Lau Er Khosha Bhaja (Bottle Gourd Peel Stir Fry)

Lau Khosha Bhaja (Bottle Gourd Peel Stir Fry) | Playful Cooking

It might sound interesting for some, probably even bizarre for others, but for most Bengali’s, this is an everyday comfort food. Lau Er Khosha Bhaja literary translates to Bottle Gourd Peel Stir Fry. It is a humble side dish, typically paired with steamed white rice and lentil stew. For the past several years since I left home, I have used bottle guard so many times in several different dishes. But I never used those peels. In the process of learning to cook, I forgot some of these simple dishes that I grew up eating.

 

Few weeks back, bottle gourd curry was once again on my meal plan. And this time, I decided to save the peel. I was almost convinced that Arvind might not enjoy it but to my surprise, he enjoyed it more than me. From that day, I never throw bottle gourd peel anymore and Lau Er Khosha Bhaja is on the menu more often than I had ever expected.

Lau Khosha Bhaja (Bottle Gourd Peel Stir Fry) | Playful CookingLau Khosha Bhaja (Bottle Gourd Peel Stir Fry) | Playful Cooking Lau Khosha Bhaja (Bottle Gourd Peel Stir Fry) | Playful CookingLau Khosha Bhaja (Bottle Gourd Peel Stir Fry) | Playful Cooking

The dish doesn’t call for heavy spices. Just some nigella seeds for that pungent kick along with some dry red chili and a couple of bay leaves. The sun-dried lentil dumplings are optional and my Mom mostly omits it but I like the texture it adds along with the earthy lentil aroma. I do add a lot of these dumplings also because Arvind just loves them.

Lau Khosha Bhaja (Bottle Gourd Peel Stir Fry) | Playful Cooking Lau Khosha Bhaja (Bottle Gourd Peel Stir Fry) | Playful Cooking

So, if you have never thought of saving those peels, do give this everyday side dish a try. Also, if you do cook the peels in a different way, I would love to learn from you. So, please do let me know.

Lau Khosha Bhaja (Bottle Gourd Peel Stir Fry)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Serves 2

Lau Khosha Bhaja (Bottle Gourd Peel Stir Fry)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of bottle gourd peels
  • 10-12 tiny dried lentil dumplings
  • 1 dry red chili
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Directions

  • Using a sharp knife, slice the peels very thinly, almost like matchsticks.
  • Pour enough water in a medium saucepan to boil the sliced peels. Place the pan in medium high heat and when the water is hot enough, sprinkle half of the salt and drop the sliced peels. Boil for 5 minutes and then drain it on a colander.
  • Place another pan in medium heat and pour the oil. When the oil is hot enough, drop the dried lentil dumplings and fry them until they turn golden brown. Take it off in a bowl and keep it aside to be used later.
  • In the same pan, add the bay leaves, dry red chili and nigella seeds. Allow it to sizzle for a few seconds and then, drop the boiled peels. Sprinkle rest of the salt, turmeric and give it a stir. Cover the pan and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes. Then, take off the lid and stir it once. Cover the pan once again and cook for 3 more minutes.
  • Take off the lid and drop the fried lentil dumplings. Pour ¼ cup of water into the pan. Cover and let it cook for 5 minutes. Then, sprinkle the sugar and give it a stir. Check for salt at this point and add any, if required. If you want to make it spicy, add some green chili or chili powder. Cook for another 2 minutes and its ready to serve.
http://www.playfulcooking.com/bengali-cuisine/lau-khosha-bhaja-bottle-gourd-peel-stir-fry/

Lau Khosha Bhaja (Bottle Gourd Peel Stir Fry) | Playful Cooking

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My all time favorite, I add white poppy seed when the dish is almost done, brings a nice texture. I haven’t tried adding bori in my lau er khosha bhaja, will try next time. And nothing new to say about your photography but hey… great knife skill 😊

Kankana Saxena says:

Thanks 🙂 I have to try with poppy seeds next time!

Delicious with all the great spices! Did you make those lentil sausages too?

Kankana Saxena says:

Hey Angie! Thanks 🙂 Those lentil dumplings can be made at home but I usually just buy it from the Indian Stores. These are typically sun-dried mashed lentils.

Kelsie says:

This looks so comforting and delicious! I’ve never used bottle gourd before but I really want to try it! I love that color 🙂

Kankana Saxena says:

Thanks Kelsie! It’s a very common vegetable in India. You should give it a try 🙂

I’ve never used a bottle gourd before but it’s pretty awesome that you can make something out of the skin! And that green color is so beautiful too!

you just made a simple home recipe so romantic. Great pictures as usual but this inspires us to tap those simple home recipes whom ewe thought who will read. Thansk Kankana

Shobee says:

How this be a comfort food whenn it looks so healthy… I am in!

The instant I read the heading bottle gourd peel stir fry, my first reaction was ‘how interesting’! I love recipes where best use is made of each and every ingredient of a vegetable or fruit. Would love to give this one a try.

Ritu Ahuja says:

You have a beautiful blog and lovely pictures. I have not prepared bottle gourd stir fry before. It looks delicious. I will give it a try soon. 🙂