Thursday, August 1, 2013

Bottle Gourd (Lauki) Raitha

The Square Meals duo apologizes for being MIA for a month and a half…we are extremely sorry, once again. 
Deliciously Yours,
Square Meals
Summer 2013 was erratic, for lack of a better word. I reached Chennai in time for the dreaded Agni Nakshathram (supposedly the hottest days in Chennai), and survived them without much trouble. It cooled down a bit and then came June with even hotter days. Those I had trouble with, maybe because it was unexpected, unlike the scheduled ones in May. Anyway, all said and done, the heat waves of Chennai gave me ample opportunities to savor some delightful raithas and thirst-quenching buttermilk…which I am missing now!!!
It was during that time that I enjoyed this refreshing raitha that my mother made for dinner one night. We had it with chapathis and I fell in love with the combination of yogurt and bottle gourd. It is the best thing that can happen to your body at the end of (or middle of) a hot summer day, trust me.
Ingredients (Serves 2-3)
Bottle gourd – 3/4th cup (grated)
Yogurt – 1 cup
Finely chopped green chilies – 1-2
Cumin powder – a pinch
Oil – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Peel and grate the bottle gourd. Heat oil in a small pan and add the bottle gourd to it. Add a pinch of salt and sauté for about 4-5 minutes; just to ensure that the raw taste/smell is gone. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool completely. Meanwhile, beat together the yogurt, green chilies, cumin powder and some salt. Keep chilled. Once the bottle gourd has cooled completely, add to the yogurt mixture, mix well and add more salt if required. Serve chilled with parathas, chapathis, pulav etc. Bon Appétit.
P.S. I have mentioned that this quantity can serve 2-3 people…but if you are like me and love a good raitha, this might just be enough for one.

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