Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Bottle Gourd Curry (Dudhi/Sorakaya Kura)

Bottle Gourd, Sorakaya, Dudhi, Lauki and Lau

I remember the mock fights with my sisters using this lengthy, stout vegetable, when we were children. This vegetable was our makeshift club in our funny fights. There are other stories that I still could remember to this day related to this vegetable. My mother used to plant this vegetable every year in our backyard and the crop was surplus to our family… in those days I dreamt of making a lot of money by selling surplus produce, which never materialized. After some time we were tired of eating this vegetable and I tried to convince my mother not to plant this vegetable in vain. One year we had a crop of more than 200 of these and needless to say, if you were our neighbor during that time, you would have received some of these from us for free, you might have begged us not to sent any more too.:)

Sorakaya in Telugu and bottle gourd, lauki, dudhi or lau in different Indian languages, here is one of my mother’s recipe with bottle gourd. Not a lot of ingredients, very simple and basic - tastes good only with chapatis and jowar roti.

bottle gourd cubes, Dalia (roasted chana dal), red chilli powder, turmeric and jaggery


Bottle gourd - medium sized - outer skin peeled, then cut into cubes.
1 cup of dalia(pappulu, pottu kadalai) - finely powdered
Dalia or Pappulu is a type of dal made by roasting the chana dal or bengal gram
1 teaspoon of red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon each of salt and turmeric
Jaggery, one tablespoon or to your liking

Heat one teaspoon of peanut oil in a big saucepan, toast mustard seeds, cumin and curry leaves. Add the bottle gourd cubes. Cover and cook them in their own moisture. When they are little bit softened, add the finely powdered dalia (pappulu), red chilli powder, salt, turmeric and jaggery. Add half glass of water and mix them all thoroughly, without any lumps. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes until the sauce thickens and bottle gourd pieces turn soft.

Serve hot with chapatis or with jowar(Sorghum) roti.

Bottle gourd curry (Sora kaya Kura) and chapatis
Bottle gourd curry and chapatis

After two days of silence in our kitchen (because of newyear celebrations at friends house), Vijay and I prepared this simple meal today.

Recipe source: Amma
Note to the reader: The sauce to this curry is mainly made of dalia powder. If you think, there is not enough sauce, powder some more dalia and add it to the curry and adjust the seasoning like salt and jaggery to your taste.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Sorakaya(Dudhi,Lauki), Amma & Authentic Andhra, Chana Dal-Roasted (Dalia) (Monday January 2, 2006 at 9:39 pm- permalink)

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52 comments for Bottle Gourd Curry (Dudhi/Sorakaya Kura) »

  1. Hi, just happend to see your website… it’s very nice. I’m also from AndhraPradesh and my experiences with sorakaya are similar to yours :-) . You made me remember my good old childhood days.

    Comment by Madhavi — January 3, 2006 @ 9:27 am

  2. Hello Madhavi, welcome and thanks.
    More than for taste, sorakaya is notorious for the wild growth and as weapon in funny fights. Good memories.:)

    Comment by Indira — January 3, 2006 @ 9:39 am

  3. finally i can buy sorakaya and make something.I have never bought this before. My mom used to make it. But i have never tried this. All my andhra friends keep cooking smtg or the other with this. Shall try this soon. And hey what brand wheat flour do u buy. I buy only golden temple durrum atta. But when served hot as soo as its prepared its good. After 15 - 20 mins it doesnt taste good. I saw swad atta in a new indian store. Can i go ahead and buy it. Have u tired that ?

    Comment by priya,ar — January 3, 2006 @ 9:45 am

  4. This curry taste good only with chapatis and rotis, Priya. Because of dalia based sauce, not good with rice. Please remember that.:)

    I also use golden temple atta. I also have the same problem. I tried different brands but the results are the same. I think the reason is the wheat. Indian type and what they grow here is completely different.
    I resigned and stopped trying to make them soft. The only way you can keep them soft even after they are cool is use lot of ghee in the dough. I ususally make them just before our meal. and Winter is particularly tough on chapatis. They go hard superfast.
    Sorry, Priya.. I really don’t have any useful tips for you. Did you try mixing ghee with the dough.

