Lauki/Ghiya Tarkari (Bottle Gourd Curry)

🎉Happy New Year 2015 Everyone!🎉

Bit late I know..but better late than never right? Actually I almost decided to give up and not return to the world of blogging! All the travelling I did over the holiday period took it’s toll on my health. Chronic pain is like a dreaded curse! You can only pretend so much that you’re absolutely fine when you’re clearly not. If it wasn’t for you humble readers/followers out there I wouldn’t have felt motivated enough to blog again. Thanks for your messages and emails and the kick on my butt..I really needed that!! So here I am back and hoping I can last a little longer in here.

Hope you all had a great Xmas and new year break. I, for one had a fantastic holiday break with my family and relos back in India. Surprisingly my daughter Mishka had an absolute blast and even enjoyed the extensive travelling by planes, trains and automobiles. Food, of course was on the top of my list amongst shopping, manicures, pedicures, heavenly massages and more heavenly massages. I ate like I will never eat again!! I now have to wait a few more long months until I get to savour authentic Desi khana (local food) again. Honestly speaking guys..towards the end of my trip I started missing my less or zero masala Fiji chow. With the amount of fresh matar (pea) curries I was consuming daily I swear I could’ve made a trip to Mars and back…wheeeeee!!! 🚀 but..I will happily do it all over again!!!

Today’s recipe is for Lauki aka Ghiya aka Bottle Gourd. This recipe is not atypical of how many of us Fiji Indians cook this particular dish back home. Mine actually has a slight variation to the ingredients for added flavour enhancement. My recipe today, as you know is vegetarian but my story has an itsy-bitsy non-veg touch to it so minors refrain from reading because you’re just not going to find any spiders going up anyones spout (um..this is not sounding how I wanted it to). This event is based on a true story and the characters could possibly resemble your neighbour!!!

Hanging Body Parts oops! i mean Bottle Gourds.

IMG_2691-0Image credit – Bottle Gourds via photopin (license)

Before I move onto to today’s story and recipe I would like to briefly mention a very special person..a blogger pal who is an absolute inspiration to me. I admire her will to live life to the fullest in every way she can. She is truly amazing and such a gem of a person. I learn from her and her beautiful thoughts. She is Stephanae McCoy a Fashion blogger who blogs at Bold Blind Beauty. Please do check out Stephanae and her blog when you get a chance. I’m sure you will love her and her blog as much as I do.

Moving along…..

Have you ever had a slip of the tongue in the middle of a conversation? Well what do you know..a kind of funny but embarassing thing happened to me recently. It’s something I do a lot but this time I was at the receiving end.

I was involved in a very serious and intense conversation with a male acquaintance (let’s just call him Bob the builder shall we..although Peter the plumber will do me fine too 😉). The topic took a turn to spinal surgeries. Bob and I have had similar back problems so I was trying to get some info off him. He was trying his best to explain to me in simple medical terms about his complicated back issues and of the time he thought he almost didn’t make it.

This was part of the conversation that took place between us. Him, in his best Aussie Italiano accent plus the use of profanities especially the “F” word in every sentence (Dana – this ones for you girl lol) and me in my confused accent.

Him – “You see my limp?

Me – “Ummm…(my one track mind reading into things I shouldn’t)..err..ohhhhh..yes yes (nodding my head indian style) I just only noticed it today.”

Him – “It’s because I was f***** stupid and didn’t rest after my surgery!

Me – “OMG! Really? Aww..why didn’t you though?

Him – “Well you know what it’s like when you have kids and you have no choice but to work and earn and all that crap?

Me – “Ah!..yes of course..that’s sad to hear.

Him – “You know I actually ended up in emergency at the f***** hospital because the disc in my spine had shifted..and there’s a word for it c-something…….

Me – (Panic stricken hoping its not the word I think he is about to say).

Him – “Oh man!! What’s that f***** word? Ah yes!! it’s called calcified. You know I was in that bad of a shape. If I would’ve been a little bit late things could’ve been so much worse.

Me – “Oh gosh! 😱tch! tch! tch! (feeling remorseful and shocked!) aww you poor thing! (holding back the urge to console him).

Him – “This f***** problem with my spinal disc almost cost me my livelihood. The day I ended up in emergency I thought I was a goner (tone getting louder as the story reaches it’s climax) Oh man I’m telling ya my d**k” had become so hard!!! It was bloody painful I tell ya!! I just can’t explain!!!

