New this week: Bottle Gourd and Gongura

Two new veggies are ready for harvest this week! I’m very excited about them because both are things I’m growing for the first time, and both are Indian vegetables which I really had no idea how to grow. One is bottle gourd (AKA ghia, lauki, kaddu, opo squash, and more) and the other is ambara (apparently more commonly called gongura.)

Bottle gourd is a big, long, pale green squash that has a texture kind of like a firmer zucchini, and a taste between zucchini and cucumber. I love it–in my opinion it’s way better than ordinary summer squash, because the flavor is lighter and sweeter. Plus you buy one and have enough for the whole family! It’s often cooked in daal dishes, but I found a recipe online for a curry with coconut milk, which I’ll post below.

Gongura/Ambada is a sour leafy green. If you’ve ever tasted sorrel, or picked one of those little heart-shaped clover looking things with yellow flowers in the woods and chewed on it (Idk what these are called, my sisters and I just called them sour clover), that’s similar to what gongura tastes like. It can be cooked similarly to spinach, but the sour flavor makes it WAY more interesting. I had never tried it before I went to India this winter, because I think it’s kind of hard to find in the US, but it’s delicious. Didn’t have time to make a sample of it this week but I hope to do so in the future.

Okay, here’s the bottle gourd recipe, from a website called

lauki curry recipe with coconut milk and yogurt
prep time
5 mins
cook time
15 mins
total time
20 mins
soothing and cooling bottle guard curry with coconut milk and yogurt.
author: dassana
recipe type: main
cuisine: indian
serves: 4
ingredients (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
  • 11/2 or 2 cups chopped bottle gourd/lauki/ghia
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • ½ cup yogurt or any vegan yogurt
  • 2 to 21/2 cups water
  • 1 sprig curry leaves/kadi patta
  • 1 green chili, chopped
  • salt as required
  • 1 or 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp cumin/jeera
how to make the recipe:
  1. rinse and peel the lauki and cut into small bite size pieces.
  2. add the lauki pieces, salt, yogurt , curry leaves, green chilies and water in a pan.
  3. stir and cook for 12-15 minutes till the lauki is cooked without a lid.
  4. add the coconut milk and simmer for a minute. don’t cook much as the coconut milk would otherwise curdle.
  5. heat oil in a small pan. add the mustard seeds and allow them to crackle.
  6. add the cumin and fry for some seconds.
  7. pour this tempering along with the oil on the lauki curry.
  8. stir and serve the lauki curry hot with steamed rice.


I added green beans as well, because I thought they’d fit in well and because I have WAY TOO MANY green beans right now.

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