Bottle gourd leaves stir fry is a wholesome and easy-to-make dish that showcases the tender stalks and leaves of the calabash plant. This traditional Bengali recipe brings together the vibrant hues and aromatic spices of the region, offering a delicious addition to your meal.
Also called lau pata chorchori, this stir fry is ready in less than 20 minutes and can be enjoyed alongside steamed rice.
The essence of this dish lies in a spice blend made with poppy seeds and mustard seeds, which impart a distinct flavor. This versatile masala base can also be used with other leafy greens. You can substitute tender pumpkin leaves and stems for the calabash leaves in this particular recipe.
Why you will love this recipe?
- Easy and quick: This recipe is straightforward and can be prepared with ease in less than 20 minutes to cook, providing a convenient option for a quick and nutritious meal.
- Accompaniment with rice: The bottle gourd leaves stir fry is commonly served as a side dish with plain steamed rice.
Using Calabash leaves
Calabas, or bottle gourd, is one of our favorite vegetables, and I cook it in several ways - from mains to dessert. We grow calabash plants in our backyard veggie patches during summer and make the most of them. Not just the fruit itself, its peel, leaves, and tender stalk - nothing goes to waste in my kitchen. This easy recipe is made with the leaves and tender stalk/vine of bottle gourd.
Bottle gourd leaves and tender stalk: Use freshly picked leaves and tender stalk/vines to make this lauki patta sabzi. You can also use just the calabash leaves instead of both leaves and stalk.
Poppy seeds and mustard seeds: These are the main spices used and form the base of this dish.
Nigella seeds (black caraway seeds): Nigella seeds are also called 'kalo jeere' in Bengali and 'Kalonji' in Hindi.
Step 1: Grind poppy seeds, mustard, and green chili into a smooth paste using some water (image 1).
Step 2: Place a
Step 3: Add the stalk, mix well, and let it cook for a few minutes (images 3 and 4).
Step 4: Add the tender leaves and mix well. Add the ground paste, turmeric powder, and salt. Mix well and let it simmer (images 5 and 6).
Step 5: Let the leaves and stalk cook completely. Increase heat and let the excess moisture dry (images 7 and 8).
Select fresh, tender bottle gourd leaves for the stir fry. Ensure that the leaves are vibrant in color, free from wilting or yellowing, and without any signs of damage. Older stalks and leaves are fibrous and inedible.
Thoroughly wash the calabash leaves to remove any dirt or impurities. You can immerse them in water and gently swirl them around to loosen any debris. Rinse them well and pat them dry using a clean kitchen towel or paper towel.
The spice levels in this stir fry can be adjusted according to your taste preferences. If you prefer a milder flavor, reduce the amount of chili peppers or omit it altogether.
How to serve calabash leaves stir fry?
With steamed rice: The traditional and most common way to serve bottle gourd leaves stir fry is as a side dish alongside plain steamed rice.
As a wrap or filling: Use the stir fry as a delicious filling for wraps or sandwiches. Spread some chutney or sauce on a tortilla or flatbread, add the stir fry, and roll it up for a flavorful and portable meal.
As a side dish: Bottle gourd leaves stir fry can also be served as a side dish alongside other main courses. It complements various Indian curries, lentil dishes (dal), or grilled meats, adding a burst of flavor and a nutritious component to the meal.
More Bengali recipes
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Bottle Gourd Leaves Stir Fry
- Soak poppy seeds and black mustard seeds in some water for 5-10 minutes.
- Wash and clean the bottle gourd leaves and stalk thoroughly.
- Separate the stalk from the leaves. Cut the stalk into 2-inch pieces and roughly chop the leaves.
- Combine the soaked poppy and mustard seeds with green chilies and grind them into a smooth paste.
Make the stir fry:
- Heat oil in a kadhai or frying pan and add caraway seeds.
- Once it splutters, add the bottle gourd stalk and mix well.
- Cover and let it cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the leaves and mix well.
- Add the ground paste, turmeric powder, and salt. Mix well.
- Cover and let it simmer until the leaves and stalk are completely cooked.
- Increase the heat and let excess moisture dry.
- Serve hot with steamed rice.