    Comment by Indira — January 3, 2006 @ 10:02 am

  5. I have tried it with ghee. It puffs up really good , its soft , everythings ok but iam not convinced with the taste. and i too make rotis just b4 the meal. Back in India i use lot of ghee and rotis consumed even the next day tastes gr8. My friend priya get pillsbury atta in california. I bet thats good. But in little rock there was only one indian store and they had only one brand until recently thers a new indian store opened. They have all the swad brands. Sad that with so much of transportation facilities, so much of variety in india, and with so many indians living here in US ,still get only 4 or 5 varieties here

    Comment by priya,ar — January 3, 2006 @ 10:13 am

  6. Indira:

    This is a totally new recipe to me. I have not heard of anyone make sorakaya with dalia. I will need to try this soon.


    The one trick I have for chapathis to keep them soft for a little longer is - 1) I add 3-4 tablespoons of yoghurt for about 8-10 chapathis. 2) I make aluminium foil packets, three sides closed, one side open (I am not sure if you can envision it) and as soon as the chapathi comes out of the tava, I put it in the packet and close the other side too. I open it back up and when the next chapathi is done and do the same and repeat. Each packet holds 5-8 chapathis depending on how big the packet is. This way the chapathis are warm for a little longer, and also soft because they are not exposed to air for a little longer than usual. Please try it and let me know if it works.


    Comment by Samatha — January 3, 2006 @ 10:30 am

  7. Hi,
    Some tips for softer rotis,
    1)first add only about 1 tbs of oil to the flour and mix till it resembles crumbs
    2)Use lukewarm water for kneading the dough
    3)Knead the dough for at least 10-12 mins
    4)Cover and let the dough rest for about 15 mins before using to make rotis.
    5)Apply a little ghee after frying.
    This should give soft rotis.I to use golden temple brand.

    Comment by marietta — January 3, 2006 @ 10:35 am

  8. thanx samatha and marietta , shall try all ur tips and tricks . Shall post u the feedback soon.thanx guys !

    Comment by priya,ar — January 3, 2006 @ 11:26 am

  9. hey congrats , ur radio auction is over for 26 $, was this the amt u expected. Anyways a great piece.

    Comment by priya,ar — January 3, 2006 @ 12:31 pm

  10. Another intersting recipe Indira! I usually (read almost always) use ‘doodhi’ and jowar flour to make a thick roti (Maybe I will post it some time). But using it the way you describe sounds like a great variation.

    And folks on the comments - Samantha, Marietta.. Thanks for your great tips on keeping the chappatis soft.

    Priya - Here are my 2 cents on the discussion. I used the Golden Temple Durum flour atta for a long time.. and began to realize that it has too much maida flour added, making the result rubbery when it is cold. I have been experimenting with different brands… I have tried the Swad brand (whole wheat) and have been satisfied with it. Recently, I have seen a whole wheat Golden Temple atta, and Nature’s Best Whole wheat atta in the stores which look promising. But I have to wait for the current stock to dimish… takes a good month and a half :-(

    Hope this rather long discourse helps…Sorry for the digression Indira!

    Comment by garammasala — January 3, 2006 @ 12:46 pm

  11. Thanks Samatha, Marietta and GM for helping out. Though I stopped trying, what you all suggested, sounds very good, might work.

    Priya… Vijay sells occasional nick-nack and camera stuff on ebay. I just wanted to give a plugin for his auction on my blog. Now I am thinking of making it a regular feature on the sidebar. What do you think about this idea?
    Yep, 26 dollars is a good price.

    GM.. I’d love to try your recipe of ‘dudhi and jowar’.
    I don’t mind at all. I consider comments as chit-chat or open forum kind of thing related to all kinds of food.

