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Thursday, 23 July 2015

Doodhichi Koshimbir / Lauki Raita / Bottle Gourd in Yogurt Recipe


Doodhichi Koshimbir is a healthy and refreshing side dish from the Maharashtrian Cuisine made with steamed bottle gourd and yogurt. Bottle gourd is called doodhi and koshimbir is a salad with our without yogurt in Marathi, so basically doodhichi koshimbir is a bottle gourd in yogurt dish also called as Lauki Raita in Hindi. This raita is mildly sweet and sour in taste and gets a lovely taste from the flavorful ghee tempering of spices and herbs. This is a gluten-free and onion-garlic free recipe which serves as a delicious side dish to rice dishes like Biryani and Pulao and also goes well with paratha or Sabudana Khichadi. The recipe is very simple and requires a few basic ingredients. Doodhichi Koshimbir is one of the flavorful ways of including the healthy goodness of bottle gourd into your daily diet and best part is that it is great for weight watchers as well.


What is a Koshimbir ?

Raita is a curd based dish and forms an integral part of any Indian thali (platter) and this holds true with a typical Maharashtrian platter as well. Our everyday meals are incomplete without a bowl of koshimbir as a side dish. In Maharashtrian Cuisine, a koshimbir is a salad dish that can be made either with curd/ yogurt or without it. Variety of vegetables or fruits are added to the seasoned curd to make a koshimbir and it may be tempered or kept plain. Usually little sugar is added to almost all the koshimbir dishes with curd. Vegetables may be either added raw like in the Kakdichi Koshimbir or cooked like in this doodhichi koshimbir. I like to have my koshimbir with waran bhat (dal chawal). 

What goes in this Doodhichi Koshimbir ?

Doodhichi koshimbir has curd and doodhi (bottle gourd) as its two main ingredients.

Curd /yogurt: I use homemade thick curd to make this koshimbir. Store bought plain yogurt may also be used. Make sure you use a mildly sour curd here as the curd which is very sour may not taste good as this koshimbir is usually a bit sweet in taste and then you may end up using more sugar, which we do not want. 

Bootle Gourd: Use a tender bottle gourd in this recipe with very little and small seeds which does not need to be removed. For that, select a long and slender bottle gourd with light green color and a thin skin without any blemishes on it. Such bottle gourd cooks faster and is easy to digest and tastes great in this koshimbir.

Apart from curd and bottle gourd, spices like mustard seeds and green chilies and herbs like curry leaves, fresh coriander leaves are used in this koshimbir. Little ghee is used for tempering and salt and sugar are used as per taste to season the curd. 

                             

How to make Doodhichi Koshimbir ?

Bottle gourd is washed, peeled and either finely chopped or grated to make this koshimbir. The chopped pieces are then steamed. I add them to a container without any water and place it in a pressure cooker with water at the base and cook for 2 whistles. The cooked bottle gourd is allowed to cool down completely before adding to the curd. Thick curd is whisked to a smooth consistency and seasoned with salt and sugar to taste. Now the cooled bottle gourd pieces are added to this curd and mixed well. Finally a ghee tempering of mustard seeds, green chilies, curry leaves and coriander leaves is added to the raita to make a refreshing and flavorful lauki raita. 

With what can we serve this Doodhichi Koshimbir ?

Like all the riata recipes, this doodhichi koshimbir can be served as a side dish to any Indian meal. It pairs well with any rice dish like biryani or pulao or with simple dal chawal. You can serve it with any paratha too. We also pair it with Sabudana Khichadi which makes for a filling fasting food (vrat ka khana). As this recipe is onion-garlic free, it makes for a great side dish to Saatvik meals too. I like this raita so much that i can have it on its own and dig into a chilled bowl of this lauki raita on a Summer afternoon. The pic below is a typical Maharashtrian platter which comprises of waran bhat, tandalachi kheer, a vegetable stir fry, poori, salad and a doodhichi koshimbir. 


Can this doodhichi koshimbir be had as a fasting food ? Vrat ka khana ?

Bottle gourd is considered as one of the saatvic ingredients, the food that is included in the yoga and Ayurveda literature. Satvik/ saatvic food is fresh, juicy, light, nourishing and which offers calmness and add vitality to our body system. If you skip mustard seeds and add cumin seeds instead in the ghee tempering and use sendha namak/ rock salt, than this lauki raita serves as a great fasting food as well. I usually pair it with Barnyard Millet Upma (samak rice) or Sabudana Khichadi while fasting. 

Shelf  life of doodhichi Koshimbir: This doodhichi koshimbir stays good on refrigeration for 1-2 days , but i recommend you make it fresh in a small batch.

