Saturday, May 5, 2007

O for Opo squash lachha :)

And that my dear, is another way of serving you the good ole' Ghiya :)). As i wondered on which dish to make starting with O, after my favorite, Olan got featured here and here ( and i am not complaining, i got my fill drooling at the yummy pictures) and after my trip to the grocery store to find good, fresh okra disaapointed me, the fancy sounding label for doodhi/lauki/ghiya came to my rescue. Opo squash is a lovely vegetable, as i have discovered got me something to present for A-Z event at Nupur's hot stove :)). Jokes apart, while as a child i turned away from gourds and squashes, over the years i have grown to like them, love them. Sig's thoughts do echo my own :).

Opo squash makes a great addition to daals and raitas, and also can be the vegetable of choice when you are craving something yummy and quick. How, lets see :). Lets make the Opo squash and onion lachhas (lachha-grated stuff). This recipe is my take on the traditional Punjabi ghiya bhartha, prepared with grated and steamed ghiya, cooked with spices of your choice, with or without onions and tomatoes. I chose to prepare it with pearl onions and tomatoes. You can also prepared with grated onions.

We need:

  • 1 Opo squash (grated)
  • 9-10 pearl onion (peeled)
  • 1 Roma tomato (chopped)
  • 1/4 tsp. Ajwain (Carum seeds)
  • Turmeric and red chilli powder to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 3-4 green chillies (slit)
  • 1 tsp. melted ghee
  • 1 tbsp. Lime/lemon juice
Lets first grate the squash after washing it. We needn't peel the squash, the peel gets cooked quite well. If you do peel the squash, you may save it to make a yummy chutney. Microwave the grated squash on high for 5 minutes in a covered container. In a pan, lets heat ghee and add the carum seeds/ajwain. Now saute' the pearl onions (or 1 regular red onion, grated, not chopped). Add the tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes till tomatoes are tender. Add the cooked squash lachhas, stir and add turmeric and red chilli powder. Add the salt and stir. Cook on high with frequent stirring till the water dries (squashes have lots of water). Add the slit green chillies and lime/lemon juice. Serve hot with dahi and chapatis, paranthas, daal-chawal or as a sandwich with your favorite bread. Its a simple and delicious quick fix recipe. You make the tadka as the squash goes through microwaving. The ajwain, ghee, mirchi and lemon give it simple, fragrant and subtly spicy feel. Don't use mirchi if you prefer it simpler. Usually this is served as a tangy and spicy side dish with either dahi or a simple daal.

You can also prepare just onion lachhas following the same recipe. That makes a super yummy sandwich stuffer. In my gradute school (IISc Bangalore) they used to have an onion toast in the tea-board (a canteen so named as a humorous take on another neighbouring canteen with affiliations to The Coffee Board and called just that, the coffee board!), which was quite delicious :).


Coffee said...

The coffee board has to be delicious!!!! ;)

I liked the idea of lachcha as a sandwich stuffer!!!! I have a smaal piece of dooshi at home so can try that !!!!!

trupti said...

Hey Surili,
what a creative entry-and I can stuff my sandwiches too??
I just love that name "ghia" too....the name itself is enough to conjure up an image of this buttery,soft and delicious medley of flavors.....and this recipe with ajwain is new to me, looks lovely, Surili!
good one, my dear!


Asha said...

Opo for "O"!!! Clever M!:))
The Coffee Board was a restaurant in B'lore?
We sell all our (real coffee seeds)coffee to coffee board too(the real one!)by tons in Hassan!!:D
Opo squash Laccha looks great.Between you and T,I am turning Punjabi and Gujarati as well!:)
Love the recipes,bring some more unique ones like Ketaan da Khana!!:)

Richa said...

lovely recipe!! gheea nutritious de naal naal tasty bhi hundi e :) ajwain da te' jawaab nai :)sandwich di idea vadhiya e, always looking for new sandwich ideas. O vaastey badi changi idea sochi tussi :) hope u r enjoying ur wknd.

musical said...


Yup, it does taste real good in the sandwiches. i do it all the time. try it, am sure you are gonna' like it. Haan, Coffee Board food was good. The rate at which you are dishing out Uttappas and sambar, methinks you are getting inspired by the Coffee Board model :).


Yes, yes, you can stuff your sandwiches too. The name ghia is lovely indeed, but not so long ago this name didn't evoke the beautiful imagery that you conjured up :)). i love ajwain tadka every now and then, tastes good!

hugs to you too, dear

musical said...


That canteen was actually The Coffee Board's Kiosk at IISc, but students would just call it Coffee Board! It did belong to the real Coffee Board-they used to sell coffee beans and powders also there. Aha! so you are craving for khetan da khana :) sure Akka, will keep them coming. Have a great weekend.


