Bottle gourd, known as Lauki in the Indian subcontinent, is considered to be the oldest cultivated plant in human agricultural history. Initially it was used as water container, hence the name. The vegetable has 96% water content, almost no fat and is very rich in dietary fibre, vitamin C, iron and magnesium. All these qualities make it a perfect food for health conscious people.

It has a mildly sweet, almost neutral taste and soft firm flesh. To be honest, like most people, I also never found it to be a very exciting vegetable to eat unless some creative play with spices and other ingredients made it exciting. And the neutral flavour, in that case, works like a good canvas for a beautiful painting.

I loved the lauki and lentils koftas (meatballs) that my mom used to make or even the sweet and simple pudding. But the recipe that entirely changes your opinion of good old, humble and simple lauki is the potatoes and peas Stuffed Bottle Gourd Curry.
It sounds pretty complicated but really is a breeze to cook. Other than potatoes and peas there are so many options for filling – cottage or paneer cheese, mushrooms, cabbage and for non vegetarians, meat mince (keema).

If bottle gourds are not available or in season where you live, you can use other gourd and squash varieties of similar shape to stuff. The cooking time will change according to how hard or soft the flesh of the chosen vegetable is. Zucchini, courgettes and butternut squash are good substitutes. Instead of cutting rings, you can cut them into halves for stuffing.


For Stuffed Bottle Gourd:

1 big bottle gourd
2 large potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 cup peas, boiled
1 small onion, chopped
A small bunch coriander leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Salt to taste

For Curry:

1 medium onion, chopped
3 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 inch piece ginger
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Salt to taste
Scooped out flesh of bottle gourd
2-3 tablespoons olive or sunflower oil

This Is What You Do:

Peel and cut bottle gourd into 2 inch thick round pieces.

Scoop out the flesh and seeds. Don’t waste them. Set them aside.

Boil the bottle gourd rings in salted water till tender but still firm enough to hold the filling.

Scoop them out and allow to cool down at room temperature.

Meanwhile prepare the filling and curry.

For filling mix, mashed potatoes, chopped onion, coriander, cumin seeds, red chilli flakes, black pepper and salt.

Stir in peas but mix carefully so that they don’t get mashed up.

Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Fry onions till golden.

Remove from heat. Scoop out onions from oil. Blend them in electric blender with tomatoes, ginger, garlic, scooped out bottle gourd flesh and all the spices and salt to make a smooth paste.

Add the paste back to the oil in the pan. Cook on medium heat till oil separates from the masala.

Add 1+1/2 cup water to the pan, reduce heat to a simmer.

Stuff the potato and peas stuffing into the cooked bottle gourd rings.

Gently place them in the simmering curry. Cover the pan. Cook together for 5-6 minutes.

Serve hot with rice or roti.

Serves 4

32 Replies to “Bharvan Lauki, Stuffed Bottle Gourd Curry”

  1. Hi Maria,
    I was searching for a new recipe to prepare the Bottle gourd and I came across your recipe,
    believe me, this gravy is yummy and tastiest I have ever tested and cooked by myself.
    it was really worth giving it a try. Thank you
    Much Love

    1. Thank you so much, Leticia! You just made my day! Bless you! I’m delighted to know you liked the recipe. Bottle gourd is a humble vegetable but we can do so much with it if we try think outside the box and keep things fun.

    1. Thank you, Avin! Me too! I love all summer vegetables with high water content from lauki family. 😊

    1. Thank you, Sujitha! Sometimes simple things when come together in a dish, create a very interesting result. 😊

  2. Omg, seriously lauki is my one favorite vegetable I can have in any form and this stuffed lauki looks so tempting. I would definitely try it whenever I get hands on fresh lauki.

  3. The fact is that many people find Lauki’Boring’! But you given lauki a new avatar and I bet it tasted amazing, I have lauki in my fridge and will follow your recipe to make it as getting tired of eating chana lauki πŸ˜€

  4. Stuffed Bottle Gourd is my favourite and my mom’s speciality.. we generally make in a Jain Style, where we don’t use any root vegetables. Loved your version. Will surely try someday..

  5. This looks absolutely stunning..stuffing the bottle gourd sounds interesting and it is a fun way to have the humble and not so liked veggie..Please add more pics..It will be a visual treat

    1. Thank you, dear Jolly! I’m sure you will find the taste very flavourful compared to the usual preparation.

    1. Thank you, Archana! Me too! In fact I love all the summer vegetables from this family. With high water content, they cook quick and are light on stomach. 😊

    1. Thank you, Rafeeda! I never used to eat these rather simple and bland vegetables in childhood. Now a mommy myself, I realize they are actually a gift of Nature. And try to feed them to my kids whatever way I can make them attractive.

    1. Couldn’t agree more, Aruna! Sometimes we reject certain foods simply because they look boring.

    1. Thank you, Soma! True! This was eaten quite happily, even by the younger fussy eater. πŸ˜„

  6. Stuffed lauki looks fabulous. Great idea to feed lauki everyone in the family may be some lauki haters too. No one can say no to this delicious dish. Loved it.

    1. A little tweak to good old ingredients can sometimes create something really interesting. Thank you, Shobha! 😊

    1. Thank you, Priya! Glad you like the idea. 😊 Still simple ingredients, just served in a more attractive package. 😁

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