This is one of the most popular vegetables in India, particularly in West Bengal. This bottle gourd plant is also a common plant in the backyard of many houses in West Bengal. It needs very small space to grow and if you do not space for this plant then also you can grow because you can guide it to climb up on the rooftop and spread. Just one bottle gourd can produce enough vegetables for a small family. That is why every newbie kitchen garden starts it with this plant. Fresh & healthy homegrown bottle gourd will help you to try yummiest lauki (bottle gourd) based dishes.
The taste of homegrown fresh & organic vegetable is always different. Though you would not get enough vegetables every time from your garden but you will get a lot of happiness every time you will harvest vegetables from your garden.
But if you grow two bottle gourd plants in containers then you will definitely get a good amount of vegetables from those.
Yes, I grew bottle gourd plant, this year in 14 inch container and I got 5 fruits from that. Is this not amazing? I also have another bottle gourd plant that is grown on the ground, its growth was rapid. But that plant did not produce a single fruit. It was shocking.
Both of those seeds I sowed in late September 2019. I purchased a packet of seeds from a local nursery for Rs 5. Yes, just for Rs 5. I sowed 5 seeds and just 3 were germinated. One healthy plant I replanted in a container and another one I replanted on the ground. Growth of these two plants was robust. So I was happy.
I applied homemade compost (kitchen waste compost) to both of those plants and then applied mustard cake liquid fertilizer 3-4 times a month to both of those plants.
After two months, the plant what I planted in container starts flowering. But the plant grown from the ground stopped its growth and went into a dormant stage. 🙁 It was not expected. I applied handful vermicompost and one spoon bone dust & horn dust each once a month to the plant grown in container/pot. The plant grown in a container produced one fruit late November, one in December another one in February. After that, it went in the dormant stage for more than one month and again produced 2 fruits in this month (April 2020). By at that point, my plant grown in-ground started its growth and flowering in the month of February. But till now it did not produce any fruit.
Huh!!! that plant actually cheated me. It sucks all nutrients from the ground but gave me nothing. 😀
Now those plants are like doing overtime because those are more than 7 months old. I know that those are now too old to produce any fruits. So whenever my next set of plants will be ready I will cut these plants.
5 Yummiest bottle gourd based dishes
So do you like bottle gourd (lauki/ghiya/dudhi)? That means you have definitely tried some of these yummiest dishes. If you use homegrown fresh bottle gourd then no doubt, your dish is yummiest.
It is a popular Bengali bottle gourd based dish. Lau means bottle gourd and ghonto is a special style of Bengali dry curry. It is mostly consumed with plain rice. But many people also like it with roti.
Ghiya means bottle gourd in Hindi. It is also known as lauki or dudhi. Chana is slit chickpea lentil. So this dish is mainly prepared with bottle gourd and chana dal. It is a popular North Indian dish what you can have with both roti & rice.
Lau dal (lentil curry with bottle gourd)
This is the most common & popular Bengali bottle gourd based dish. I mean, at every Bengali household, this dish is prepared regularly. It is a simple dal (lentil curry) where small pieces of bottle gourd added. If you are Bengali then you definitely can understand what lau dal is.
Bottle gourd leaves curry
It is called lau shaker jhol in Bengali. Bottle gourd leaves are a popular vegetable in West Bengal. The best part of growing bottle gourd is that if it would not produce fruits then you can atleast harvest its leaves & stem and consume as a leafy vegetable. That is why I still did not uproot my plants. Many people also cook it with slit peas lentils (matar dal).
It is a spicier version of bottle gourd based dish. Lauki mean bottle gourd in Hindi. Often I do not feel any difference between ghiya chana & lauki curry except in lauki curry, chana dal is not added. But still, there are many versions of lauki curry according to individual’s taste. Many people do not add garlic in lauki curry whereas many people use panch phoron in lauki curry. Did you ever try this lauki curry? How was it?
That is why I also say my readers to grow vegetables at home and make various yummiest dishes.