By Sonalika Rawat
Lauki or bottle gourd, as we know it and consume it, is the fruit of a plant found in the northern part of India and the coastal areas of South India. Although lauki is available throughout the year, people prefer to eat it in the summer season. In this article, I’m going to share with you the benefits of lauki. I’ll also be sharing my favourite summer and winter recipes, that will showcase to you, the different ways of consuming lauki. These bottle gourd recipes are easy and quick to make, and you will enjoy the taste and health benefits of these dishes.
. The benefits of bottle-gourd or Lauki are numerous (Image Source: HTV)
Lauki is packed with Nutritional Value
The edible portion of lauki is a fair source of Vitamin C, beta carotene and a good source of Vitamin B complex, pectin and dietary soluble fibers. It is also a good source of carbohydrates, minerals, amino acids and vitamins.
Lauki helps fight Cholestrol
Lauki contains more proportion of soluble dietary fibers than insoluble fibers. Soluble Dietary Fibers have a profound effect in lowering serum cholesterol.
Lauki relieves Eye pain
Take bottle gourd or lauki pulp, make a poultice and place it over the eyes. You can also cut the pulp into round, thin slices and place them one on top of the other (5 – 6 slices together) over closed eyelids. This helps relieve eye pain and relaxes the eyes.
Lauki can help cure Urinary infection
Lauki is well known for its diuretic property and is very effective in alleviating the negative effects of urinary disorders. Have a glass of fresh bottle gourd juice daily mixed with a little lime juice. This treats the burning sensation in the urethra which is caused by the high acidity of the urine. Lauki also has curative effects for any kind of urine infection.
If you would like to know more about superfoods in India, you should definitely buy Rujuta Diwekar’s book ‘Indian Superfoods: Change the Way You Eat’.
Consuming lauki in different ways can make you feel relaxed and hydrated
This vegetable is a relaxing and sedative food. It gives one a feeling of relaxation and calmness after eating it. Cooked leaves of bottle gourd or lauki, taken as vegetable, is a calming dish. These leaves can cure insomnia.
Another cooling and relaxing concoction is lauki juice. Lauki is hydrating in nature as it is composed 95% of water. One glass of Lauki juice keeps the body hydrated. Lauki juice is very refreshing and also helps reduce fatigue.
One glass of Lauki juice keeps the body hydrated (Image Source: Archana’s Kitchen)
Recipe for Lauki- Mint juice (good for summer)
1 Bottle gourd (lauki) , peeled and diced
1 inch Ginger , chopped
Mint Leaves (Pudina) , small bunch
Salt or kala namak to taste
Lemon juice , from 2 lemons
Honey or jaggery (optional)
- Put the bottle gourd, ginger and mint leaves into a Blender/ Juicer.
- Run the juicer until all the juice comes out.
- Pour the Bottle Gourd Juice (Lauki Juice) into a glass , add salt to taste, lemon juice and serve it first thing in the morning before breakfast.
Warning: Avoid Lauki Juice that is bitter in taste. Bitter Lauki juice can be poisonous. If you experience pain in abdomen or vomiting after consuming the juice, consult a doctor immediately
Lauki can help relieve Ear Ache
Take a lauki stalk, crush it and extract the juice. Put 2 – 3 drops of this in the painful ear. The earache will stop immediately.
Lauki aids in digestion
Due to its high fibre and water content, lauki helps relieve constipation. When combined with tomato, lauki is great for relieving acidity and flatulence.
Lauki Recipe: Tomato soup (Winter special)
Half of one big lauki
Tomatoes – 2 to 3 medium sized
Ginger – ½ inch , peeled
Whole black peppercorns – 6
Onion – 1 medium sized
Fresh coriander (cilantro) – 2 tbsp
Olive oil: 1 tbsp
Salt and crushed black pepper – to taste
- Wash, peel and dice lauki. Roughly chop tomatoes, onion.
- In a pressure cooker put bottle gourd, tomato, onion, ginger, whole peppercorns, 4 cups water.
- Cook up to 1 whistle and then lower flame and cook another 5 mins or till cooked.
- Remove from heat. Let pressure drop, then open lid.
- Cool the cooked mixture.
- Blend to puree in mixer/blender. When blending you may add the coriander leaves if desired.
- Strain the blended mixture.
- Pour puree into saucepan. Bring to boil.
- Add salt and pepper powder.
- Add chopped coriander, if not added when grinding.
- Stir and simmer for few minutes.
- Serve hot.
Lauki and Tomato Soup, a Winter Special (Image Source: Honest Cooking)
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