Bottle gourd is one of my favorite vegetables as I’ve tried making different variations of food with it. This is something I tried on a Saturday afternoon & It came out perfectly well! It’s also a new way of cooking with paneer. Try making this rather than your usual paneer butter masala!
Cottage cheese stuffed Calabash…
(prep time + cook time = 40 minutes)
- Bottle gourd – 1 medium
- Grated paneer – 1 ½ cups
- Capsicum – ½ medium, finely chopped
- Onions – ½ medium, finely chopped
- Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Turmeric powder – a pinch
- Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
- Chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Oil – 4 tablespoons (for sauteing & roasting)
- Rice flour – ½ cup
- Corn flour – 1 tablespoon
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Oil – 2 teaspoons
- Onions – ½ medium
- Tomatoes – 1 large (you can also use ready made puree)
- Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
- Red chilli powder – 2 teaspoons
- Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons
- Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
- Any masala powder – 1 tablespoon (I used butter paneer masala)
- Milk – ½ cup
- Wash, peel & trim the ends of the bottle gourd. Cut them into thin rings & remove the spongy pith at the center. (To make things easier you can remove the pith using a cookie cutter or a circular mould.) Boil the bottle gourd rings in 3 cups of water on medium flame for 10 minutes & drain the water. Keep aside.
- In a wide non stick pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil & saute cumin seeds, onions & capsicum on medium flame until golden & soft. Add the grated paneer & ground masalas & saute for 3 minutes & turn off the stove. (Don’t overcook as you’ll end up with firm paneer which makes it harder to stuff the bottle gourd)
- In a bowl, mix together rice flour, cornflour, salt & pepper with some water until flowy. Stuff the paneer mixture into the bottle gourd rings & gently dip them into the rice flour mixture, coating them evenly. Be gentle when you do this as the paneer filling might fall out.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan & drop the rings onto the pan as you coat them. Let them cook on medium flame until slightly brown on both sides.
- In the same pan, saute onions & tomatoes with the masalas listed under ‘tomato gravy.’ Cook until they turn soft, switch off the heat & let it cool. Blend the mixture with ½ cup of milk until smooth & creamy.
- Serve hot by layering the bottle gourd rings with the rich tomato gravy & garnish with cilantro. You can have it with rotis or pulao.