Recipe: Al Yakhni aka Bottle Gourd In Spiced Curd

Al Yakhni

Bottle gourd or lauki/doodhi is a vegetable I just cannot fathom eating. It is like the sworn mortal enemy I have when it comes to vegetables. So, imagine my luck when a few days back the only vegetable that I could find in the refrigerator was that. It was time to get creative and messages were sent out to trusted home-chef friends who could help me make something interesting out of this “best out of waste” situation I found myself in!

Jasleen of Namak Swaad Anusaar was quick to respond and instructed me on how to prepare a vegetarian Kashmiri delicacy, called Al Yakhni. Well, to be honest, she had me at the beautiful name itself. A simple dish made with spiced curd and fried roundels of lauki, served with steamed rice, this was revelation for me and my family. To add to that, it managed to make me a lauki convert.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredient Quantity
Whisked Curd 2 cups
Badi elaichi/ black cardomom 2 pods
Cloves 2-3 pods
Fennel seeds 1 tsp
Mace 1
Black pepper 1 tsp
Dried mint powder 1 tsp
Bay leaf 1
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Oil 1 tbsp
Bottle gourd/ lauki 1
Salt To taste
Sugar To taste
Garlic  2-3 pods


  1. In a bowl, add whisked curd and add fennel seeds to it and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add badi elaichi, bay leaf, cloves, mace and crushed black pepper.
  3. Cook this on low flame so that none of it burns.
  4. Add curd to this and keep stirring so that the curd doesn’t boil.
  5. Once done, add salt and sugar and keep aside.
  6. In a separate pan, fry the lauki roundels and keep aside.
  7. Add the lauki roundels to the curd gravy, also called yakhni.
  8. End it with fried garlic and long slit chillies.


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