Lau Chingri

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November has set in but there is no trace of the wintery wind. Kolkata is still in the midst of the heat. According to reports it says a cyclone named Phyan has its effect for this warm weather in the mid of November. Though it spared the Western coast of the country, it is having quite a good and warm effect over the Eastern coastline. To beat this heat and also because of my diabetic problems bottle gourd is one of the most enlisted vegetables in our to-buy list. Whenever I visit the market these days I get hold of a lau (Bengali for bottle gourd) or lauki. The previous day I prepared lau-chingri, one of my favorite preparations with this not-so-tasty veggie.

Lau Chingri

Bottle gourd is a very beneficial vegetable. It reduces stomach acidity, indigestion and ulcers. The gourd is not only rich in essential minerals, iron, protein and trace elements; it is also rich in fiber. Fiber helps in preventing constipation and other digestive disorders like flatulence and piles. It also helps in urinary disorders, and overcoming jaundice. Cooked bottle gourd is anti-bilious and prevents excessive loss of sodium, quenches thirst and helps in preventing fatigue. With all these beneficial effects to the digestive system bottle gourd is one of the best choices to beat this November heat.

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 10min

Cooking time 20min


Bottle gourd (Lau/ Lauki): 500gms

Prawns (Chingri): 150gms, deveined and de-shelled

Green chili (Kancha Lanka): 3-4, longitudinally slit

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 2 tablespoon

Nigella (Kalo jeera): 1 teaspoon

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon

Coriander leaves (Dhane pata): For garnishing (optional)

lau chingri preparation


  • Chop the bottle gourd into 2 inch by half-inch size pieces
  • Wash and put it in a pressure cooker with water, just to cover the bottle gourd
  • Allow two whistles in the pressure cooker before putting off the flame. Drain out the excess water
  • Wash the shrimps well, and drain out the excess water
  • Heat the oil in a wok and fry the shrimps gently till they turn a little hard, take out of flame and keep aside
  • Into the same oil add the nigella seeds and wait till they start popping
  • Throw in the half-boiled bottle gourd, green chili, turmeric powder and the fried prawns
  • Put a lid over the wok and cook till the bottle gourd is cooked properly, stir at times
  • Garnish with some chopped coriander leaves
  • Take out of flame and serve with warm white rice

Lau chingri

Hot Tips – Always try to get the green colored bottle gourd, the whitish skinned bottle gourds are a bitter in taste. Those who don’t like to add prawns to this preparation just leave out the prawns, you can also add some fried boris as garnish.

Further Reading – Bong Mom’s Lau-chingri preparation, Indrani’s Lau-chingri

Nutritional Facts –

Calories 9KJ

Total Fat 0.1 g 0%
Saturated Fat 0 g 0%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 0%
Total Carbs 2 g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0.9 g 4%
Protein 0.3 g 1%

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