Dead silence….🙊

Me – (After a few seconds silence which felt like hours)…Hahahahah ehehehe good one Bob!! (both turning red like an organic over ripe tomato).

Well yes, it was a “I wish the earth would open and swallow us up” moment. I don’t know who was more embarassed me or him!!

Luckily I’m blessed with a great sense of humour and the conversation just continued like nothing “Tom, Dick & Harry” like had happened. I was giggling so hard (from inside of course and trust me that’s one difficult task). Now I feel I will never able to look the acquaintance in his eyes ever again! 👀

There was no stopping my mind from then onwards. How would you have handled this situation? Do share your “clean” thoughts.😉


1 Large Lauki/Ghiya/Bottle Gourd

1-2 Tbspn Yoghurt 

1/4 Tspn Haldi/Tumeric

1/4 Tspn Garam Masala

1-2 Green Chillies

1 Medium Sized Onion

1 Tbspn Ginger & Garlic Paste

6-10 Curry Leaves

2-3 Tbspn Oil

Pinch Of Hing/Asaofedita

Tiny Pinch of Sarso/Mustard, Jeera/Cumin & Methi/Fenugreek Seeds

Salt To Taste


• Peel the Lauki and remove the seedy flesh from inside (optional since some people love the fleshy part as well). Cut into small to medium pieces.
• Chop onions finely.

• Add a little water(room temperature) into the yoghurt, whisk and set aside for later.

• Pour and heat oil in a pan and add Hing followed by Sarso, Jeera and Methi.

• Once the Sarso seed starts to pop throw in the finely chopped onions along with Ginger/Garlic paste and brown lightly.

• Now add the Haldi, Garam Masala with the curry leaves and give it a quick stir.

• Add the diced Lauki pieces into the pan along with a 1/4 cup water and cook in low heat settings until done. It’s a bit similar to cooking potatoes so a spoon break test is required to check the texture. It should break away easily when fully cooked. Don’t forget to add a little water into it if it starts to get too dry.

• Once it’s cooked turn the stove off and allow it to cool a little before adding the whisked yoghurt and giving it a good stir.

This dish is best served with Roti/Chapati.



24 thoughts on “Lauki/Ghiya Tarkari (Bottle Gourd Curry)

    • Hi Nicole thx for visiting! 😊Yes I believe squash will work fine as well. A friend also suggested trying with zucchini..both will turn out great since they have similarish texture. Happy cooking!!👍

  1. Hi Sanjana! Glad to see you’re back. I somehow thought I was missing your posts. So happy to hear from you. You definitely had that Kadar Khan influence going here 😉 Take care and looking forward to more of your lovely posts!

    • Hehe my Aamchi Mumbaiyya pori…anyone that finds my stories funny are special readers who are blessed with a fabulous sense of humour themselves like you!!!! Thank you my sweet Bhavna😘..until we meet again in patli gali. Oh and did you try the Asian(not Indian) grocers? They almost akways stock Ghiya.👍

  2. Welcome back Sanjana! I like the way to tell the story with humor tadka… Makes it more interesting … Love your recipes and story. Looking forward for more… Take care

    • Thank you Aruna for your lovely compliment 😘 know it helps to have a Kadar Khan kind of thought process to be able to write like I do hehe😉I’m a big fan of his. With such encouraging feedbacks from you all I’m already feeling A1.

  3. Hi Sanjana, welcome back!! And thank you for the shout out, this was a great surprise. Though I should probably mention “Blond” should be “Bold” LOL but then again the way I act sometimes could be considered “blond” no offense to any blonds out there (I hate stereotypes).

    I have so missed your humor, I almost had an accident reading it!! Hilarious!!

    I hope you are on the mend, though I’m not experiencing chronic pain (at least at the moment) I know many who do and my heart goes out to you. Every now and again my back goes out on me and I have a couple of pinched nerves in my neck but it doesn’t hurt all the time, thank goodness.

    Take care of yourself and keep the stories and recipes coming. ~Steph

    • Omg! Hahaha damn I’ll just blame it on autocorrect like everyone else lol…will fix that up asap! However maybe I’m just psychic and envisioned you turning blond sometime in the near future hehe 😉and thank you so much for your kind words my dear! God bless!😘

      • You are most welcome!!

        Hahahaha, it’s funny you should mention turning blond because DUH I forgot I had my hair dyed blond – see what I mean? tsk, tsk, tsk, I amaze myself sometimes 🙂

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