Lauki ki Sabji is one of the most common and favorite vegetables in Indian households! Let’s have all the information on How to Grow Bottle Gourd.
Lauki ki Sabji is a staple vegetable in Indian cuisines. As it also grows quite fast, you can enjoy its harvest all year round. Here’s everything you need to know about How to Grow Bottle Gourd in India!
Botanical Name: Lagenaria siceraria
Common Names: Calabash, Lauki, Dudhi, Sorekayi, Calabaza, White flower Gourd, Tasmani Bean
Check out the best summer vegetables you can grow in India here
Lauki in English
If you want to know – Lauki ko english mein kya kahate hain, then the answer is – Bottle gourd. Lauki in English is not much popular in India, and people refer to this vegetable by its local names.
Lauki Container Size
A 14-18 inches deep pot will be ideal to grow lauki. Whatever pot you choose, make sure it has at least one drainage hole to let out excess water.
Growing Lauki ki Sabji From Seeds
The best lauki growing season in India is from spring to early summer (January-Feb).
- Purchase lauki seeds from a local nursery, garden center, or online. Soak them in the water overnight for successful germination.
- Fill a tray or small pot with a seed starting mix and sow the seeds 1-2 inches deep in the soil.
- Mist the soil with water, and place it at any bright location. Using a sprayer bottle, water whenever the soil feels dry.
- Lauki seeds will sprout in 7-14 days in the temperature range of 20-30 C.
- The first set of leaves or Cotyledons will sprout after 7 days, and then the true leaves of the sapling will appear after the second week.
- Once the seedling grows half a foot tall, you can transfer it to the garden or continue to grow it in the pot.
Note: As a best practice, purchase the seedling from a local nursery and plant it in the soil media directly. Keep at a sunny spot and water adequately.
Growing Requirements for Lauki ki Sabji
Lauki ki Sabji does the best in plenty of bright, full sunlight for 5-6 hours per day. Avoid keeping the plant in shady spots or too windy areas. The low light may lead to lower fruiting, while the excess wind may damage fruits by shedding them on the ground.
This vegetable does best in well-draining, well-aerated, and fertile soil with a 5.5-7 pH. It also performs well in sandy to loamy soil, amended with organic manure.
For the best quality fruits, use standard potting mix or DIY it by mixing 2 parts of regular potting soil, along with one part of vermicompost and cocopeat each.
Lauki ki Sabji appreciates consistently moist but not damp soil. Water the plant deeply and uniformly when the top surface feels dry to touch. Allow the soil to dry out a little before watering the vine again to prevent fungal issues.
The plant requires frequent watering during flowering and fruiting. Do make sure that you are never letting the soil dry out completely as it will result in fewer, low-quality fruits.
The plant requires a temperature range of 25-35 C to thrive successfully.
Lauki ki Sabji Care
Use a balanced liquid fertilizer, diluted to half of its strength once every 3-5 weeks. You can also apply potassium and phosphorus-rich fertilizers like 6-12-12 for promoting flowering and fruiting. Also, a handful of vermicompost around the plant base will give it a boost.
Lauki ki Sabji develops male and female flowers both on the same plant. Male flowers are white and open during the night and drop after pollination, while the female flowers grow into a gourd. Sometimes, the female flower shed without setting a gourd due to futile pollination, but don’t be discouraged.
You can also do hand pollination. Just rub a brush with soft bristles on the male flower first and then on the female flower.
Bottle gourd is a climber vine that can grow up to 10-12 feet in length. Install a vertical trellis for proper support. You can also use ropes and wires. In the absence of adequate support, the plant may result in lower fruits.
Pests and Diseases
Lauki ki Sabji is susceptible to powdery mildew during hot and humid environments and root rot due to overwatering. For prevention, facilitate proper ventilation and drainage. Also, remove the affected parts from the plant. Instead of using synthetic pesticides, use neem oil solution to take care of the pests.
