“Experience the delightful Lau Chingri, a Bengali style bottle gourd dish cooked with prawn or shrimp and a few very simple spices. Potato is one more participant used to cook this dish, however, you can cook it with or without potatoes, choice is yours.
For making lau chingri, we need onion, garlic, tomato, with garam masala powder. With salt and turmeric add a little sugar as bottle gourd does not have its own taste. Cooked until the gravy gets dry. Perfect for eating with rice and dal.
Cooking time will be less if the bottle gourd is boiled at the beginning. As you know bottle gourd releases lots of water during cooking that takes a long time to cook.
The mild sweetness from bottle gourd with the succulent taste of shrimp makes this curry unique and scrumptious dish.
Here is my step-by-step easy cooking guide to help you create this mouthwatering bottle gourd shrimp curry at home that is both nutritious and scrumptious. Explore the use of aromatic spices and the magic of pungent mustard oil of authentic Bengali delicacy, perfect for those seeking a taste of Eastern India.”
This Lau chingri recipe always reminds me of Bengali story of Gopal Bhar and his lau chingri eating incident. The story explains the challenge between Gopal Bhar and Maharaja Krishnachandra over managing to earn money from Maharaja’s stingy Aunt. How Gopal Bhar cleverly mixed fried prawns in aunt’s niramish lau ghonto is the catch of this story. Aunt was a widow, and being a widow as per tradition she used to eat vegetarian food even cooked without onion and garlic. At that time in our society, widows could not have nonveg and onion garlic either. So Aunt gave a bribe to Gopal Bhar to keep his mouth shut and Gopal won the challenge with Maharaja. The 80s and 90s Bong kids can connect with this story who read the story of Gopal Bhar.
For making lau chingri, best to use a soft young bottle gourd (called “Kochi lau” in Bengali language). That bottle gourd has a light green colour, small in size, and can easily pierce your nail through its skin. Young bottle gourd has no seeds or grows a few immature seeds which makes this curry taste good.
Kucho Chingri (small prawns/ shrimps), is generally used in making this lau recipe. However, kucho chingri is rarely available in Bangalore, so I basically cook this recipe with medium-sized badga chingri (tiger prawns). Do not worry, size of the prawns does not make much difference in the taste of this recipe.
Want to make Bengali style dal with bottle gourd, then must try
Check a few more chingri macher recipes
Lau Chingri recipe – Bengali Bottle gourd curry cooked with prawnCourse: Lunch, Side dishCuisine: Bengali, Indian, BangladeshiDifficulty: Easy
Lau chingri is an authentic Bengali bottle gourd recipe made with fried shrimp and potatoes slow-cooked to perfection just in simple aromatic spices. This curry is simple yet delicious and popular in entire Bengali cuisine, cooked at every home from West Bengal to Bangladesh. Mainly served in Bengali lunch with rice meal.
Ingredients for lau chingri
350 g weight Lau /Lauki/ Bottle gourd (Long or round)
350 g Prawn / Shrimp (cleaned)
1 Bay leaf
1/4 tsp Cumin seeds(Jeera whole)
10 Garlic cloves
1/2 inch Ginger
1 Medium Tomato
2 Green chillies
3/4 tsp Cumin Powder
1/4 tsp Red Chilli powder(optional)
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Garam masala Powder
8 tbsp Mustard Oil
How to cook lau chingri
- Clean and peel the lau (lauki/bottle gourd), cut it into thin round slices, and then cut it into long strips(jullien) like aloo bhajar aloo, and soak it in water.
- Then peel the potatoes and cut them into 8 pieces.
- Take the lau and aloo in a bowl, and wash them under water for 4-5 times.
- Then boil them together with 1 cup (250 ml) of water and 3/4 tsp salt on low heat, covering the bowl.
- Cook the lau and aloo until both get soft. Turn off the heat.
- Clean the prawn (remove the head, deshell and devein the prawn) or use store-bought cleaned prawns.
- Wash the prawn and drain the water well.
- Coat the prawn with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder. Set aside for a few minutes.