    Comment by Indira — January 3, 2006 @ 1:14 pm

  12. I love Suraikai! I’ve never eaten that with rotis though, will try our recipe sometime, Indira.

    I make it with ginger paste and some milk and green chillies.. An Andra-ite friend taught me and I love that dish. Well, She taught me the recipe for Silk squash (Peerkangai in Tamil) and I’ve been using the same recipe for both Bottle gourd and silk squash and love them both.

    Comment by Kay — January 3, 2006 @ 1:42 pm

  13. auctions feature on the sidebar would be a great idea. My husband buys/sells lot os stuff from ebay. And if u r looking for great deals, coupons and free stuff u can check this site
    Thanx garammasala , i havent seen the golden temple whole wheat flour in the stores here. thers only 2 types of atta available, swad and golden temple durrum atta.

    Comment by priya,ar — January 3, 2006 @ 2:27 pm

  14. This recipe looks different and really good! Will try it soon.

    By the way, could you show how to make jowar rotis sometime? I have jowar flour but havent tried it out yet.

    Comment by yum — January 3, 2006 @ 2:39 pm

  15. Hi Indira,

    In Kerala, we make curd curry with this gourd.

    Yogurt or I use sour curd I make at home.

    1 Gourd cut into small pieces
    1/2 coconut ground with green chillies ,cumin seeds ,garlic pods. If using sour curd,you can use 1/2 coconut.If using plain yogurt,i think it is better you use very little coconut or no coconut at all.

    First boil gourd with this mixture in little water.Add beaten curd and water and take from heat immedtiately.

    Splutter mustard seeds,curry leaves and whole red chillies.
    This is good with rice.

    Comment by L.G — January 3, 2006 @ 4:38 pm

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  17. Kay… yep, there are several different recipes with ’sorakaya’ out there. This particular recipe taste really great with jowar roti.

    Priya.. I am glad you like the idea. I’m difinitely going to do it, keep my ebay auction item regularly in the sidebar. Thanks!

    Yum… I’ll definitely post about jowar rotis one of these days. Thanks!

    L.G… thanks for sharing your recipe with us. Next time, when I buy ’sorakaya’, I’ll definitely give your recipe a try.

    Comment by Indira — January 3, 2006 @ 7:57 pm

  18. Hi Indira, Happy New Year. About wheat flour…there is a atta brand called comes in packets similar to swad etc. Its lot better than golden temple. Pillisbury is also a decent brand.

    Indira says…
    Hi Anusha, thanks and happy new year. I don’t remember trying Swad brand atta before. Seems like a good one. Thanks for the tips, definitely going to purchase it next time. Thank you!

    Comment by Anusha — January 4, 2006 @ 2:09 pm

  19. oops, add turmeric ,salt etc.. the usual stuff..okay..let me know .

    Indira says…
    I got it, LG. Don’t worry about it. I do cook with consciousness as my blog name suggests and I’d never follow a recipe blindly.:)
    Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by L.G — January 4, 2006 @ 3:22 pm

  20. Oh, I love this website already! I’m a westerner married to an Indian man, and love Indian cooking. It was a strange taste at first, but now I am an addict!!

    As for roti’s I use Golden Temple also. I had the same problem - dry hard rotis. Except, when a friend mentioned the tip posted earlier here:

    Add yoghurt to the mix
    And, put in a foil wrapper
    I’ve even been told that adding a lightlly wet paper towl between the foil and roti works even better…

    Comment by gunduwhitegirl — January 5, 2006 @ 1:07 am

  21. Hi Indira, Its not Swad — Its Sujata brand of atta which is is good and Pillisbury is a decent brand.

    Comment by Anusha — January 5, 2006 @ 12:37 pm

  22. Wow! You have something very special going here…I absolutely love your pictures. Does your husband take them or do you do them all yourself? I have a feeling you’ll get ’syndicated’ one day very soon.

