|Bori Diye Doodh Lau|
Doodh Lau (Milk Bottle-Gourd) is a simple way of cooking squash which is suitable for people suffering from stomach ailments. This dish uses no spices and the seeds from the peppers can be removed, if need be. Bottle-gourd is widely available in most parts of India whereas chayote squash is found in the hilly regions, namely Darjeeling, which is nestled in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains.
|Lau or Bottle Gourd|
Chayote squash, sourced from Mexico (I think), is more readily available in North America and can be found in supermarkets across the US. Lau or bottle-gourd can only be found in the Indian markets and some Asian markets where I live. Both chayote squash and lau have no taste of their own and absorb the taste of the gravy in which they are cooked. Lau tends to break down more easily than chayote squash and reduces to practically nothing because of its high water content. I use chayote squash interchangeably with lau and have cooked it in all the ways that I've seen lau being cooked, most notably with shrimp, in a mustard sauce and in milk and bori.
|Sona Mung Bori|
Plain milk can be used to make the gravy for doodh-lau, but I prefer to use the shelf-stable variety called evaporated milk, from which 60% of water has been removed from fresh milk. It differs from sweetened condensed milk which contains added sugar.
|Squash Simmered in Milk|
4 chayote squash, peeled & julienned
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. nigella/kalonji seeds
1 serrano pepper, minced
1 tsp. ginger paste
1 (8 oz.) cup evaporated milk
2 Tbsp. cilantro, diced
salt to taste
1 tsp. ghee
- Heat oil over medium-high heat and stir-fry boris until golden brown, remove and soak in 1/4 cup hot water.
- In the same oil, sputter nigella seeds and minced peppers.
- Add squash and stir well, cover and simmer until cooked..
- Add boris along with soaking liquid and ginger paste.
- Adjust salt to taste and simmer with milk until until liquid evaporates.
- Garnish with ghee and cilantro and serve with steamed basmati rice or chapatis.