BOTTLE GOURD JUICE
In a blender take 1 cup peeled and chopped bottle gourd (lauki). Also add handful mint, 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder, 1/2 teaspoon crushed pepper, 1-inch ginger, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Add 1 cup chilled water and blend smooth. Finally, pour bottle gourd juice in a glass with few ice cubes.
BOTTLE GOURD HALWA
Squeeze the water from shredded bottle gourd after taking out the water bottle gourd should be 2 cups packed. Set aside. Boil 2-1/2 cups milk on medium high heat in heavy bottom pan making sure milk does not burn. After milk comes to boil lower the heat to medium low and boil for ten minutes, until it becomes about 1-1/2 cups. Set aside. Melt 2 tablespoons ghee in frying pan on medium heat add bottle gourd and sauté for 3 minutes, or until it is tender but not mushy. Add milk, mix well and bring it to boil, reduce heat to low and cook until mixture becomes thick. It will take approx. 10 minutes. Stir occasionally in between to prevent sticking. Add 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground cardamom seeds, and 1 tablespoon chopped pistachios. Stir continuously and cook until mixture becomes of consistency of soft sticky dough, this will take approx. 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat. Delicious bottle gourd halwa is ready. Transfer it to serving bowl and garnish with 1 tablespoon chopped pistachios, and serve hot.
DRY BOTTLE GOURD CURRY
Wash 500g bottle guard, peel and cut in small cubes. Chop 1 medium size onion and 1 medium size tomato in small pieces. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan; add 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds and 1/4 tablespoon mustard seeds. When it starts crackling add 7 curry leaves and onion. Sauté onion until it becomes pink. Add 1/4 tablespoon turmeric powder, 1 tablespoon coriander powder, 1/2 tablespoon red chilli powder, salt and sauté well. Now add chopped tomatoes and cook until tomato becomes soft. Add bottle gourd and stir. Cover it with a lid and let it cook for 10 minutes or more on simmer gas. Cook until bottle gourd is cooked properly. Serve hot.
BOTTLE GOURD CHUTNEY
Rinse well and chop bottle gourd with skin for 2 cups or you can make with the peel only. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a pan, add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and allow to splutter. Add 1 tablespoon chana dal, 3 pods large garlic, 4-5 green chillies or to taste, and sauté until chana dal becomes golden brown. Now add bottle gourd pieces and sauté for 2 minutes. Allow to cool bottle gourd and then grind with salt to taste, tamarind very little, 3 tablespoons grated coconut and little water in to smooth paste. Chutney is ready. Have it with rice/paratha. For tempering, heat 1 teaspoon oil, add 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspoon urad dal, curry leaves and sauté until golden brown, pour on chutney.
BOTTLE GOURD WITH MUTTON
In a pan heat 2 tablespoons oil and add 1/4kg thinly sliced onions. Sauté until it gets a light brown colour to it. Add 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger, 2 teaspoons fresh grated garlic paste, two whole red chillies, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2kg medium pieces of mutton and 1 cinnamon stick. Sauté for 5 minutes and add 1kg of grated bottle gourd. Add 2 cups of water bring it all to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pan and allow it to cook for 1 hour 15 minutes. Give it a stir, check that meat is cooked through. Continue cooking until the meat is done. Once the meat is ready, keep cooking without the cover until all the water is evaporated and you will see the oil rise to the sides of the pan. Serve hot with chappatis.