Sorrakai: Bottlegourd Subzi

This is a subzi that was taught to me by my mother-in-law. Delicious bottlegourd that is cooked in a simple sauce of jeera, onions and tomato. The gravy that is used in this subzi can be used with any vegetable, but the soft bottlegourd creates a comforting subzi that is healthy and tasty. My husband is not a huge fan of sorrakkai but I love it.

Shankar and I are pretty similar and we enjoy doing most things together. I think having separate interests is a good thing, and I enjoy activities that I do with my own friends apart from my husband just as much as I enjoy going to events and spending time with him. Our lives are pretty busy with both of us committing to various endeavours and jobs alike. It is only going to get busier in the future, with travel for work and children entering the picture.

I want to ask all of you how you deal with conflicting schedules and differing priorities in a marriage? Shankar and I have been talking about having a 'date night' forever, but somehow life takes over and we end up over committing to events with our friends and family and the first thing that gets sacrificed is time spent between husband and wife.

I think this can also be applied to eating habits, and it is definitely one of the reasons I appreciate being married to someone who enjoys eating vegetarian food. I have a few friends who are in relationships where one is veg and the other is non-veg. Even though we eat vegetarian food at home, there are still a lot of dishes that I enjoy that Shankar doesn't (mostly vegetable related!). Ultimately all of these conflicts come from each person wanting something different and coming to a compromise that is balanced for both parties is sometimes very difficult. It can be applied to food, spending time together, purchases, or lifestyle choices.

How do you all deal with this?

Sorrakkai: Bottlegourd Subzi
1 bottlegourd, 1 tbsp jeera, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 onion minced, 1 tomato diced, salt, 2 tsp garam masala

1. Peel the bottlegourd, and scoop the seeds out from inside with a spoon. Dice into 1/2" squares.
2. Splutter the jeera in some oil.
3. Add the onion, turmeric, and chili powder.
4. Add the tomato and fry it until it becomes soft.
5. Add the bottle gourd and mix it constantly on high heat. Reduce the heat, cover and steam until it becomes soft for approximately 20 minutes. Mix in the garam masala.

My friend Aparna makes this dish in the pressure cooker and she says it gives the bottlegourd a really soft, creamy texture.

VERDICT: I enjoyed the sorrakkai subzi, and I made up for my hubbies dislike of it by making him an alu subzi.

Other Bottlegourd Links:
Foodies Hope Bottlegourd Recipes
Happy Burps Moong Daal and Bottlegourd Curry
Mahanandi Bottlegroud in Sesame
Ahaar's Simple Pleasures of Bottlegourd


Savithri said...

Great post and recipe! I love the pictures:)

Siri said...

Even I used to dislike Sorakai, when I was back home with my mom.

Now, I feel like eating it.. :(.. Nice n authentic recipe .. the color is gorgoeus..:D

FH said...

I love Sorekai, I don't have to tell you that if you remember my post!:D
Looks yum,great with rice,love the photo too.
My kids prefer non-veg, North Indian and western food and we eat mostly veg and Indian atleast 4 times a week. When I make spicy food like South Indian food, kids make themselves whatever in the pantry like Mac and cheese etc.It is hard sometimes but what can do? :))

Anonymous said...

I visited your blog a long time ago, and I've been looking for it ever since. I'm so very glad I was fortunate to find it again

I am extremely fussy about food much to the annoyance of my Mom and can't cook for nuts. Like I tell her, "I'll starve but won't cook".

But there's something about the way you write that makes me want to cook (nothing from the gourd family though - the rule at home being I eat what I cook)


bee said...

has shankar tasted sorakkai halwa? that's one thing even those who hate this veggie can't resist. in my opinion, it's tastier than carrot halwa. (there's a microwave one on our blog you can make for your date night :D)

Anonymous said...

Hi Kanchana,

That's a very simple and yummilicious recipe:) My husband too is not a big fan of sorakkai... the only time he has it without any complaints is in a koottu:)

So coming to your 'date-night'... well it's very true that sometimes it's overwhelming to keep up a balance between everything. We live in Germany, far away from home, married for 7 years, me not working and we don't have any 'friends' in this country. But still with our 2.5 yr old grabbing all the attention we hardly get anytime for ourselves.

Sometimes I just grab a nice movie that I know my husband will enjoy (they're not always what i like!) and we have a nice southie dinner (made to his preference) and hold hands and watch the movie in silence. This therapy we both found worked very well rather than talking, going out (which seems to be impossible these days). I suppose you just take things as it comes... sometimes decide friends over husband and vice-versa.

And also with food (we're also veg.) I love trying out different cuisines. Earlier on I used to try out thai or chinese and force my husband to taste them but these days I just leave it. And he too understands and surprises me with a take-away often:) Sorry for the long comment... have fun!