Haanji, tuhanu pasand aaya. try karo. waise ghiya hain taan bahut versatile. thats why i've gotten to love it. and i agree, i too always crave for different sandwich stuffings! You too dear, have a wonderful weekend.

bee said...

i'll make this if you grate it for me. :-D this dish is not for lazy people. you'll know what i mean on tuesday.

musical said...


Darling, if you call yourself lazy, you really need to meet me :-D or watch some Garfield ;) we both epitomize laziness :))

Nupur said...

Looks so good...throw veggies into the food processor and this would take mere minutes!

musical said...


How true, i have been thinking of getting a good food processor, which brand do you recommend. My kitchen counter-top is so small, its already facing space crunch with a mixer, a magic bullet and my toaster! But good idea :) Bee, are you listening ;).

Manisha said...

Grating is like stirring...meditational value :-D

Sig said...

Another good looking dish there musie... and good to know you used to hate veggies too :D

Garfield..... hahaha now whenever I see your name I will picture a fat cat napping... :D

musical said...


It is like a meditation, with great benefits ;) gets you good stuff to eat!


Your views on veggies reflect my thoughts on squashes, gourds and likes ;) i love cats =^^= but, picture a slim cat, not a fat one :)).

Nandita said...

Hey Musical,
Saw pic of opo squash on Sheela's blog, it looked same as Dudhi - so is it? And can i make this same thing with a grated dudhi, but the peel is kinda thick though

musical said...

Hey Nandita:

Yes, it IS doodhi. Not a bit of difference. Check the link in the post. And you can make this with grated doodhi with or without the peel. I keep the peel, i think it grates well. Choose smaller and tender squashed and it will be fine.

Pelicano said...

Hey There-

Thank you for posting that link! I've seen so many recipes for "dudhi" and didn't know it was the same as "bottle gourd"; I see them for sale quite often. :-) So I ought to try this dish shouldn't I? ;-) I discovered recently that I really like ajwain seeds; they develop such a nice flavour when they are fried!

sra said...

I was thinking it had something to do with lacha parathas, quite a different dish you have here, Musical!

Sandeepa said...

Wow you are a scientist to research such a name :)
I have had and once made lauki koftas, this is almost same but instead of making the koftas I bhuno the grated squash right ?

That's a great and actually easier idea.

DEEPA said...

great one !!!..I have bookmarked this one ..will surely try it out ...Thks for sharing

musical said...

Hey Pel:

Absolutely try them :) I know this squash has so many names that one gets confused! and yes, ajwain tadka rocks! if you want to intensify the flavor, fry the ajwain seeds and top the dish with dried oregano :).


I know "lacha" is a funny term :-D. Lachhedar paratha or lachha paratha drives the name from multiple layers and even grated stuff when its being grated falls in layers. There's a phrase in Hindi "lachhedaar baatein" which has got a very interesting meaning: something like the talk that tricks you into something or some highly superficial but very cordial chatter.

musical said...


Researcher to main hoon, but in this case, bhala ho Whole Foods ka jahan se i got this name ;). Procedure is quite similar to koftas here except that in koftas you add besan etc also and then fry them and then cook them with gravy.....yes, it is simple ;). Grated squash, microwaved and cooked with your favorite spice.


Thank you dear, let me know how it works for you.

Reena said...

muse, it looks like aviyal :)i am loving it already. now i am craving for it and most probably will make it tonight. will let you know.

musical said...

Hey reena:

Thank you dear :). try, am sure you are gonna' love it. Aha! you mentioned aviyal and now i am craving some!

Chinni said...

This is my first visit to ur site.I have bookmarked this one.....

musical said...

Dear Chinni, welcome to my corner and thanks for your warm words :).

Sia's Corner said...

aha...i know what to stuff my sandwich now;) he he he... u surely come up with something totally different. i wouldn't have minded if u had posted Olan here. would have got another chance to drool over olan;) yeah...i am drooling sitting in my office and my boss will surely kick me out if i dont concentrate on my project;) he he he...
hugs to u sweetie:)

musical said...

Hey Sia:

Olan is totally drool-worthy isn't it :)) chalo abhi achhe bachhe ki tarah kaam karo :)) and anyway who knows better to stuff the stuff than you, dear ;)

hugs n' have a great day.

Pelicano said...

Did someone say "aviyal"?... [swoons] It's been years since I've had that.

musical said...

Hey Pel:

Simple, make some and do a post :).

I agree, aviyal is really swoon worthy!

Pelicano said...


Pelicano said...

I just prepared this tonight Musical. It's delicious! My first time eating ghiya... I took 'do paranthe' and placed some bharta between each of them and folded them into a sandwich. :-) Then I sat down, ate them both and watched Law and Order... :-) I loved the crunchy green chiles btw! :-D

Oh...I forgot to ask you: I used very finely minced onions... how far do they get fried? I stopped at pale gold. Or should they be browned?

Anonymous said...

I have been growing Opo and right now because it is the season we have way too much-- what else can i make with this veggie!??