Bottle Gourd (Lauki / Doodhi) Dal spiced with Sambar Powder

A low oil delicious Vegetable and lentil combination that is gluten free and diabetic friendly.

Bottle Gourd (Lauki / Doodhi) Dal spiced with Sambar Powder

Bottle Gourd Dal spiced with Sambar Powder

(Diabetic Friendly) (Gluten Free) (Low Oil) (No onion and No Garlic)

How many Bottle Gourd aka Lauki aka Doodhi lovers here? Not many? 

I hope I am able to change that with this recipe today along with the health benefits that I am sharing with this post. I am positive that you would try and include lauki in some form as part of your menu. Gourds are extremely healthy for our body, hence, including the same as part of our weekly menu becomes essential. Especially, if you are pure vegetarians like us, who have to depend on various fruits and vegetables to stay healthy, fit and most important, not nutrition deficient. Weight loss being one of the most important challenges that we face today, which when coupled with lifestyle diseases like Diabetes, leads to further issues. Lauki is considered as one of the best vegetables to consume for both diabetics and people who aim to lose weight as it has fibre and 90% water content, making it easy to digest and helps you stay full. No wonder, lauki juice is taken on an empty stomach or part of smoothies in breakfast in an effort to lose weight or when on diet by many fitness fanatics.

Lauki 4.jpg

Besides being healthy, have you noticed that gourds are also extremely economical to purchase? Also, when cooked, they are sufficient to feed a family of 4 to 5. Like for example, a medium sized bottle gourd when cooked with spices and some lentils is good enough for a family of 4 people and provide both benefits of dal and the vegetables, just like the recipe I am sharing with you all below. The key lies in making the vegetable taste good and not bland, hence the inclusion of a spicy sambar powder here that takes the otherwise boring / routine dal, to another level.

This sabzi is such a huge hit at home that we often have it, as it is (minus accompaniments) as soup for dinner options. Not only is it filling, it is very light for the stomach too, plus the addition of sambar powder, makes it really interesting and not to forget, highly tasty to consume. All the more reason to indulge in this dal.

Even though this dish is a meal by itself and especially beneficial to people who work late and need to come back home and cook for the family and are often confused about how to prepare a wholesome meal that is not only tasty but healthy, this recipe fits the bill perfectly. All you need is some rotis or a bowl of rice and you are sorted. Some pickles and papads on the side would be great too. The dish needs just 30 minutes from start to finish, has everything that’s available in your pantry and will be ready by the time you freshen up and relax a bit after work.

If you are looking to pair some vegetables that would go well with this dal, you can check out the following recipes from the blog.

Let us look at the recipe below and make a hot bowl of this dal for dinner!

Recipe for Bottle Gourd Dal spiced with Sambar Powder

Prep Time – 10 Mins

Cook Time – 20 mins (including pressure cooking the vegetable)

Serves – 3 nos.


  1. Half a Bottle Gourd or Doodhi – roughly chopped
  2. Tur / Arhar Dal – ¼ cup
  3. Chana Dal – 2 tblsps
  4. Oil – 2 tsps
  5. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  6. Whole red chillies – 1 or 2 broken roughly into pieces
  7. Curry leaves – few sprigs
  8. Sambar Powder – 1tblsp
  9. Red chilli powder – ¼ tsp (optional)
  10. Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  11. Hing – a pinch
  12. Water for cooking as required
  13. Salt as per taste


  1. Wash, peel, and roughly chop the bottle gourd or doodhi into pieces or slightly big chunks.
  2. Wash and soak the dal separately for 15 minutes.
  3. In a vessel suitable for pressure cooking, add the chopped bottle gourd and the dals  (chana dal and Tur Dal) along with some turmeric and salt, water as required for cooking and cook it in a pressure cooker for atleast 3 whistles.
  4. After the doodhi and dal have cooked, heat a kadhai, add oil and then the mustard seeds. Once they crackle, add the whole red chillies, hing and curry leaves.
  5. Add the cooked mixture of dal and doodhi, mix and stir well. Check for the salt and adjust accordingly, if required. Also check the consistency of the dal at this stage.
  6. Now add the red chilli powder (optional), the sambar powder and let the dal simmer on low flame for 5 minutes until the masalas flavours the dal.
  7. Switch off the flame and serve piping hot with rice or rotis / flatbreads of your choice.