Roopa (KitchenAromas) said...

The curry looks great! My mom's version is almost the same, with a dash of ground coriander minus the onions.

Shobha said...

This subzi is a long time favorite of mine too :)

My husband and I haven't had a date night in what ... 2 years now! My son is nearly 2 - so you know the reason why .. ha ha. But we both enjoy watching movies and we do that right here at home during the odd weekend.

As for food, we have very similar tastes and that is surely a big plus. And for the rest, everything is not gonna be in perfect harmony, you have to meet each other midway, make compromises, adjust, yada, yada, yada :) you know the drill.

Lovely pic btw. You look so pretty girl, I don't see any extra poundage!

NC said...

I also make bottle gourd this way, but like your friend I make it cooker too...:)
regarding time with husband: Although my and hubby's, habits are pretty similar in terms of food, they are poles apart in case of life.
He likes to sit and home with me and watch a movie, while when I got married all I could think about was my friends and how I will ever live without so many people around me.
Life changes, we change with it. With kids coming in the pic now, my biggest Q is how to spend quality time with them and the whole family, instead of just with hubby. I am sure, weekends will be our time together.
The only time after marriage, when I have missed spending time with him is, when my in-laws were here for four months.
I know I can find time for us, with just kids. But when my parents come to visit us and the baby, what will I do. What will happen to the date nights/ any nights for that matter?
This is a scary thought...!!! :-o

Jyothi said...

Looks simple and great. Lovely photos too. Thanks for sharing.

Rajesh &Shankari said...

you are right when you say everything and everybody takes presedence over ouor life except the most important thing - nurturing a relationship as a couple. AT lunch hour, we sometimes meet for lunch which is like a date ...we sometimes plan a week ahead that we r eating out, going to a movie..send an email to your hubby..saying date tonight? It is fun :)

TBC said...

I like your Sorrakai. My way of making it is a lot similar to yours.

Suganya said...

You have a beautiful collection of plates, bowls and accessories in yr photos!

amna said...

I like bottle guard too, but its very difficult to get it cooked the right way. i mean, mine turns out bland cuz i invariably end up overcooking it!

Anonymous said...

Satish and I run a small development shop together - so there is no question of conflicting schedules as of now. The issue however is more about "taking a break" - while its fun to do something on your own, one cannot afford the luxury of taking off from work (atleast in the intial years)

i have come to savour kootus and a lot of veggies like ridge gourd only after i started cooking these for satish. similarly i think he pretty much has taken a liking to rasam. dishes that satish doesn't like are made in small "exclusively for lakshmi" quantities once in a while. with just the two of us its isnt such a big deal. its more complicated with more people in a family- my amma has had to balance between the extremely different tastes of my dad, bro and me.

The only dish with Sorekkai I can eat is Doodhi Halwa (although I rate the Dumroot Halwa made out of Ash Gourd in Karnataka much higher). actually you should try this kootu with ash gourd or winter melon (it turns beautifully transclucent when cooked) - probably shankar might like this version.

Unknown said...

Nice recipe.. and the pics made it even more delicious!!!

Manju said...

nice and simple recipe...gr8 pics!!

Rachna said...

am glad yu liked my previous comment!

yur doodhi sabzi is so north indian (punju)... its exactly how my mum makes it..and every1 in the house loves it ... except me :( ... :) i love all doodhi koftas and southie dishes with doodhi... kootu and pachadi and also love bee's doodhi halwa...

Taking out time for the two of us has become more difficult after the baby... we try to steal time and go for a 30 minute long drive... and we end up chatting so much ... we just have to wait for our son to grow up a bit ... i guess :)

Srivalli said...

Thats a beautiful picture..amma makes a dish out of this which is fabulous...abt time together...with 3 kids around, we get to talk to each other only at office...:)...enjoy the max before the kids come on scene...:D

Bong Mom said...

Funny we have a similar version, no onion and ia dd corriander leaves as garnish, gives a nice smell

Bindiya said...

i think everyone is facing the same predicament as u are dear, but just take it in ur stride,meanwhile recipe looks good!

Timepass said...

The sorakai looks great. your pic of the moment is too good.

Finla said...

Good dish and great pic as usual.
About the date night. I don't think we've ever had a particular day for it.
When there was no daughter it was easy u could just do what ever you want............. but then Shyama came on and that changed as kids do take up your time alot.
But now she is 15yrs it is there is a big difference.
About food habbit, my hubby and daughter loves Non.Veg so i just make that. Of course there are days when i make them to Herbivorous :-))))))

Manasi said...

This is a different version of Doodhi subzi! maharashtrians make it in a different way.. maybe i'll post that..

