Bottle Gourd is your guardian to good health
Bottle Gourd is known across India by various names such as Lauki, Ghiya, Dhoodhi. It is a climber that is easy to grow and maintain. Bottle Gourd is also one of the healthiest vegetables for its high nutritional value and for the health benefits it imparts.
In terms of nutrients, bottle gourd contains the highest level of choline (an essential element for mental wellness) known to present in any vegetable. It is also a rich source of various Minerals such as Iron, Potassium, and of Vitamins C, B Complex, Beta Carotene. It also contains good amounts of Pectin and soluble fiber. Health benefits of bottle gourd include:
- Lowers Cholesterol and Blood Sugar levels
- Helps to lose weight because of high fiber content and high Potassium
- Relieves from Hypertension
- It is a Diuretic and hence works wonders for urinary tract disorders
- Helps fight off insomnia and promotes good memory due to high choline content
- Supports strong and lustrous hair and helps fight off premature greying of hair
- Heart-friendly supports the cardiovascular system
- Supports the immune system
- Has a cooling effect on the body and hence helps fight off Pitta aggravation such as acne, allergies, and digestive disorders.
- Supports liver health as it is rich in antioxidants and has free radical scavenging properties
Bengal Gram – Chana Dal – Rich source of proteins and a Diabetic’s best friend
Bengal Gram or Chana Dal is widely used across India in various forms such as whole, curry, powder, or germinated forms. It is a nutrient dense pulse that is a rich source of proteins, bioactive compounds, and several minerals and vitamins. It has a positive effect on blood sugar levels, cardiovascular health (lowers cholesterol levels), and its regular consumption supports weight loss. Bengal gram has astringent and sweet taste profiles and it is also a diuretic in nature. It is a great source of sustained energy levels and hence works as a great snack in roasted forms.
It has an anti-inflammatory response. It helps in cell growth and structure and also flushes the toxins out of the system. It is also used as a relief against skin disorders and for respiratory health.
Bottle Gourd and Bengal Gram (Chana Dal) Soup Recipe
This is a one-pot or crockpot recipe that can also work as a highly nutritious meal option as it is loaded with all essential nutrients. It is creamy in texture, highly satiating, and has a sweet-tangy taste. It is kids-friendly, diabetic friendly, great for pregnancy and lactation, and to boost up immunity levels. Prepare it as a side along with the carbohydrates of your choice or consume it as a meal itself.
This recipe is easy to turn around and requires minimum level of preparation. As with most of our preparations, we made it in a pressure cooker to speed up and to get a softer texture.
Ingredients (Serves 4-5 people)
- 1 and 1/2 Cup Bengal Gram (Chana Dal)
- 1 medium-sized Bottle Gourd – washed and chopped
- 1 Medium size or large tomato – finely chopped
- 1 Medium size or small Onion – finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic (optional)
- 1 and 1/2 inch Ginger – finely grated
- Small bunch of Coriander leaves – finely chopped for garnishing
- 2-3 tablespoons Ghee
- 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
- 1 Dry Red Chilli for flavour (optional)
- Pinch of Asafoetida
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
Method of Preparation – 30 mins
Includes soaking time 10 mins for the Chana Dal
- Wash the Chana Dal and soak it in water for 10 mins.
- Wash and Peel the Bottle Gourd. Cut it in 1-inch cubes.
- Add the soaked chana dal and bottle gourd to pressure cooker.
- Fill with water till the level of the ingredients. Do not add too much water as the gourd itself is fairly high in water content.
- Add salt, turmeric, and chopped tomato.
- Close the pressure cooker and let the mixture cook for 15 mins or for 2-3 whistles to make a soft and smooth soup.
- Heat a pan. Add Ghee. Once the oil is a little hot, add the Mustard seeds and Cumin Seeds.
- Let the seeds splutter and then add the red chili, onions, garlic, and ginger.
- Let the mix turn golden brown.
- Add Coriander powder and roasted cumin powder and stir for few seconds.
- Add the lentil soup, mix well, and let the mix cook for another 2 mins
- Serve with chapati, parantha, or rice.
- Enjoy with your meal!