Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Lau-er-tarkari Ilish Macher Matha Diye/Lauki Curried with Hilsa Fish Head

Lau/Lauki/Bottle Gourd, is a Simpleton among vegetables. The look is good – the skin is smooth with a light green colour and the inside is white. As I compare the Lau/Lauki, a mesmerizing thought of a Nursery Rhyme of my kiddy days flash across my mind. And then come the words that had long been forgotten… go and reverberate says my mind as I look at my lau/lauki…

And remembering I say it in a lyrical tone…

Simple Simon met a Pieman,
Going to the fair,
Says Simple Simon to the Pieman,
Let me taste your ware… and I carry on…

All these thoughts because I’ve named my Lau/lauki as Simpleton, otherwise I would’nt have repeated those lines here…are you bored? No ‘Cooking ab bhi baki hai mere dost’, so just stay on…

Ha ha ha, jokes apart I’m back to my recipe.

Why do I have to jump from here to there when I write my recipes, a question that can strike others mind. Of course anecdotes are a part of our life and so is expression in words and writings.

Recipes will come and go from one to another but the thoughts will be different at different times. That also depends on the mood while writing.

Now I’m back to my Simpleton with whom I’ll be cooking my dainty dish. A dainty dish is a surprising word for recipes, but the Lau/Lauki is indeed dainty, and the best part is it needs simple masalas or spices to liven its taste. Simple cooking and Healthy eating you get from this dish.

Hilsa/ilish Mach in CR Park Fish Market, New Delhi

This recipe is a non-vegetarian preparation but you can cook the same way and get the Vegetarian one here.

The vegetable

Lau/Lauki about I kg

Remember to wash the lau/Lauki whole, and then peel off the skin which is thick, and then cut it into very small pieces.

Arrangement of spices before cooking:

Kalo jeera/nigella seeds/kalaungi:  2 ½ tsp.
Green chillies: 2-3
Haldi powder: ½ tsp.
Red chilli powder: ¼ tsp.
Salt: to taste
Sugar: 2 tsp. (add as per your taste)
Cooking oil: 1 ½ tsp

For the non-veg part:

One Ilish/hilsa fish head.

Coming to cooking the dish:

Wash the fish head, fry and break it into small pieces and keep it aside.

Next take oil in a cooking vessel. As the oil releases its heat add the kalo jeera/kalaunji and the green chillies that have been slit. Let it splutter for a minute in the hot oil.

Add the lauki and fry it for a couple of minutes.

Time to add the powdered haldi and red chilli and along with it goes the salt and sugar.

Cook it on high flame, stir from time to time for 2-3 minutes.

Cover the vessel and let it cook on slow flame.

In the meantime the lau/lauki will release lots of water.

Open the lid from time to time and stir the content.

(Here I would like to mention that a friend of mine was in such a hurry to cook this dish that she drained the water that was released. Don’t make that mistake for all the taste lies in the natural water released from the lau/lauki and the vegetable will cook in the liquid of its own. I got the blame but she made the mistake).

After about 10-12 minutes, increase the flame.

Once the water starts to dry up, add the fish head.

Cook for some time till the water dries up completely.

Tasting time:

Serve the dish and enjoy the taste.

It has been very rightly said: "Proof of the pudding is in the eating". I think so much truth lies in proverbs…agree or disagree?

Till next time… Ta J

© gouri guha 2013


  1. Flavorful dish,new to me,looks so delicious.

  2. Hi,
    What else can I say, 'This is Incredible India'.

  3. Thanks Shreya for the comment. Yes its mustard oil.