cumin seeds. Now, add the slurry that you have prepared earlier. Continue frying until the spices release oil (4 minutes).
  7. Add the roasted moong dal. Add another 25 grams of water and continue frying.
  8. Add lau. Mix till the lau is coated with the spices. Cover and steam for 5 minutes.
  9. Add salt. Cover and steam for 15 minutes, stirring intermittently.
  10. Add slit green chillies and sugar. Mix well. Stir and cook for 8 minutes.
  11. Break the bori into shards. Finely chop coriander leaves. Add both to the kadai and mix.
  12. Finally, serve hot with rice, mosur dal, and a slice of lemon.

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  • kcal