Lauki ka Raita


The hot Pakistani summers make us crave for food that is light, refreshing and cold. Like this lauki ka raita made from grated lauki (bottlegourd) and yoghurt, that is smoked and finished off with a delicious baghar of red chili and curry leaves.


  • ½ kg bottle gourd/lauki (peeled and cut into thin slices or grated)
  • ½ kg yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon Red Chilli Pepper
  • ½ teaspoon roasted and crushed cumin seeds (bhuna zeera)
  • Piece of coal, for smoking
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 red chili / sabit laal mirch
  • 3 – 4 curry leaves


  1. Grate the bottle gourd / lauki or finely chop.
  2. Take a medium saucepan and cook the bottle gourd / lauki till cooked and soft. Drain the water well.
  3. Whisk yoghurt. Add the drained bottle gourd/loki, salt, red chilli pepper and toasted cumin seeds. Mix well and turn out in a large bowl.
  4. Heat a piece of coal for smoking / dhuan on the stove.
  5. Put a small heat-proof dish in the middle of bottle gourd / lauki raita and using tongs, place the hot coal on the dish. Pour a few drops of oil on the coal, after which it will start releasing smoke. Quickly cover the dish and keep covered for at least 10 – 15 minutes to infuse with the smoky flavor. Remove the cover.
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small saucepan for tempering. Once oil is hot, add cumin seeds, whole red chilli peppers and curry leaves and fry for a minute or two till toasted.
  7. Add the tempering ingredients including oil to the yoghurt mixture. Serve cold.

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