Lauki sabzi, also known as ghiya sabzi or dudhi sabzi, is a delicious vegan curry that features bottle gourd (lauki) and chana dal (split chickpeas or Bengal gram). This easy-to-make dish is prepared in a simple onion-tomato masala base and seasoned with basic spices. Made in the Instant Pot, this lauki curry is ready in under 30 minutes once the chana dal is soaked.
This hearty and nutritious North Indian-style curry is the perfect accompaniment to roti or jeera rice, and it also pairs well with red rice. For a grain-free meal, you can enjoy this healthy dish on its own. This curry is ideal for weekday meals and lunch boxes and can be paired with matar paratha.
Read on for ingredients, step-by-step instructions, and useful tips to make this nutritious vegan curry that is also a great source of plant-based protein. Also, click here to see how to make bottle gourd dal in Instant Pot.
Why you will love this lauki chana dal recipe?
- Healthy and nutritious: This dish is packed with essential nutrients such as protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The combination of calabash and chana dal makes it a balanced and healthy meal option.
- Easy to make: The recipe uses simple ingredients and is easy to make, even for beginners. It uses an Instant Pot for a quicker cooking time, making it perfect for busy weeknights.
- Versatile: This dish can be served in different ways, such as with rice, roti, or as a side dish, making it a versatile option for different meals.
Wholesome and healthy
Lauki or bottle gourd is known by several names including calabash, white-flowered gourd, long melon, and opo squash. It is a common vegetable in many Asian, African, and Caribbean cuisines and can be found in some grocery stores or farmers' markets. They are also easily available in online stores like Amazon.
This wholesome Instant Pot lauki chana dal is packed with flavors and nutrition. Bottle gourd has high water content and is rich in iron, vitamins, and dietary fiber. It also aids in blood sugar control, weight loss, and digestion. Meanwhile, chana dal or split chickpeas (split kala chana) are an excellent source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. It is also high in fiber and has a very low glycemic index.
Bottle gourd: Use a fresh and tender bottle gourd or calabash that has light green skin.
Chana Dal: Chana dal or Bengal gram lentils is soaked and used here.
Spices: The powdered spices I use are coriander powder, turmeric, red chili powder, and garam masala. The whole spices used are cumin seeds and bay leaves.
Onion and tomatoes: These form the base of the curry.
Ginger, garlic, and green chili: Ginger and garlic add a great flavor. Adjust the amount of green chili as per your preference.
Step 1: Set the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker on saute mode. Heat oil and add the cumin seeds and bay leaf. Add onion, ginger, garlic, and green chili. Saute for 3-4 minutes, until the onions soften and turn translucent (images 1 and 2).
Step 2: Add tomatoes, coriander powder, turmeric powder, chili powder, and salt. Saute for 2-3 minutes until the tomatoes are soft and pulpy (images 3 and 4).
Step 3: Add the soaked chana dal and bottle gourd. Add one cup of water. Mix well and deglaze the pot (images 5 and 6).
Step 4: Secure the IP lid and set it to pressure cook mode for 6 minutes on high pressure. Do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then do a quick release. Add garam masala, cilantro, and lemon juice (images 7 and 8).
Mix well and serve with roti or rice.
To make lauki chana dal on a stovetop:
- Rinse the chana dal in water and soak it in 2 cups of water for at least 2-3 hours.
- Heat oil in a heavy-bottom pan on medium heat. Add cumin seeds and bay leaf.
- Once the cumin seeds splutter, add chopped onion, ginger, garlic, and green chillies. Sauté until the onions on high heat turn translucent.
- Add chopped tomatoes and powdered spices (coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder, and turmeric powder). Sauté until the tomatoes are cooked and the mixture becomes mushy.
- Drain the soaked chana dal and add it to the pan. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add chopped calabash, salt, and water (as required to cover everything). Mix well and cover the pan with a lid. Cook on medium heat until the dal and vegetables are cooked, stirring occasionally. It should take about 30-35 minutes.
- Once the dal and vegetables are cooked, add garam masala, lemon or lime juice, and chopped cilantro leaves. Serve hot with rice or flatbread.
Wash the chana dal thoroughly before soaking it. Soak chana dal for an hour and drain the water before using it. If we skip soaking the dal, it may take longer to cook.
This is an optional step but to add some thickness to this healthy curry, you can lightly mash some of the chana dal after pressure cooking.
You can also make this dish with moong dal (yellow lentil) instead of chana dal. You can also replace the bottle gourd with any other squash or even zucchini. Note that the cooking time will vary depending on the type of squash.
I prefer to make this dish slightly spicy; however, you may adjust the amount of chili as per your taste preference.
Chana dal is very versatile and can be used to make desserts too. Click here to see how to make chana dal payasam in Instant Pot.
Use the tender leaves and stalk of this calabash squash to make this delicious stir fry.
Lauki chana dal sabzi is a versatile dish that can be served in several ways. Here are some serving suggestions:
Serve with plain rice: This lauki sabzi pairs well with plain steamed basmati rice or red rice.
Serve with flavored rice: Saffron rice and jeera rice are some delicious side dish options for this dish.
Accompany with bread: Serve it with bread like naan, roti, or paratha.
On its own: Lauki chana dal sabzi can be enjoyed on its own as a light and healthy meal.
With salad: You can serve this dish with a side salad like kachumber to add some freshness and crunch to the meal.
With yogurt: You can serve this dish with a side of plain yogurt or raita to balance out the flavors and add some creaminess.
It can be paired with roti or jeera rice. It also tastes good with red rice. You can also enjoy this healthy dish on its own for a grain-free meal.
Lauki chana dal sabzi can be stored in an airtight container and it stays fresh in the refrigerator for three to four days. It can also be frozen and stays good for up to three months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and heat it well before serving. Make sure the dish is completely cooled before storing it, and store it immediately after it is cooled.
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Bottle Gourd Curry / Lauki Chana Dal Sabzi
- 1 large bottle gourd (approximately 5 cups)
- 1 cup chana dal
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 inch ginger finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1-2 green chili finely chopped (or as per taste)
- 2 medium tomato chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves
- ½ lemon or lime
- 1½ cups water
- Wash the chana dal thorughly and soak in water for 1 hour.
- Wash and peel the bottle gourd. Cut it into small cubes.
- Finely chop onion, ginger, garlic, green chili, and tomatoes seperately.
Making the curry:
- Set the Instant Pot in saute mode and add oil.
- Once it heats, add the cumin seeds and bay leaf. Saute for a few seconds.
- Add onion, ginger, garlic, and green chili.
- Saute for 3-4 minutes, until the onions soften and turn translucent.
- Add tomatoes, coriander powder, turmeric powder, chili powder, and salt. Mix well.
- Saute for 2-3 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and pulpy.
- Add the soaked chana dal and bottle gourd.
- Add 1½ cups of water. Mix well and deglaze the pot.
- Secure the IP lid and set it to pressure cook mode for 6 minutes.
- Do a natural release of pressure for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.
- Add garam masala, cilantro, and lemon juice. Mix well.
- Serve hot with roti or rice.
I substituted summer squash here and this came out fantastic - thank you for a beautiful, tasty recipe!
I love this curry, and making it in the IP was so easy! There's crazy good flavor in this recipe - easy to make, too!
My local vegetable stand had bottle gourd and I picked some up to try this recipe. Wow this veg curry was wonderful! I love all of the spices
We are trying to do #MeatlessMonday, we tried it on Monday and it was totally delicious. We served it with rice and it was so comforting and warming.
Wow, was this tasty! The spices were perfect. Will definitely make again soon! 🙂