Growing up, dudhi chana dal subzi (bottle gourd and lentil curry) was a pretty regular dish. Now as I'm learning how to make some of these traditional Indian dishes for my family, I try to update them so they are easier to make. Easier to make but not compromise on any flavor! That's why I converted this dudhi chana curry (or shaak) to an Instant Pot recipe.
Dudhi or Bottle Gourd or Lauki
What is a Dudhi or Bottle Gourd?
Bottle gourd or dudhi (or lauki or calabash) is part of the gourd family. It is a gourd that grows on a vine. The vegetable has a light green smooth skin and white flesh.
Bottle gourds are actually super nutritious. This is also why I felt it was important for me to learn how to make it. Bottle gourds are great for digestion. They have a high fiber content and are low in calories. Additional health benefits for dudhi or bottle gourds can be found here.
Tips to Prep the Dudhi
- Peel the skin of the dudhi
- Cut the dudhi into sections, this will help make it easier to handle and cut.
- Cut each section into 1 ½ inch cubes. Larger cubes are better for cooking in the Instant Pot
Instant Pot Dudhi Chana
I like to make this curry in the Instant Pot because it allows much more control over the cooking time and temperature. There is one prep step outside of the Instant Pot. That is to soak the lentils or the chana dal for an hour beforehand. The reason for this is because there is a difference in cooking times between the lentil and the dudhi. The soaking allows for the cooking time to synchronize.
Aside from the soaking of the chana dal, you can throw all of your ingredients (including the soaked and drained chana dal) into the Instant Pot, set it to saute to bring out the flavor a bit more. Then just pressure cook the dudhi chana curry and you will have your dinner ready in minutes!
Instant Pot Dudhi Chana
- Instant Pot
- 1 cup chana dal
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- asafoetida pinch
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 teaspoons garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons ginger grated
- 1 tomato chopped
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Dudhi or bottle gourd peeled, chopped into 1 ½ inch cubes
- 1 juice of 1 lime optional
- cilantro chopped, optional
- In a large bowl, soak the chana dal with 2 cups of water for at least 1 hour before cooking.
- After the chana dal is ready, set the Instant Pot to saute on high, add the oil. After about 1 minute add the cumin seeds and allow to toast in the oil. Sprinkle in the asafeotida and stir.
- Add the chopped onions and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add garlic and ginger, stir well, cook for 1 minute. Add chopped tomatoes and stir.
- Add all of the spices, salt and the cubed dudhi.
- Drain the chana dal and add to the instant pot. Add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot.
- Close the Instant Pot lid, set to pressure cook for 8 minutes. After it has cooked, natural pressure release for 15 minutes, then release the pressure manually.
- Add cilantro and lime juice for garnish if using.
- Serve warm with buttered rotis or basmati rice.