                               

Bootle gourd is a happy vegetable in my family and i use it in dal, stir fries, desserts like Lauki ki barfi , in thalipeeth apart from this raita. I have been relishing on this Doodhichi Koshimbir since childhood. This is my mom's recipe and i have not made any change to it. This is an old post which i had published in 2015 during my initial blogging days.  Few days back when i visited this post, i felt the pics weere very dull and even the written content of the recipe was not up to the mark. I have many such old posts which needs to be updated. Thanks to Renu, my dear friend and a fellow blogger who came up with a Facebook group, Foodies_Redoing Old Posts as an initiative, wherein we bloggers update our old posts with new pictures and written contents every two weeks. This is my 6th entry into this event (20th September). Here i have updated the recipe with both the pictures and the written content.
                                                Foodies_RedoingOldPost 
Before moving ahead with the recipe, let us have a look at the health benefits of including bottle gourd into our daily diet.

Bottle gourd is a vine grown for its fruit. Bottle gourd fruit which is used as vegetable is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, high in dietary fiber, Vitamin C, riboflavin, zinc, thiamine, iron, magnesium and manganese. Bottle gourd has about 96 % water content. 100 grams of bottle gourd contains 15 calories.

Health benefits of including bottle gourd in our diet: source
  • Bottle gourd is rich in both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. It is easy to digest and helps in curing constipation, flatulence and piles.
  • The vitamin , minerals and dietary fiber in bottle gourd keeps the body well nourished and as its fat and cholesterol content is extremely low, it helps in weight loss. 
  • Since it is 96% water, it is a great thirst quencher. It keeps the body cool and refreshed during summers and prevents fatigue.
  • As it contains sodium and potassium, bottle gourd is also an excellent vegetable for people with hypertension. 

                                

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped or grated bottle gourd
  • 1 cup thick curd/ yogurt
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds ( replace with cumin seeds if making for fast)
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 tablespoon ghee / oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • Salt to taste
Method:
  1. Wash and peel the bottle gourd and either grate  or chop it finely. Place it in a container with a pinch of salt . Place that container in a pressure cooker with enough water at its base. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and pressure cook the bottle gourd for 2 whistles and then simmer for 5 minutes before switching off the flame. You may steam the bottle gourd or cook it in a microwave as well.



2. While the bottle gourd is getting cooked, whisk the curd in a large bowl. Add sugar and salt to taste and mix well. Keep aside until use.


3. Remove the cooked bottle gourd , drain it and keep in a plate to cool down. Do not discard the water if any that is in the cooked bottle gourd. Use it in dal or soup. Upon cooking the bottle gourd well , the pieces are soft and mash-able but hold their shape.


4. Add the cooled cooked bottle gourd to the seasoned curd and mix well.


5. In a small tadka pan, heat ghee or oil. Add mustard seeds toit. Once the seeds splutter add the chopped green chilies, curry leaves and half of the chopped coriander. Allow to cook for few seconds. Turn off the flame and pour this tempering over the bottle gourd curd mixture.



6. Give a good stir and garnish the raita with remaining coriander leaves and serve immediately . You may chill the raita for 1-2 hours before serving as well. 


                           

Recipe Notes:

  • Use tender bottle gourd with less seeds to make this raita.
  • Use thick curd which is not very sour.
  • Bottle gourd can be either grated or chopped finely to make this koshimbir.
  • Adding sugar is optional but if you are looking for authentic Maharashtrian taste, do not skip it.
  • Replace mustard seeds with cumin seeds in tempering and use sendha namak/ rock salt, if making for fasts. 
  • Adjust the number of green chilies as per your spice tolerance.
  • Tempering part is optional but i would highly recommend it as it does make the raita more flavorful.
  • You may use ghee or oil for tempering.
  • Do not skip curry leaves and fresh coriander leaves in this raita.
  • Raita can be refrigerated for 1-2 hours before serving as it tastes great when served chilled, especially during Summers.

If you ever try this recipe, do share your feedback with us in the comment section below. Follow us on #Facebook, #Instagram, #Twitter#Pinterest and #Google+ for more recipes and new updates. If you like my work and appreciate this blog, please do hit the follow button at the right top corner of this blog page. If you want me to share some particular recipe or have any query, feel free to drop a comment at the end of this post.

For more bottle gourd recipes, click on the following links, Gulkand flavored bottle gourd fudge / Lauki ki barfiLauki ki kheer / bottle gourd pudding.

For more raita recipes from this blog, check out the following\
                             
                             
                             
                            
                            
                           


10 comments :

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Purnima Jais. I am glad you liked the recipe :)

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  2. This is a must-try. Going for this recipe really soon, Poonam. Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Ravneet. Do give it a try and share your feedback with us.

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  3. Lovely recipe. Thank you Poonam.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Priya. Glad you liked the recipe.

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  4. Poonam I would have never thought of using lauki for a raita. Its simply a great idea. As I love all types of raita, I'm sure I would enjoy a huge bowlful of doodhichi koshimbir on its own.

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  5. Amma makes this a lot during summers and thats one of the way I can get the kids to eat Lauki :p, although I thought Koshmbir only meant the dry salad (not with curd).. this would be delicious with some hot Vegetable parathas :)

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  6. Love raitas in all form and I love this dudhi raita as wel Poonam. I like to grate and add the dudhi but would love to make the way you have done. Wouls be ao good and light for the fasting season

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  7. Doodhichi Koshimbir looks so refreshing Poonam !!
    Although I have not used this veggie in raita still it seems just perfect during summer ....

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