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LAUKI RECIPE -3
Lau badi Fulaa/ Lau badi Santula ( Odia Village Type)



A typical Odia healthy, simple and tasty side dish on a steamed rice platter! I think, no where else this simple recipe is followed.

3-4 serves
Peel lightly and chop a tender lauki (bottlegourd-1) into small dices. If extremely tender and green, you may retain the skin- your choice. Discard the middle seedy portion, if not tender.

Keep handy about 15-20 numbers ( about two big handfuls/a cupful) of  phula badi ( see Note), which are readily available in market.

Procedure ( ingredients highlighted and quantity given within bracket)

Pressure cook lauki adding salt to taste, a bit of chopped tomato(½ of one ), a bit of chopped green chilli (to taste) and a bit of water( say ½ cup). Bring to one whistle on high flame ( usually takes hardly 3-4 mins) and switch off; rest for 1 minute and cool under running tap. Open. Lauki would be rightly cooked and soft by then, but not mashy.
Alternatively, you may simply boil this in a pan on stove, instead of using pressure cooking. The later saves time and gas - so I prefer.

Heat a deep bottomed pan (kadai/wok).  Dry roast* phula badi ( about 15-20).Keep aside. Heat 1-2 tbsp of mustard oil in the same pan. Add dry red chilli ( 1-2,roughly broken into 2-3 pieces) and paanch phutan#. As it starts crackling, add chopped onion ( 1 medium – chopped a bit chunky) and fry for a while. Add the roasted badi and keep stirring and frying till both onion and badi turn a bit brown and aromatic. Add the boiled lauki mix along with its liquid to this seasoning and cover IMMEDIATELY to trap the flavour. Cook on sim for a few seconds and switch off. Rest for 2-3 minutes before serving, so that the badi would soak all the watery gravy and swell ( Fhulaa, in Odia, means swollen) leaving just a bit of juice. Serve hot and fresh with rice and other accompaniments.
Must be eaten freshly prepared and hot. Refrigerating and re-heating takes away its simple taste.

If you like, you may add chopped potato along with lauki for this recipe. I don't as it is great for diabetic people without potato.

NOTES :
Phula badis are made of Urad daal – soaked, ground, lightened by whipping and sun-dried as tiny dumplings on cloth! 
Similar things are also used in other state cuisines- made out of urad daal( black gram) or moong daal( green gram) or masoor daal ( red lentils); and known as ‘badi’ only, or something else which I am not aware of. But as I have noticed, dried dumplings of various sizes made of various daals, with or without other spices and vegetables, are one of the common ingredients in many Indian cuisine from different states. In our state Odisha, we have many different kinds of badi, with spices, some with squash; some meant to be used in curry, and some meant to be deep-fried in oil/ghee and served separately as a delicious crispy side dish along with rice and other accompaniments.
*This way, badi does not soak much oil when fried in seasoning.

# Paanch Phutan is a common seasoning mix used in Odia and Bengali cuisines. It is prepared and stored by simply mixing sorisha(mustard seeds), jeera(cumin seeds), paan mahuri( Saunf/ fennel seeds), kala jeera( nigella / black cumin seeds) and methi (fenugreek seeds) in a rough proportion of 5:3:2:1: a few seeds. Personally, I avoid fenugreek ( methi) due to its bitterness, and add a bit of dry red chilli seeds.

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