    I tried out this dish but it didn’t look like yours when I was done :( . I don’t think I powdered the chana dal enough. Also, how long should I be roasting it for?

    I also don’t think the bottle gourd got soft enough, about how long do you let it cook on it’s own before you add in the channa dal, turmeric, etc.?

    Indira says…
    Thanks for your compliments!
    Unless I say otherwise, the pictures in this blog are all taken by me.
    I’m sorry the curry didn’t turn out good. Roasted chana dal means a kind of dal. It’s also called dalia or pappulu. There are prepared from chana dal by a special roasting process. Unfortunately it’s impossible to prepare them at home by roasting the plain chana dal and even if you do, you won’t get the same taste. Check out the link, I have provided in ingredients list and try purchasing them at your neighbourhood Indian grocery.
    How long you cook - All I can say is that’s again individual choice. As a rule, I don’t cook vegetables too mushy or soft, I like little bit of crunch and texture. Because you didn’t like result of this try, next time, try cooking a little bit longer to suit your taste. That’s all I can suggest, SNB. I hope this helps!

    Comment by snb — January 8, 2006 @ 1:11 am

  23. Oh!!! I didn’t realize that I needed to ask for “already roasted chana dal.”

    Maybe I’ll have better luck next time!

    Comment by snb — January 9, 2006 @ 10:18 pm

  24. Indira,

    LOVE your site…just love it!!
    I tried some of your receipes and they turned out excellent.

    With this doodhi sabzi though, I wanted to check with you….what size cup do you refer to. I took the std measure chana dal roasted it and ground it. The masala as such was a lot for a medium size doodhi and dint turn out well :-(

    You think one can use besan directly??


    Ps: Keep up the faboulous work..!!!!

    Comment by AD — January 18, 2006 @ 4:22 pm

  25. Hello AD, the cup measurements I used are US standard size. We like lot of gravy/sauce with curry so I do make a lot. Adjust the amount according your taste.

    Chana dal- roasted means a type of dal avialable in Indian stores called ‘dalia’. Check out the link in my ingredients list or please check earlier replies in comments section.

    If you can’t get dalia in your area, then just plain besan flour works fine for this recipe.

    Thanks for your compliments, I really appreciate it.!

    Comment by Indira — January 18, 2006 @ 4:29 pm

  26. Hi Indira, I just discovered your blog. It’s great!. Though my family is from Andhra Pradesh, I never lived there. Here are a few thoughts:

    1. I think what you are referring to as dalia = bulghur wheat, aka godhuma rava, the stuff you make godhuma annam with.
    2. roasted chana dal is the same is poTnala pappu? In that case the Hindi equivalent is bhune-hue channe.

    Hope that reduces the confusion.

    I loved your recipes for karela and neTi berakaya. I’ve seen this in the stores many times, but didn’t know what it was. It makes me appreciate the wide variety of South Asian vegetables that we get in the US now, compared to 30-odd years ago, when my parents immigrated.

    One more item.. for chapatti’s try Laxmi brand atta if you can find it. Also, your Indian store might sell unbranded packets of “Canadian Atta”. This is quite good also.

    I can’t wait to make your date/pistachio cookies!!

    Indira replies…
    Thanks Padmaja.
    About ‘putnala pappulu’. They are sold under the name of ‘dalia’ here in Indian shops.(In Pittsburgh, Houston, NJ and NY). So I’m using that name in my posts and I didn’t know their actual Hindi name, thanks for the info. I’ll include it in my posts from now on.
    I bought a big ‘golden temple’ atta bag recently. After it’s over, I’m going to try your suggestion. Some other readers said good things about ‘Swad’ brand also. For my next purchase, I’m going to go with small bags of atta.:)
    If you try that cookies - do let me know how you like them. Thanks!

