Pan-fried Cheesy Discs

“I am not having that mom! Give me something else”

These are common words every other child utters when offered bottle gourd in any form. Trust me, I have done it every time I was offered it as a kid. In fact, as an adult as well. :p

Lauki as it is commonly known in Hindi or Dudhi in Gujarati, this green vegetable has umpteen health benefits, check out a few here – Bottle gourd health benefits. But alas! just knowing the benefits ain’t enough for having it right!?! We need to make it tasty as well! So here is one of the simplest recipes on this planet! I saw this recipe some 3-4 years ago on the TV and since then it has stuck in my mind! It’s that simple!

For all you mothers out there and all those who don’t like to eat bottle gourd in its conventional form or want your kids to eat it for the health benefits – try this! It is going to attract your kids any day! And you will be a hit among them. Why not include them also in the preparations!? And teach them the benefits along! 😀

Prep time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

  1. 1 large bottle gourd
  2. 6 medium sized potatoes boiled & mashed
  3. 2 medium sized onions chopped fine.
  4. 1 small tomato chopped fine
  5. 2 tspn ginger chilli paste
  6. 2.5 tspn red chilli powder
  7. 3 tspn coriander powder
  8. 2 tspn garam masala powder
  9. 3 cheese cubes grated
  10. 2 tspn cumin seeds
  11. Salt to taste
  12. Oil for pan-frying

For frying:

  1. 5 tspn red chilli powder
  2. 6 tspn coriander powder
  3. 3 tspn garam masala powder
  4. 1 tspn asafoetida powder
  5. Salt to taste

Now, for all those who stay alone and would want to try this – though its a really simple dish, some initial preparation wouldn’t hurt. I had my mom to help me out with the preparations for I had promised in the morning before going to office that I will be making these in the evening for a light dinner but got really late. By the time I was back home, everyone was really famished and I was more than happy to have her help with the chopping and everything. So, a little advance preparation would save good time.

The dish itself is made into 2 stages – Making the filling of the discs and then stuffing the bottle gourd for pan-frying. Here goes the recipe:

Method:

  1. Add 3 tspn oil in a pan and heat it on medium flame. Add the cumin seeds and stir till the cumin seeds change the colour to a little dark. (Tip: Be cautious about the colour and take care not to burn the cumin seeds).

    cumin seeds
    Cumin seeds spluttering in oil on medium flame
  2. As the cumin seeds change color, add the ginger garlic chilli paste and saute on low flame for a minute. Then add the chopped onions & salt and let them cook. Stir the onions till they change colour and become transparent.
  3. Once the onions are done, add the chopped tomatoes and let them cook. Add the red chilli powder, coriander powder & garam masala and keep on stirring till the oil leaves the sides and tomatoes are properly cooked. This would take about a minute and a half.

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  4. Once the onion and tomato mixture is ready, add the mashed potatoes and additional salt if required and mix thoroughly till all the ingredients combine to form a nice stuffing. Keep it aside for further use.
  5. Take the bottle gourd, remove its skin and cut it into 1 cm thick slices. Remove the middle white portion from all the slices and just keep the sides. This will help give you bottle gourd discs.(Tip: You can leave the skin on depending upon your taste preference. Also, alternately you can remove the middle portion from the bottle gourd with a spoon or knife and then cut it into slices).

    Lauki discs with the middle removed
    Prepared Bottle gourd discs
  6. Once the discs are ready, stuff the middle portion with the potato mixture prepared earlier. Ensure that the stuffing is at level with the discs i.e. it should not rise above or below the 1 cm discs otherwise they won’t cook properly.

    lauki discs stuffed with potato mixture
    Bottle gourd discs ready to be pan fried
  7. In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients kept for frying. Now cover all the discs by rolling them both the sides in this prepared powder mix. You are all set for pan frying the discs.
  8. Add about 2 tspn oil in a flat pan or a grill pan and one by one, keep the discs for frying. Sprinkle little cheese on top of each of them and cover with a lid for about 5 mins till the bottle gourd is cooked perfectly soft to eat, the cheese melts and the color turns to a nice golden brown.

A lot of variations are possible for this starter/snack recipe in terms of stuffing or the topping or even the flavors and method of cooking (read baking instead of pan frying)! This is the simplest version presented here – trust me, it tastes no less than a mini pizza with that little cheese on the top.

I have a chef aspirant staying at my place who really doesn’t like this vegetable. But I was more than happy when I asked her to have a bite of these and she was delighted with the taste! “These are yum. I can’t believe its dudhi as the base! ” 😀

Go try the recipe with your kids & friends! Become a little more popular! 🙂

 

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