An afternoon with Clara and Mr.Tiffany

Since I am home these days- my lunch is usually something extremely simple (like 2-minute maggi noodles withe some veg). On those rare occasions when I cook for lunch, it tend to be one-pot meals like this lauki dal or lauki-lentil soup.


1 medium lauki, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup washed toor dal or masoor dal (I used toor)
1/2 can (16oz) whole peeled tomatoes
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 green chilli pepper, slit in the middle
1 tbsp ghee/ oil
2 cups water/ veg broth
For tempering

2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp roasted crushed coriander powder
a pinch turmeric

1 tbsp shredded coconut for garnish


In a pressure cooker, heat the ghee- add mustard seeds, once it starts to splatter add cumin, fennel, green chilli peppers- saute these for about 10sec

Add the tomatoes, lauki, ginger, turmeric and crushed coriander seeds- saute for about 4-5 minutes.

Add the dal and saute for another minute or two.

Add 2 cups of water, salt and pepper to taste- pressure cook the whole thing (I let mine go for about 5 whistles); you can do this even without the pressure cooker but it will take longer for the lentil to cook.

Once the pressure is all gone- open the lid, taste it- adjust for seasoning, check if everything is cooked- garnish with cilantro and coconut.

Serve hot with chappatis, rice or even as a soup!


I love these multi-functional one pot meals- you eat ’em with rice/ rotis one day and the next day think ’em out and ladle some out in a big bowl- you got yourself some nice warm soup. I loved everything about this dal- a delicious light any-time meal. I enjoyed it while reading Susan Vreeland’s Clara and Mr.Tiffany.

Did you know

Bottle gourd or calabash gourd (lauki) actively flowers at night- the nocturnal insects help in pollination

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