Harvesting Lauki ki Sabji
Lauki takes 60-120 days to be ready for harvest. To check if it is ready or not, look at the stem attached to the vegetable. If it has turned brown or dried, and the gourd is pale green then it indicates that it is ready to pick. Use a shear to make a clean cut without damaging the plant.
Lauki ka Halwa
- Firstly rinse, peel and grate 300-500 grams lauki.
- Heat 4 tablespoons ghee in a Kadai on medium-low to medium flame. Use a large pan so milk does not spill outside when cooking halwa. Add the grated lauki.
- On a low to medium-low flame, begin to saute the veggie. Stir often when sauteing lauki.
- Stir it till the moisture dries. Then, add 2 cups of full-fat or whole milk and mix very well.
- Continue to cook on a low to medium-low flame till the milk comes to a boil.
- The milk will start boiling. Keep on stirring and be careful so that the milk does not spill from the pan. Regulate the heat as needed.
- Cook till ¾ or 75% of the milk has been reduced and absorbed. Add 7 to 8 tablespoons sugar or as per your taste buds and mix well.
- Next add 3 tablespoons chopped nuts (almonds, pistachios, cashews) and ½ to 1 teaspoon cardamom powder. You can even add 2 to 3 teaspoons of rose water or kewra water (pandanus water) if you want.
- Stir till Lauki ka Halwa thickens.
- The dudhi halwa will gradually thicken and you will see some ghee being released from the sides. Mix very well.
- Garnish with some chopped nuts and serve lauki ka halwa hot or warm. Refrigerate the remaining Lauki ka Halwa in a covered container. Lauki ka Halwa stays good for a couple of days in the refrigerator.
Lauki ka Juice
- Firstly, in a blender, take 1 cup peeled and chopped lauki.
- Add a handful of mint, ½ tsp cumin powder, ½ tsp pepper, 1-inch ginger, ¼ tsp salt and 2 tsp lemon juice.
- Add 1 cup chilled water and blend smooth.
- Finally, pour Lauki ka Juice into a glass with a few ice cubes.
Lauki ke Kofte
- Peel and grate lauki. Squeeze out the water completely and keep that water for making gravy.
- Take squeezed grated lauki in a large bowl. Add gram flour, rice flour, turmeric powder, ginger-garlic paste, finely chopped green chili, finely chopped onion, and salt.
- Mix all ingredients well. The mixture should have a thick consistency to make round-shaped balls. If it is watery, then add 1-2 teaspoons of gram flour and mix. Remember not to keep this mixture idle for a long time since lauki releases water over time, and it will make the mixture soggy, and you will not be able to make kofta balls.
- Grease your palms with oil and divide the mixture into 10 to 12 portions. Take each portion and turn it into round-shaped balls.
- Heat oil in a frying pan over medium flame for deep frying. When oil is medium hot, add 3-4 balls at a time. Stir occasionally and deep-fry until they turn lightly golden brown and crisp. Take them out using a slotted spoon, drain excess oil and place them over kitchen tissue on a plate.
- Blanch the tomatoes and crush them with cashew nuts to make a tomato-cashew puree.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a saucepan over medium flame. Add cumin seeds and cook until they sizzle 7-10 seconds. Add ginger-garlic paste and stir-fry for 30-40 seconds. Add chopped onion and stir-fry until it turns light pink in color.
- Now, for gravy, add tomato-cashew puree and mix well. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes.
- Add red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, turmeric powder and salt (add for gravy). Mix well and stir-fry for a minute.
- Add thick curd and mix. Stir-fry for a minute.
- Add lauki water (kept in step-2) and 1/2-cup water and cook over medium flame for 3-4 minutes. Stir in between occasionally.
- Add fried kofta balls to the gravy
- Cook for 5-6 minutes and turn off flame. Transfer Lauki ke Kofte to a serving bowl and garnish with coriander leaves.