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Potatoes with Opo Gourd
India - Aloo Lauki ki Subzi
This is a simple recipe, but with sophisticated
flavor and satisfying substance - an adaption of our
Potatoes with Kantola Gourd recipe for
a more available vegetable. Opo and Potatoes are very compatible. It
can serve as a side for 4 to 5, or a main dish for 2 to 3. A subzi
[sabzi, sabji] is a simple, relatively dry vegetable stir fry.
Opo Gourd (1)
Amchur Powder (4)
Chili Powder (5)
Mustard Oil (6)
PREP - (14 min)
RUN - (40 min)
- Peel OPO thinly, and cut into sticks about 3/8 inch on a
side and 1 to 1-1/2 inches long.
- Peel POTATOES and cut into pieces Of about the same size
as the Opo. Mix with Opo and keep in cold water to cover
- Mix Asafoetida with Cumin Seeds (see
- Grind together Fennel and Coriander. Mix all
- Drain Potato mix.
- IF using Mustard Oil, heat it in a coverable kadhai,
wok or spacious sauté pan until you see the first wisps of
smoke. Immediately take it off the heat and allow to cool to a
frying temperature (see Note-6). IF
using any other oil, just heat it to frying temperature.
- Stir in Tempering mix until Cumin is aromatic, then
immediately stir in Potato mix and Turmeric. Fry
stirring just until well distributed.
- Cover and sweat the vegetables over low heat until potatoes are
cooked through (about 30 minutes). Tumble the vegetables
occasionally. If it seems too dry, you can add a Tablespoon of
- Stir in Spicing mix until well distributed, then cover
and sweat another minute.
- Serve hot with Basmati Rice or Roti.
- Opo Gourd: [Lauki, Dodhi, Bottle
Gourd] This gourd is commonly available in produce stores
in North America. Many recipes say you can substitute Zucchini for
Opo, but this is not true - zucchini will turn to mush, opo will not.
For details see our Bottle Gourd
- Potatoes: White Rose and Red Potatoes
work well for this method of cooking. Even Yukon Gold type can be used
here, though the flavor is different and they don't have those in India.
For details, see our Potatoes
- Asafoetida - Hing: This is the resin
of a giant fennel plant, used in India by sects forbidden to eat
onions or garlic. Caution: there are two forms: Pure
Hing (asafoetida beads or ground) and the more common "Hing Powder".
The "powder" is heavily cut with rice flour. The amount given here is
for pure asafoetida. Use about 3 times as much if what you have is
the "powder" form, and stir into tempering at the last moment. For
details see our Asafoetida
- Amchur: Used as a souring agent,
this is a powder made from dried unripe mangos. It is available in
markets serving an Indian community. If you don't have it, use 3 T
- Chili Powder: 1/2 teaspoon Khandela
or Reshampati will make this dish moderately hot by Southern California
standards. If in doubt, use Kashmiri powder. For details see our
Indian Chilis page.
- Mustard Oil: This is the traditional
cooking oil of Bengal and north central India. It is handled
differently from other oils. Mustard oil is heated in the pan with no
other ingredients until it reaches a temperature where the first wisps
of smoke appear (about 480°F/250°C). Immediately take it off
the heat and allow to cool to a more reasonable frying temperature
(around 360°F/180°C) before adding other ingredients. This
procedure removes the acrid taste of the raw oil and renders it quite
pleasant. Mustard oil is available in markets serving an Indian
community. It will always be labeled "For Massage Use Only" due to
lack of FDA approval, based on reasons no longer considered valid.
For details see our Mustard Oil
- U.S. measure: t=teaspoon,
T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce,
#=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required
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