    Comment by Padmaja — February 10, 2006 @ 9:10 pm

  27. just a teensy weensy the dalia you’re referring to here the same as the recipe where you ground roasted dal with cumin seeds, red chillies…etc etc? or should we be using plain roasted ground dal…?

    Indira replies:
    Hello Nabeela, I already added a link under the name ‘dalia’. Please check the link, I think the answer is obvious.

    Comment by Nabeela — April 21, 2006 @ 4:53 pm

  28. darn…i’m all done with dalia…i made the dalia powder using your recipe and it used up the whole packet…maybe i’ll buy some more this week-end. thanks for clarifying.

    Comment by Nabeela — April 21, 2006 @ 7:07 pm

  29. Hi Indira
    We drink fresh lauki juice in the mornings, and have a problem with the leftovers - the grated, waterless lauki so to speak. Any recipes on how to make best use of it? Feels like a waste to throw it away ! Thanks

    Comment by TheIndianExpat — June 15, 2006 @ 10:19 pm

  30. Hi Indira,

    I have been visiting your blog frequently from the past few days. I love everything about this…reminds me of my mother’s kitchen. Btw, me from Andhra too :-)

    I see delicious chapatis and parathas along with your dishes in the pics. I can’t prepare chapatis so well…would be helpful if you give some helpful hints about them too.

    Thanks….Happy cooking!

    Comment by sri — July 21, 2006 @ 3:23 pm

  31. hi,
    durum atta is a very hard high protein atta.that is why you are not able to make soft rotis with feels more like maida.
    and it is not whole is a different type of dont buy anything that says durum on it.
    just buy whole wheat atta..i have been using lakshmi brand wheat for 10 is gives out wonderful aroma of rotis while making.

    Comment by shubha — September 19, 2006 @ 3:17 pm

  32. Hi,
    There is another recipe for bottle gourd that is simple and delicious.
    Head oil, sputter cumin seeds. Add finely cut bottle gourd. Add chilly powder, turmeric and salt. Cook alittle before adding a little water. Very fresh gourd needs no water and will give out water. This isn’t a gravy but shouldn’t be too dry either.

    Comment by shef — October 12, 2006 @ 3:41 pm

  33. hi i am from singapore….. ur website is very useful…n de bottle gourd receipt is very easy 2 do thanks…..

    Comment by abi — October 19, 2006 @ 3:31 am

  34. I wonder why people use these packed flour for making roti, its always healthier to use flour made fresh, like u can stock for 15 days or one month. try that ur rotis will be turn too good. also u have a healthy food to eat.

    Comment by Seema — January 16, 2007 @ 2:10 am

  35. I will like to share one more recipie mad out of bottle gourd.
    Take 2 bowls of gram flour
    Grate 250 gms Bottle gourd and add to the flour
    Also add cumin seeds, coriander leaves,garlic paste, turmeric powder, chilli powder,chopped green chillies & salt per taste.
    Put 1tbsp oil and knead the dough.Now make rolls of that dough and steam in pressure cooker for 10 mins.
    After it cools down u can cut and deep fry, serve like cutlets with Ketchup or green chutney.Also can eat it directly.

    Comment by Seema — January 16, 2007 @ 2:19 am

  36. Hi

    The sorakaya dish looks very yummy and I am gonna try that recipe with chappathis today.

    thanks for the wonderful recipe!

    Comment by anu — April 15, 2007 @ 4:16 pm

  37. Hi,
    I want to know the exact procedure to make bottle gourd juice. Do we peel off the thick outer skin and then grate it? I assume that there is no cooking involved after this and the juice is squeezed out from the raw portion. Am I correct ?
    Do also let me know whether you dilute it before drinking and what do you add to it?
    Thanks in advance,

    Comment by KirtiP — May 10, 2007 @ 10:23 pm

  38. This one is very nice, really too good.

    Comment by archana — June 28, 2007 @ 3:14 pm

  39. wow………what a beautiful…..i loved it ..sweet memories…

    soorakay koora aarogyaniki manchidhi kooda :) )

    Comment by venkateshwar — August 20, 2007 @ 11:53 pm

  40. . . .your recipes are so delicious!it’s very nutritious. Hope i will see some new recipes next time.