- Heat mustard oil in a pan. Fry the prawn in hot oil for 2 mins on medium flame.
- Take out the fried prawns from the pan and keep them aside.
- In the same pan, add 1 bay leaf (tear into half) and whole cumin seeds in oil, and let them crackle.
- Fry the onion(finely sliced) in that oil until onion is soft.
- Make a paste of tomato, ginger, garlic, and green chilli and add them to the pan, and mix well.
- Add cumin powder, red chilli powder, salt, sugar, and turmeric powder. Stir well.
- Once the masala starts to leave oil, then add the fried prawn to the pan and mix well with the masala gravy.
- Prawns will be cooked in the gravy for a minute then add 1/2 cup (125 ml) of water to the pan. Stir well.
- Let the gravy start boiling, and cook it for 1 more minute.
- Then pour the boiled lau and aloo into the gravy. Mix all well.
- Cook the gravy for 8-10 min on medium heat until the gravy is quite dry.
- Then mash 4-5 potato cubes and mix well with the gravy, which helps the gravy quickly get thick and mushy.
- Once the flavors are mixed together and the gravy thickens, sprinkle 1/2 tsp garam masala powder from the top. Stir well.
- Bengali Lau Chingri is ready to serve, serve it hot with steamed rice.
- Lau should be boiled first. Otherwise if directly fry the lau and then boil, that will take a long cooking time to get soft.
- You can use a pressure cooker, to boil the lau and potatoes by keeping the cooker on medium heat with 1 whistle which makes your cooking faster.
- If you are using frozen prawn do not straight put into the hot oil. First, put them in water until get to normal temperature, then use it.
- Using store-bought cleaned prawns or frozen prawns, before cooking make sure the prawns are deveined, otherwise, get a stomach ache.
How to make lau chingri recipe with step by step guide
Step 1: Preparing the lau and aloo
1. Clean and Peel the lau, first cut into thin round slices and then cutting it into long strips (Jullien), soak it in a bowl with enough water.
2. Then peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes (means cut the potatoes into 8 pieces).
3. Take the lau and aloo in a bowl, and wash them 4-5 times.
4. Then boil them together with 1 cup (250 ml) of water and 3/4 tsp salt on low heat, covering the bowl.
5. Cook the lau and aloo until both get soft. Turn off the heat.
Step 2: How to prepare the chingri mach
1. To clean the chingri mach (remove the head, deshell and devein the prawns) or use store-bought cleaned prawns.
2. Wash the prawns and drain the water well.
3. Coat the prawns with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder. Set aside for a few minutes.
Step 3: Fry the prawns
1. Heat oil (I used mustard oil, you can use any vegetable oil) in a pan.
2. Keep the heat on medium, add the prawns in hot oil, and fry the prawns for 2 mins.
3. Take out the prawns from the pan and keep them aside.
Step 4: Preparing the lau chingri gravy
1. Heat the same pan, keep the heat to low, add 1 bay leaf (tear into half) and whole cumin seeds in oil, and let them crackle.
2. Add the onion (finely sliced onion) in that oil and fry until the onion is soft.
3. Make a paste of tomato, ginger, garlic, and green chilli and add them to the pan, and mix them well.
4. Add cumin powder, red chilli powder, salt, sugar, and turmeric powder. Stir well.
Step 5: Cook prawns into the masala gravy
1. Once the masala starts to leave oil, then add the fried prawn to the pan and mix well with the masala gravy.
2. Saute the prawns in the gravy for a minute then add 1/2 cup (125 ml) of water. Stir well.
Step 6: Cook lau and aloo into the gravy
1. Let the gravy start boiling, and cook it for 1 more minute.
2. Then pour the boiled lau and aloo into that gravy. Mix all well.
3. Cook the gravy for 8-10 min on medium heat until the gravy is quite dry.
4. Then mash 4-5 potato cubes and mix well with the gravy, which helps the gravy quickly get thick and mushy.
5. Once the flavors meld together and the gravy thickens, sprinkle 1/2 tsp garam masala powder from the top. Stir well.
6. Lau Chingri is ready to serve, serve it hot with steamed rice.