Saada is plain in Hindi and Urdu and saadi subzi means a plain subzi (may or may not be a curry by western standards). Lauki is Bottle gourd. Lauki ki saadi subzi is a regular in most UP homes all through the summer months.
This Lauki ki subzi is a plain jane in many ways. No complex recipe, no extensive spicing and quick cooking. Also, this is the one subzi you cook when you get the most tender Bottle gourd in the market. A mature gourd with seeds and tough skin is not suited for this subzi and if you have got one of those, think about a pressure cooked curry with spices and tomatoes.
So this subzi is an unspoiled taste of tender Lauki, enhanced just with hing and jeera. Ghee adds to the flavor so do not compromise on that.
Though some people feel chopping the lauki this way takes a lot of time, I feel this is one of those vegetables which doesn't require stringing and arranging in bunches to be chopped finely. So just peel it and get it chopped in whatever way you want.
Chopping them finely would result in better taste if you are making this kind of plain subzi in a pan or kadhai. You might like the lauki to be chopped even finer if you have time and the skill to chop them that way.
This medium fine is the way I chop it, more because it saves me time and does taste great as well.
a Bottle gourd weighing around 700 gm
pinch of asafoetida
a tsp of turmeric powder
a tsp of whole cumin
2 whole dry red chillies
a tbsp or some more ghee
It's a simple recipe and yet we need to be careful with flame intensity etc. Most importantly the salt should be slightly on the lower side. If you choose a tender Bottle gourd you wouldn't require to add water while cooking. Tender Lauki is the only one suited for this subzi as i indicated earlier.
Heat the ghee and tip in the hing, jeera and red chillies in that order. Wait till they all splutter and sizzle before adding a tsp of turmeric powder. Immediately add the chopped lauki over it and mix well till all the chopped pieces get coated lightly with turmeric and the ghee tempering.
Add salt to taste, always lesser than you think is okay , mix well and cover to cook on low flame. Open the lid and stir after 4-5 minutes and check if the pieces have become soft and moist. There should be some water collected in the bottom by this time. If not, add half a cup of water to it and let it cook for about 10 minutes.
It should be cooked and mushy after 10 minutes or might take a few more minutes depending on how tender is the Bottle gourd. You might like to thrash the subzi a bit to make it mushy.
Serve hot as a side dish or just with hot chapatis and some light daal or raita or plain dahi. This is a minimalist's favorite subzi , great with just chapatis too...
Some people even like it with just plain boiled rice. In that case it is a nice detox meal for you.
Summers call for cooling food and this is one of those easy to cook subzi that saves you from stove as well.
The sponge gourd subzi (Nenua ki saadi subzi) is another of this category.
Check out another Lauki ki subzi cooked in pressure cooker with tomatoes and curry powder. This one is for those mature Bottle gourds with a few seeds and tougher skin.
Do you like such simple food?