Bottle Gourd Dal & My Goal | Louki Dal

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No matter how much I make myself believe that life is beautiful and generous here in Yanbu, there are moments when I feel WHAT AM I DOING HERE? And trust me... that voice is uncontrollable, it surfaces without any warning and settles as soon as I feed it with some sugary food. I have come to believe that you have to adjust or compromise or do both at some point in life with people, place and things and that makes life a lot more simple and comfortable. Instead of sulking over what I cannot do here in Yanbu, I began to focus on what I can do with what I have and what makes me happy. Cooking and blogging about it has made my life better and makes me feel in control of myself again. I may not be contributing to the income, but at least I don't have to be an attention seeker whenever F is home. :-)

I did not have intentions to make goals starting the new year, it just happens to be a new year. It is just another day. So what are my goals? Lose excess weight healthily. I am sure taking care of this will put everything else in place. I think I have read so much about weight loss all these past months that I am not going to read anymore and imagine to lose them while sitting at my desk with my laptop. Conscious, controlled, careful eating with a consistent workout. Period. It's been a week since I started and am already feeling so good. Motivated I am. Ever since I channelled my time to blogging and cooking, it has been a lot better and now I will add workout too.

My routine now includes a food journal, 10 minutes of yoga, 20 minutes cross trainer and 10 minutes floor exercises. I will increase the time and intensity slowly. So to keep with the healthy vibe I am including a lot of veggies in our diet. This dal recipe is made using split and husked Bengal gram and bottle gourd (chana dal and lauki or kadala parippu and chorakka). F and I like our dals in thick consistency so that when you dip pieces of chapati, they should stick to it and not just drop off. The quantity yields for 10 to 11 chapatis with no leftover. So, feel free to double the recipe to make more. I made this in a 2-litre pressure cooker as it's easier and healthier, you can make it in a pot if you have more time.

Updated Image: 12th Jan 2017

Bottle Gourd Dal

Bottle Gourd Dal | Louki Dal


2 tablespoon ghee
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
3 to 5 green chillies, slit
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon  turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
a pinch of asafoetida
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 cup chana dal or split and husked Bengal gram, soaked for several hours
2 cups chopped bottle gourd (350 grams)
1 cup of water for pressure cooking
Fistful of chopped coriander leaves
Salt to taste


  1. Rinse and soak the chana dal for 2 to 3 hours or overnight 
  2. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker
  3. Add cumin and let it crackle
  4. Add the ginger and green chillies and sauté for a couple of minutes 
  5. Add the onions and sauté till they become translucent
  6. Add all the spice powders and saute for few minutes 
  7. Add the tomatoes sauté till the tomatoes soften. 
  8. Stir until the oil start releasing from the onion-tomato masala
  9. Add the soaked chana dal, the chopped bottle gourd, salt and water and stir
  10. Cover with the lid and pressure cook for 1 whistle on a high flame and reduce the flame to medium and cook for two to three more whistles. Do not open until the pressure releases on its own. 
  11. Open the lid and check its consistency and bring to desirable consistency by simmering to make it thick or add more water to make it thin
  12. Add the chopped coriander leaves.
  13. Serve lauki dal hot with any Indian flatbreads or rice
Bottle Gourd Dal

The only hindrance to my goal will be my non-ability to say No to food even when I am not even hungry. I should either request F not to ask me or learn to say No. It is not easy. :-( but InshaAllah, I should be able to get to my ideal weight the best and healthy way. 

So what changes are you going to bring into your routine?