For ur date-night.. well, sometimes M & I plan, but the actual execution never happens, but last week , i forgot to get my lunch box and i don't have a car, he drives our car to work and unfortunately there is nothing in the walking distance from my office to go grab lunch.. so M dropped by with pizza at my office during my lunch time, which is different from his, and we had lunch sitting in the car! But I loved that 40 mins we spent! I was so happy.. and realised that this time spent together was better than any planned date..!! Even the act of getting pizza , which is my fav. junk food and he dislikes it was sho shweet !
Sometimes, the littlest (is that a word??!!) things warm up the heart, look for those and find happiness !! I do hope u guys have a wonderful date-night soon...!!

Pooja V said...

Great post and super delicious recipe. I second bee on halwa thingy.
We hv same story like urs. careers, family friends etc tec tk up so much time tht therez hardly ne left for us. But i guess things will b better soon.

Anonymous said...

I love the flavor & texture of bottlegourd. Your bhaji looks delicious!

Shweta said...

I never get it! Why don't people like bottlegourd? :) My husband wouldn't touch it with a pole!!Love your recipe, its exactly like my mom's except she makes it in the pressure cooker and yea it does turn out creamy... It was my favorite summer vegetable in India, accompanied with warm rotis, mint chutney and cucumber raita :)
I have started blogging recently and just added a link to your blog. Hope that is okay :)

Nabeela said...

Hi Kanchana, you have a great blog going on here....I LOVE the pictures(and the recipes!). I understand you completely about wanting to spend time with your husband. I feel the same way....
I make sure I spend my week-ends with him, even if its while grocery shopping or visiting friends. Just being together, enjoying the moment, matters. Having a date night is a wonderful idea...we used to do that. But it got too hectic with his work and my now we have week-ends together :)
As for your last post, I loved reading about your experience with an arranged marriage. Mine is an arranged marriage too..and I didn't meet my husband until after I signed the Nikah-nama(the marriage registration thingy)...and I still can't believe my luck on how everything turned put PERFECTLY, without my trying to find the perfect match.
When its meant to be, its meant to be :)

Padma said...

Same story like Siri, even I disliked sorrakai, but now after my cooking indulgence I am loving each n every veggies, nice photos and great post Kanchana!

A, mama of twins said...

I love the pictures in this post Kanch.. regarding date night.. one word of experience here from the mama of twins.. your time alone with shankar will get less and less as your family grows!! It just seems to be that way for us after the kids. Before kids, both of us worked hectic schedules but our weekend was as follows:
friday - almost always date night with each other, dinner & movie was standard, sometimes we did something more exciting like plays or musicals but mostly eating out together, catching up on the week and then a cozy movie with his/her drinks/popcorn. Saturday either brunch or dinner was usually spent with friends at gatherings or even hiking/biking etc.. Sunday was our family day spending with my family in town. It worked really well for us for several years (6 years!) till the kids were born last year. Now we struggle to go out on date nights as its hard to find good sitters, or kids are sick or my mom can't stay too late etc. So we have to work really hard to get out and spend time together. Its been a big challenge and we are trying hard to get better at it. So my urge to you is GO OUT NOW, enjoy, travel, eat out. Motherhood/parenting is amazing but it changes your perspective so much on what is important and we are tending to naturally focus on the kids and thats good but not so great on the marriage if you are not too careful!

PS, on your previous question on how did I know he was the one? Well, i was set up by my friend and I think the weekend he came up from Denver to "get to know" me better was when I knew he was the "one". He attempted to cook breakfast for me even though he can't stand cooking (,we had the same love for nature and outdoor activities, he stood up for me during our courtship against his family's wishes... His honor and loyalty towards the "right" thing, I realized he was the one!

Anonymous said...

I have been a regular to your site and I did try the Sorakai recipe. Hubby did not expect something so nice out of 'Sorakai'. Anyway we enjoyed the recipe.

Well! did anybody mention - you look beautiful.


Sharmi said...

my grandmom makes great recipes out of sorakai. I love to make koothu out of it. your version too I make often.

Aparna said...

Very simple: you make time Kanch.
That's all there is to it.

With my hectic schedule as a litigator and Dipak's as a rocket scientist, we make time. We always wind down our nights together with "us" time. We do it with dessert and a 40-min sci-fi flick. Before we fall into a deep sleep, sometimes we read to one another. We change it up on weeknights sometimes, and instead of eating at home, we go out for dinner, often with another couple, which is so fun. Daily, we go for longs walks after every dinner at one of the many, beautiful lakes and parks in Columbia. In short, you can always make time. But it takes both to make it work.

Hope all is well.

Spontaneous Mini said...

I was searching for a lau (bottle gourd) recipe which brought me to Ahaar and from there I got your link. Loved your posts although it missed dates/time. But I get that from the comment section.

Happy New Year!