I suddenly discovered bottle gourd creepers (lau saak) at the local farmer’s market. I had never imagined that I’d be able to get freshest of lau saak here in US. I tried to ask the Chinese lady selling them how they eat it. However, her English was too limited for me to figure out the recipe.
I brought them home and cooked it following my mom’s traditional lau-saak recipe. I didn’t use bottle gourd itself with the vegetable because my mom used to tell me that you never cook fruit along with it’s plant because cooking mom and kids together isn’t really a good idea. So I used pumpkin instead.
The same recipe can also be used with pumpkin twigs with bottle gourd (remember no same plant and it’s fruit :))
- 1 lb. bottle gourd twigs cut into 2” pieces
- 1/2 lb. orange pumpkin cut into cubes
- 2 medium potatoes cut into cubes
- 2 green chilies slit lengthwise
- 1tsp. kalonji ( Nigella ) seeds for tempering
- 1tsp. whole wheat flour (Atta)
- 1 tbsp. nigella seeds and 1 green chili grind into fine paste
- 1 tsp. sugar
Start by heating mustard oil in a pan. Drop nigella seeds and slit green chilies. sauté them for 1-2 minutes. Add potato and pumpkin cubes in the midway of your sautéing process. Sprinkle salt and sugar and fry the vegetables for 3-4 minutes on low heat. Add a cup of water and continue cooking till they are half done.
Now add bottle gourd twigs and mix everything well. Continue cooking covered till all the vegetables are tender.
Adjust consistency of the gravy to how you like it Traditionally it is runny. Stir 1 tsp. of whole wheat flour in 1/2 cup of water and pour it over. Gently mix it. It will give a mild thickness to the runny gravy.
Now last but not the least add nigella and green chili paste to it and mix well before you finish.
Enjoy with plain rice.