A traditional North Indian Bottle Gourd or Lauki Curry made in Pressure Cooker. This curry is easy to make, along with unbelievably delicious and nutritious.
There are many names for Bottle Gourd. Here are a few I could find:
- Bottle Gourd (the obvious)
- Cucuzza (the Italian name)
- Opo Squash or Opu Squash (the Asian name)
- Calabash (another Asian name)
- Lauki (the Indian name)
- Dudhi (another Indian name)
- Ghiya (another Indian name)
- Sorakaya (another Indian name)
- Long Melon
Wow...this must be really popular...so many names!!
The interesting thing is that I did not eat this curry at all growing up, similar to this Ridge Gourd Curry (Turai ki subzi). Always thought it was not tasty, as it did not look that appealing. However now that I have tasted and started eating it, it has become such a regular in our home. My perception has changed completely.... "It is super tasty and nutritious". Here is another variation of lauki cooked along with lentils, called Lauki Chana Dal, and this healthy Lauki Raita recipe.
This curry is a staple in North Indian homes. It is a regular for the mom after delivering a baby, especially during the first 40 days, as it is very light and easy to digest. It is my grandfather's favorite, who only eats 3-4 very light vegetables which his body can digest easily...I am proud to say he is running strong at 99. We are eager to celebrate his century soon. Okay...back to preparing Lauki now!
How to prepare bottle gourd for cooking?
- When buying bottle gourd, choose ones that are pale green in color, firm, light in weight and slender. The flesh should not be soft when pressed.
- Wash the bottle gourd and slice the top and bottom portion where the stem is there. Discard the stems.
- Using a knife or peeler, remove the skin of the bottle gourd.
- Cut the peeled bottle gourd into 4 pieces lengthwise.
- If there are large seeds, then discard them by cutting the portion with the seeds lengthwise.
- Cut into half inch pieces for this curry.
How to make Lauki or Bottle Gourd Curry in Instant Pot
I am preparing Lauki curry in Instant Pot, however the same recipe can be followed in a stovetop pressure cooker.
Start with heating the instant pot in Sauté mode. Add oil, cumin, ginger, garlic and green chillies. Once the garlic has turned golden brown, add the chopped onions and sauté for couple of minutes. Add in the chopped tomatoes, spices and salt.
Now add the cut lauki pieces. No need to add water to this curry, lauki has so much intrinsic water and it will cook in it.
Change the instant pot setting to manual mode for 6 minutes. When the instant pot beeps, do 10 minutes NPR, which means let the pressure naturally for 10 minutes, then manually release the pressure. The center image below shows how it looked when I opened the instant pot. Give it a good stir and see the curry in the right image. Garnish with cilantro and it is ready to be devoured.
Lauki / Bottle Gourd Curry - Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
- 2 Bottle Gourd (Lauki) peeled and cut into small about 1/2 inch pieces (about 4-5 cups, see post for more details)
- 1 tbsp Oil
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds (Jeera)
- 4 cloves Garlic finely chopped
- 1" inch Ginger finely chopped
- 1 Green Chili Pepper (optional) Bird's eye or another variety
- 1 Onion large chopped (about 1.5 cups)
- 2 Tomato large chopped (about 1.5 cups)
- 1 tsp Dry Mango powder (Amchur) or 1 tbsp Lemon juice
- Cilantro to garnish
- Start the instant pot in sauté mode and heat oil in it. Add cumin, ginger, garlic and green chillies.
- Once the garlic has turned golden brown, add the chopped onions and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add in the chopped tomatoes, spices and salt. If anything is stuck to the bottom of the pot, scrape it. If needed, add 2-3 tbsp of water and deglaze the pot.
- Add the cut Lauki pieces and stir well. Press Cancel and close lid with vent in sealing position. (see notes)
- Change the instant pot setting to manual or pressure cook mode at high pressure for 6 minutes. When the instant pot beeps, do 10 minutes NPR which means release the pressure manually after 10 minutes.
- Stir the curry and garnish with cilantro. Lauki curry is ready to be served with roti or rice.
- If you are making Lauki in a stovetop pressure cooker, give 1-2 whistle and let the pressure release naturally. All the other steps remain the same.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.