Lau chingri/Gopal Bhanr r Lau chingri/Bottle gourd with shrimps
“Gopal Bhanr r golpo” were bedtime stories for me and my sister and surely for many of you. If you say you never heard of it either you are not a Bengali or ……. Well! I couldn’t find an “or”.
My childhood nights were routined with narration from my thakuma(grand-mother) and picturization in my mind of how Gopal Bhanr with his wit and presence of mind used to find solutions to problems in the court of Raja Krishnachandra. Out of many stories she told us, my favorite was “Gopal Bhanr r Lau chingri”. The story and the feeling of it is so much engraved in my mind that even today when I find lau and chingri maach at home I make it a point to prepare lau chingri to recreate the memory. In case, you would like to know the entire story you can see it here. The story tells us how Gopal Bhanr with his intelligence could get money from the miser widow pisima(aunty) and win a prize money from Raja Krishnachandra.
Not only was my grandmother a good narrator, she was an excellent cook. There are a few recipes on my blog which were prepared the way she used to do them, as was told to me by my mother. Lau chingri is one of those dishes which were frequently prepared by her. This is how she used to prepare it. My thakuma being bangal used to avoid adding much sugar to the dish.
You can also prepare it with kucho chingri/ shrimps but kucho chingri not being available in the market, I have used small prawns to prepare this dish.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Bengali (Indian)
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1 lau/bottle gourd peeled and cut into small cubes
- 2 cups of prawns/shrimps, cleaned, washed & deveined (If using shrimps you need not devein)
- 3 tbsp mustard oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 inch ginger grated
- 2 bay leaves
- 2-3 dry red chilies
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tbsp of Bengali garam masala powder
- Marinate the prawns/shrimps with turmeric powder and salt and keep aside for 10 minutes.
- Heat oil in a kadai, saute the prawns till they change the color.
- Drain them from the oil and keep them aside.
- Temper the remaining oil of the kadai with bay leaves, dry red chilies and cumin seeds.
- As the cumin seeds start spluttering, add the lau to the kadai.
- To the lau add almost a pinch of turmeric powder, grated ginger and salt.
- Toss everything properly and cook the lau covered on medium flame. Do not add water to the kadai as lau releases lot of water.
- Now, add the prawns/shrimps to the kadai and continue cooking till most of the water evaporates.
- Add sugar to the veggies in the kadai.
- When the lau chingri is almost done, add the garam masala to the kadai.
- Toss everything properly and turn off the flame.
- Serve the lau chingri with steamed rice.
Do not over fry the prawns else they will turn rubbery.
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