Lauki dalcha is pigeon pea lentils that is yellow lentils cooked with bottle gourd , tempered with spices and cooked in tamarind water . This is a tangy and medium spicy dal recipe. This lauki dalcha easy recipe is the quickest way of making veg dalcha with readily available ingredients , usually people make this with various different types of vegetables and have a very elaborate recipe for cooking dalcha . but, I am sharing lauki dalcha easy and in quick way for making this dish . This lauki dalcha easy recipe has mainly 3 to 4 steps to follow and it is ready to serve and eat.
Dalcha is also cooked with mutton which is known as gosht dalcha .But, here I am sharing the vegetarian version of the dish .This dish has tangy and medium spicy taste to it . It tastes best with jeera rice . The combination of jeera rice and lauki dalcha is absolutely delicious . Jeera rice recipe and dalcha go very well together and is a complete meal by itself. Jeera rice combined with lauki dalcha enhances the flavour of both dalcha and rice.
Lauki dalcha easy recipe is one of my favourite recipes to cook and eat . I also like to enjoy this lauki dalcha easy recipe dish, with a dessert like Gajar ka halwa in pressure cooker on the side. The combination of spicy tangy dalcha rice and a dessert like gajar ka halwa is an absolutely satisfying complete meal.
To make this recipe easy , it is important to follow some crucial steps. Firstly by pre cooking the lauki and the dal , then preparing the gravy masala for the dalcha and then assembling everything together with little bit of tamarind water . These are main steps to follow in this recipe.
This recipe serves 5 people
- Bottle gourd – 1 medium sized
- Pigeon pea lentils – 11/2 cup
- Onion – 2 medium sized thinly sliced
- Tomatoes – 2 medium sized finely chopped into small pieces
- Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Coriander powder – 1 tsp
- Cumin powder – 1 tsp
- Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
- Tamarind – half cup
- Water as required
- Salt to taste
- Oil – 2 to 3 tbsp
- Cinnamon – 1 inch piece
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Shahi jeera – ½ tsp
- Curry leaves – 5 to 6 leaves
- Green chilli – 1 cut slit open
- Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsps
Pre preparation for lauki dalcha
Take half cup of seedless tamarind and soak it in water till its properly immersed . we have to soak the tamarind for about half and hour, and then blend it into a fine paste. To make a paste of tamarind we will have to wait till its properly soaked for half and hour meanwhile we can proceed with the recipe .
Now we have to pressure cook the lentils and the bottle gourd that is the dal and the lauki . for that we have to take 1 ½ cup of yellow lentils or pigeon pea lentils and wash them properly with water atleat thrice and keep aside
Next take one medium sized bottle gourd cut its top part and discard we don’t need that , peel the bottle gourd properly . Then cut it into half . Now cut these halves perpendicularly in long shapes . we have to chop them roughly in long pieces . wash it properly. And keep it aside
Cut a small piece and taste it , if the bottle gourd tastes bitter that means it has gone bad , do not use it , discard it away immediately . If the bottle gourd tastes normal then you can proceed with the recipe .
Take two separate tins of the pressure cooker. And add the lauki or bottle gourd in one tin with about a small half cup of water and in another tin add the pigeon pea lentils. And add to it about one pinch of turmeric and about two small pinches of salt and add water immersing the lentils properly in it. Now both these pressure cooker tins in the pressure cooker one above the other (as you normally do for dal and rice) and pressure cook it to at least 3 to 4 whistles. After the whistles let the pressure cooker cool off completely. Keep it aside.
The gravy for the lauki dalcha
In a heavy bottomed saucepan or any other deep vessel add 2 to 3 tbsp of oil . let the oil heat up, then put the flame on low and add one inch piece of cinnamon , 1 tsp of jeera , ½ tsp of shahi jeera , 5 to 6 curry leaves , 1 slit green chilli and stir , be very careful as this tempering will splutter . thus keep the flame on low .
To this now add 2 long and thinly sliced onions and cook properly . make sure that the onions get brown in color if they just remain translucent and you proceed to the next step they will not taste good in the dalcha , therefore cooking the onions really well is a must . on medium flame keep stirring them in between so that they don’t burn or stick to the sides and bottom of the vessel.
Once the onions turn brown its now time to add 2 tsp of ginger garlic paste. Add it in and stir continuously till its rawness goes away. Make sure to cook it properly so that it doesn’t give a bitter taste to our dalcha. Hence cook it well while stirring it continuously so that it doesn’t burn and stick to the bottom of the pan . Also if the paste sticks a little bit to pan that’s fine , it only indicates that is being properly cooked . make sure not to burn it . Cooking it properly would take about 1 to 2 minutes.
Then add 2 medium sized finely chopped tomatoes to the vessel and mix well the water in the tomatoes wont allow the paste to stick , now let the tomatoes cook properly for atleast 3 to 4 minutes till they become soft and mushy . you can add about 1 tsp of salt after adding the tomatoes to make them cook faster.
Once the tomatoes become soft and mushy now its time to add all the powdered spices. That is 1 tsp Red chilli powder, ½ tsp Turmeric powder , 1 tsp Coriander powder ,1 tsp Cumin powder , and 1 tsp Garam masala powder and mix well cover and cook it for about 2 to 3 minutes on medium flame till the oil separates from the spices and the gravy .
Meanwhile, take the soaked tamarind and mash with your hands. Then take it in a blender and blend it to a fine paste and keep aside.
Now coming back to the gravy. Check if the spices are properly cooked and stir well. If the spices are sticking to the bottom of the vessel. Add about 1 tbsp of water and mix well. So that they don’t stick to the vessel and cook till the water completely dries up.
Adding bottle gourd and lentils to the gravy
When the pressure cooker has completely cooled down. Open it carefully and remove the lentils and the bottle gourd. Its ok if the bottle gourd has water left in it after boiling. We can use the same water in the gravy. Now mix the dal properly, make sure its soft and properly cooked, mash it to remove all the lumps.
Meanwhile, In the saucepan once the spices are properly cooked and the water dries up. Add the dal to it and mix well. Also add the lauki or bottle gourd with any water that’s remaining in it and mix well.
Now add a little water to the tamarind paste and add that to the saucepan as well. stir the dalcha properly and bring it a boil, if you want you can add more water to it, if it’s too thick . This dalcha is not very runny and not too thick its of medium thin gravy like consistency.
Also, after adding the mashed-up lentils make sure not to add too much water. As it will take time for the water to reduce. And form a gravy like consistency , and also the cooked lentils might stick to the bottom of the pan. So just add enough water and keep stirring it in between till a gravy like texture is formed.
Taste it and adjust the salt according to your preference, also add chopped coriander leaves for garnishing the dalcha .
If you want the dalcha gravy to be more tangy, squeeze in half a lemon without seeds to the dalcha and mix it .
Once it is boiled well and reaches an gravy like consistency, it is ready to be served with jeera rice.