Dudhi chana nu shaak is a staple Gujarati shaak (subzi) made from dudhi, which is a type of squash. Dudhi is known as bottle gourd or opo squash in english, and lauki in Hindi.
Dudhi is a type of squash that should be eaten young while the flesh is still soft. It’s called “bottle gourd” because when it dries it resembles a bottle and can be used as a container.
Dudhi is a much-used vegetable in Gujarati cuisine. Dudhi chana nu shaak is a dish my mom cooked for me often when I was a kid. It isn’t super common in the regular grocery store, but is easy to find at Indian and Asian grocers.
I think of it as pretty similar to zucchini, and if I wanted to make this dish and couldn’t find dudhi, I wouldn’t hesitate to use zucchini in its place.
How to Eat Dudhi Chana Nu Shaak
Dudhi chana nu shaak is a home-cooked shaak. It is a wet shaak, served as part of a meal I would add some sort of dry shaak, like tindora nu shaak or bharela bhindi (stuffed okra), and some kathor. It it also best eaten with some flatbread, like roti. It also pairs well with rice.
Tips for Making Dudhi Chana nu Shaak
- Make sure to soak the chana. It’s a step I often skip, but not with this dish. Since chana takes longer to cook than dudhi, you’ve got to make sure it is well soaked so you do not overcook the vegetable.
- I think of dudhi nu shaak as a spicy dish. I typically make it hotter than a typical shaak, it makes it feel more “authentic.” If you do not like spicy foods, you may want to cut back on the spice.
- Like many Gujarati foods, this dish has sugar. I tend to go light on the gor (jaggery or sugar). Depending on your tastes you may add more to make it the more traditional way, or leave it out for a healthier alternative.
Dhudi Chana nu Shaak
- 1 cup chana dal (split chickpeas)
- 3 cups dudhi about 500 grams
- 1 cup tomatoes chopped
- 1 Tbsp garlic minced or grated
- 3 Tbsp ghee or oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp asafoetida
- 2 green chilies like Serrano or Jalapeno
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder or paprika
- 2 tsp dhana jeeru 1 tsp ground cumin and 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp kasoori methi
- 1 Tbsp jaggery (gor, or sugar)
- ½ cup cilantro chopped
- 2 tsp amchoor or lemon juice
- Heat ghee or oil on the saute setting in your Instant Pot. When hot, add cumin, asafoetida, and green chilis. Cook for 10-20 seconds.
- Add turmeric, Kashmiri chili powder, dhana jeeru (ground cumin/coriander mix), and garlic cloves.
- Add tomatoes, cook until soft.
- Then add dudhi, chana, salt, and 1 cup water. Close the lid. Cook on high for 15 minutes. Natural pressure release for 15 minutes.
- Add Kasoori methi, jaggery (or sugar), cilantro, and amchur (or lemon juice). Stir and serve.