Lau Chingri is a traditional Bengali dish that combines bottle gourd (Lau) and succulent shrimp (Chingri) with aromatic spices. This exceptional recipe reflects the Bengal's rich cultural heritage and diverse array of local ingredients. Bottle gourd pairs beautifully with shrimps, and the fragrant spices raise the dish to an exquisite level that tempts the taste buds. This is one of the most popular Bengali summer recipes.
Although bottle gourd is a popular summer vegetable, many people dislike eating it in a simple curry (as portrayed in popular comics Gopal Bhar). In Bengal, Lau is frequently cooked with fish head or shrimp, making it delicious and enjoyed by all.
Interestingly, this Lau Chingri recipe is a no onion no garlic dish and a light side dish to be paired with plain rice. Whenever I get kucho chingri (small size shrimps) at market I buy either bottle gourd to make lau chingri or yam (ol) to make ol chingri. I also prepare echor chingri during the summer months.
Bottle Gourd: Bottle gourd aka lau is the primary ingredient of this dish. You can use either round shaped bottle gourd or the elongated one. Always use fresh and tender bottle gourd for this recipe.
Shrimp: This dish calls for small shrimps or kucho chingri. If you can't find shrimp, you can substitute fresh prawns that are a little larger in size.
Potato: I prefer to add potatoes to this curry. If you do not prefer, you can avoid adding potatoes.
Spice Powders: Simple spices including turmeric powder, cumin powder etc. are used in this recipe.
Whole Spices: Dry red chilli, bay leaf and panch phoron (Bengali five spice)
Oil: I always use mustard oil to cook any kind of traditional Bengali recipes and this recipe was not exceptional.
Others: Salt, Green Chilli, Ghee, etc.
Learn how to make lau chingri by following the step-by-step instructions.
Wash and peel the bottle gourd and cut into cubes. Similarly, peel potato and make cubes.
Meanwhile, cut and clean the small shrimps before cooking them. I always get the shrimp clean at the fish shop and this saves a lot of time.
Now heat oil in a pan and fry the shrimps with salt and turmeric powder. You can also marinate the shrimps with salt and turmeric and fry them later.
Once the shrimps are done, take them out from the oil and keep aside.
In the remaining oil, add bay leaf, dry red chilli and panch phoron. Once they start crackling and oil becomes aromatic, add bottle gourd and potato. Fry them well.
Toss the vegetables quickly with salt and turmeric. Next add ginger paste, cumin powder and green chilli and combine well.
Then, pour in 1 cup of water and cover the pan. Allow the vegetables to cook.
When the bottle gourd and potato are tender, add the fried shrimps and mix thoroughly.
Turn off the heat when the water has almost evaporated and add ghee on top, serve with plain rice.
ay have friends or family that they're cooking for that could use this. This is also a great idea to link out to another blogger with a similar recipe that fits a different diet.
If you have leftover lau chungri, you can keep it in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
- If the bottle gourd is not peeled properly, it will not cook properly.
- Always use fresh and tender bottler gourd for better taste.
- This recipe calls for small shrimp known as kucho chingri, so try to find this variety to get the true flavor of the dish.
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- 600-700 gms Bottle Gourd (Lau) cut into cubes
- 150 gms Shrimp (Kucho Chingri)
- 1 no Potato, small cut into cubes
- 1 teaspoon Cumin Powder
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1 teaspoon Ginger Paste
- 1 teaspoon Panch Phoron
- 1 no Bay Leaf
- 1-2 no Green Chilli
- 1 no Dry Red Chilli
- ¼ cup Mustard Oil use as required
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon Ghee optional
- Heat oil in a pan and fry the shrimps with little salt and turmeric powder. Once done take them out and keep aside.
- In the remaining oil add dry red chilli, bay leaf and panch phoron.
- Once the oil turns aromatic add potato and bottle gourd cubes and fry them.
- Add salt and turmeric and quickly toss the vegetables.
- Next add ginger paste, cumin powder and green chilli and combine well.
- After that, add 1 cup of water and cover the pan. Allow to cook the vegetables.
- Later once the bottle gourd and potato become tender, add the fried shrimps and mix well.
- Once the water is almost evaporated, turn off the heat and add a dollop of ghee on top and serve with plain rice.
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