    Comment by gregie — September 3, 2007 @ 1:13 am

  41. Hi,
    Your website is really nice. Undoubtedly you have put lot of time and effort for this. You content is like new guide for me to cook some Indian curries. Keep up the good effort. God bless you guys.

    –Vijay Patil.

    Comment by Vijay Patil — September 17, 2007 @ 6:32 pm

  42. In California we get Annapurna atta (100% whole wheat nothing else added) and that makes wonderful soft chapatis…

    Comment by CP — January 27, 2008 @ 7:48 pm

  43. Best atta in the market is Sujata stone ground atta.

    Does drinking lauki juice really reduce weight? Has anyone experienced it?

    Comment by Ferooza — February 23, 2008 @ 6:33 pm

  44. I tried this with corn flour(instead of dhalia powder) and was good.

    Comment by latha — April 4, 2008 @ 1:26 pm

  45. excelllent.. just i made it. it came good…

    Comment by Radhika — March 30, 2009 @ 3:02 pm

  46. Where can i buy either bottle gourd juice or pumpkin juice in kansas city area? Thanks

    Comment by Carrie — April 2, 2009 @ 6:55 pm

  47. Hi,

    This curry came out very well and I am very big fan of your recipies.

    Thanks a lot.

    Comment by Suseela — April 8, 2009 @ 11:41 am

  48. Ya, bottle gourd juice helps in reducing weight. You can grate the bottle gourd and squeeze out the water from it and drink it. Alternatively, u can blend the grated gourd in a mixer and drink it. I prefer the latter. U can add a pinch of salt if u like. Do check out my blog and let me know your comments about the recipes posted there.


    Comment by Anita — April 23, 2009 @ 11:32 am

  49. Hi,

    This recipe with dalia and bottle gourd is just excellent. I am working from home, while my wife teaches in a school. I just happened to visit your blog and found this recipe 0 I just dashed to the kitched and made it. Thanks so much

    Comment by Kannan Subrahmanyan — July 16, 2009 @ 3:46 am

  50. Hi Indira,
    I made this recipe today. For some reason, the curry came out too thick and the it tastes more of dalia and less of doodhi. Any idea where I could have gone wrong. I did use one cup of dalia for this curry.
    Thank you,
    PS: I have been following your blog for the past 2 years and I sure am a big fan of your recipes.

    Comment by Sree Manne — August 20, 2009 @ 6:04 pm

  51. Hi guys, nice to know so much about ur sorkaya, it is very good health wise also, now for ur chapatis i have one small 1 or 2tips maybe it will be helpfull, after boiling the milk dont just wash the utensil make some luke warm water in it and kneed atta with that.

    Secondly mix atta with little water keep atta aside for sometime while say 2-3 mnts just patting with little water and after 2-3 mnts kneed little. chapatis will be soft

    Comment by Preetii — January 31, 2010 @ 8:18 am

  52. A friend gave me some bottle gourd seeds and not knowing much about them, I planted 3 seeds. My garden was overtaken by the vine whose leaves are very smelly and has a delicate white flower. It even started climbing up a maple tree that is nearby. When it finally produced a fruit, I picked one when it was about 3 inches, was told to let them keep growing and now have one that is 3 feet long and about 24 inches in diameter. I took one to our grandson’s birthday party(his great grandmother is Italian on the other side) and his other grandfather remembers shooting them with a bebe gun when he was growing up in southern Louisiana(Hammond, to be exact). I am enjoying just slicing them and frying them with a little onion and salt. Delicious! Also going to try drying them for birdhouses. What fun it is to be retired!

    Comment by Carol Wood — August 3, 2010 @ 9:32 am

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