Saturday, September 30, 2017

Lau Chingri - Bottle Gourd/Chayote Squash with Shrimp

Lau Chingri
This is a Bengali recipe that traditionally uses bottle gourd, which I often replace with chayote squash because it's more readily available. Zucchini also works well in this recipe.

bottle gourd or 5 Chayote Squash, peeled & cut in strips
1 lb. medium size shrimp, shelled and deveined
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. nigella seeds (a.k.a. kalo jeera/kalonji)

3 green chillies or 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
2 tsp. ginger paste
1/2 tsp. cumin powder
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder 
1 large tomato, diced
1/4 tsp. sugar
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp. Bengali garam masala (powdered cardamoms, cinnamon and cloves)
3-5 green chilies. slit
cilantro, chopped 
1 tsp. ghee


  1. Peel gourd/squash.  To cut gourd in strips, cut in half lengthwise, slice crosswise into crescents, stack crescents and cut into strips.  To cut squash, remove tops, cut in half and soak in water. Place one half cut side down on chopping block and slice crosswise into crescents, then cut into strips.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together 2 Tbsp. water, ginger paste, cumin powder, turmeric, sugar and salt, and set aside.
  3. Toss shrimp with salt, saute lightly in oil until pink and set aside.
  4. Sputter nigella seeds and diced chillies in hot oil.
  5. Add tomatoes and ginger paste mixture, stir and simmer over medium heat until tomatoes break down and oil resurfaces.
  6. Add gourd/squash and salt to taste. 
  7. Stir well, cover and simmer over medium heat until cooked.
  8. Return shrimp to skillet, stir and simmer for 5 minutes.
  9. Garnish with garam masala, green chilies, cilantro and ghee.  
  10. Stir, remove from heat and serve as a side dish with hot rice or naan.

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