Recipe Notes –

  • If you are running late and have to make this dal immediately, you can avoid soaking and just pressure cook it directly. Just increase the cooking by 1 extra whistle to ensure the lentils cook well.
  • Since I prefer spicy food, I like the addition of red chilli powder. You may totally avoid the same as sambar powder is usually spicy.
  • A good fresh bottle gourd will not have many seeds once peeled and cut. I, however, don’t mind consuming the very small seeds that are there. If you don’t prefer the same, scoop out and then cut them into chunks. The flesh is supposedly healthy so I don’t discard them.
  • Leftovers of this dal can be turned into a paratha next morning or can be just consumed as a soup for dinner. However, if you are having lauki as dinner option, plan your dinner by 7pm max as doodhi is known to cause water retention, if consumed post sunset.
  • You can add moong dal too instead of tuvar or arhar dal. Tastes fabulous. I also like adding masoor or red lentils.

Disclaimer – I am no expert nor a nutritionist but have been on a quest to lose weight and in the due course, have found the use of certain fruits and vegetables that have benefited the process, in my case. Feel free to consult a doctor or an expert before including any new ingredient in your diet and in knowing its health benefits. Thank you!

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Vidya Narayan

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Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

This Post Has 41 Comments

  1. Megala

    Love this beautiful feel-good dal !

  2. ammu163

    This is something very different and very delicious!Hope to try it out sometime!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you dear, do try! This is usually my dinner option minus carbs!

  3. I tried lauki dal but never tried with sambar powder.. seems yummy,unique and full of flavors.. nice share…

    1. Vidya Narayan

      The powder helps you to ignore the not so tasty lauki. Also this is a break from your regular onion-tomato gravy combo. Thank you so much.

  4. Ruchisvegkitchen

    I love bottlegourd… We Gujaratis make with chana dal and sweet version …. Yours looks superb. Will surely give it a try

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thanks dear.. I love the gujrati style lauki and anything sweet including the dal and kadhi.

      1. Ruchisvegkitchen

        Wow that’s great.. so next time when u will be in Chennai, we will have Gujju party ?????

  5. jyo

    Love the addition of sambar powder to the dal…I bet it must be delicious ??

  6. InspiresN

    My favorite dal, such a comforting food with steamed rice, loved the pictures!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you so much and I so agree about dal being comfort food.

  7. BhawanaSingh

    me me me. I am crazy over bottlegourd recipe. tag me whenever you post them. This looks very tempting and perfect with idli or dosa. I always make my sambhar with bottlegourd and carrots.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thanks dear, shall do that but this is a dal not a sambar. Just used the masala to spice up the dal.

  8. I actually love bottle gourd. This dal with sambar powder and dudhi sounds delicious and flavorful. Lovely share, Vidya 🙂

  9. You added more flavor to my fav lauki Chana Dal! I have never tried adding toor to this combination. Butaddition of Sambhar Powder is ????????

  10. Lathiya

    The dal looks delicious ,never tried with sambar powder..will try for sure

  11. Totally agree to the point of lauki being a very economical vegetable! 😀 Totally love it in dal, we make it too with ground coconut added for lunch time but love the idea of adding sambar powder…

    1. Vidya Narayan

      I love the grated coconut Kootu version too. Its wholesome and delicious. Try making this sometime, I am sure you will love it.

  12. jayashreetrao

    This looks delicious. We add tamarind pulp also to it, should try your version sometime Vidya

  13. Jagruti

    Tell you the truth, I am not a huge lauki fan but my dad was so because of him I started eating lauki and always look out for new recipes for Lauki and I am loving this recipe. Surely I will try with sambar powder and what a coincidence I have lauki in my fridge right now 🙂

    1. Vidya Narayan

      I am sure you will love this, once you try it. Great coincidence and thank you so much for sharing your childhood memories of dad.

  14. Swati

    Vidya, this Dal looks so delicious. The addition of lauki makes it so healthy and easy on digestion too.With Rice, this meal will become such a comforting food, will try it!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Absolutely true Swati – Rice and dal is surely comforting. Thank you so much.

  15. sapana

    Bottle gourd with sambhar powder looks very inviting. I guess the sambhar powder makes everything delicious.Love the flavors.

  16. Priya Srinivasan

    I too make bottle gourd kootu but never tried with sambar podi, I either use kootu mix or plain green chilies and coconut.
    This is a nice variation for our regular palate! Perfect with some hot steaming rice!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thanks Priya! I too make the kootu but as you say, variations are always welcome for changing our palate at regular intervals. Glad you liked it.

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