Friday, December 10, 2010

About a Lauki Tari and a Hysterectomy

I am in a pensive mood today…Ma had an operation less than 24 hours back. I am more than a little bummed that I wasn’t with Ma during this time yet she was adamant that she do the operation only after we left for the US. Her logic was – let me enjoy this one month with K2 vs. lay in the bed and wish I could be playing with him. Good News is that the operation went smoothly, my MIL (she is an anesthesiologist) was in the operation theater and there is no one else I would rather have with my Ma than my MIL. Bad News is recovery will take time…at least 4 weeks. It is ironical; that the very organ that expands to fit an 8 pound child, once you get older is deemed vestigial and atrophied and 50% of the time needs to be removed for different reasons...ain’t being a woman grand?

When, I was a teenager, I had many a likes and dislikes when it came to food – one such vegetable I did not like much was Lauki better known here as Opo Squash. Ma used to cook it in creative ways just to get me to eat Lauki a little bit more. Little did I know what a wonder vegetable Lauki was and how much I would grow to like it. Some of the health benefits of Lauki from an Ayurveda Book I am reading are listed here –
  • Cooked Lauki is cooling, calming, diuretic and anti-bilious. It makes you relax after eating.
  • Lauki plays a very important role in treating urinary disorders as it acts as an alkaline diuretic.
  • Lauki juice is an excellent remedy for excessive thirst caused by diarrhea, over consumption of fatty or fried foods, and diabetes.
  • A glass of Lauki juice with a little salt added to it prevents excessive loss of sodium, satiating thirst and keeping you refreshed in summer.
  • Massage a mixture of Lauki juice and sesame oil on the scalp each night to treat insomnia.
  • If you are on a low calorie diet, suffering from digestive problems, are diabetic or convalescing, and then Lauki is must for you as it is easily digestible and low in calories.
Now I can safely say that Lauki is by far one of my favorite vegetables…and one of my very favorite things to do with Lauki Is a simple Tari (thin curry). This will be our dinner today with some brown rice and yogurt on the side… (A Thank You to my Ma for making me love my veggies especially Lauki…)
Lauki Tari
1 Medium Opo Squash (peeled and cubed)
½ Onion (chopped), 1 Large Jalapeno (chopped) 1 Tomato (chopped), Grated Fresh Ginger
In a medium pressure pan – heat a teaspoon of oil, add a pinch of Hing, turmeric powder, chilly powder and let the spices foam and perfume the kitchen. Now add in the Chopped Onion, Ginger and Jalapeno. Saute till the Onions are translucent. Now add the Tomato. Cook for about 2-3 minutes till everything is well mixed and there is a wonderful Masala smell in the air. Now add ¼ spoon of roasted Jeera Powder (Jeera = Cumin). Add in the Lauki, Salt to taste and ½ a cup of water. Mix well. Set the pressure cooker to one whistle. When you remove the pressure, check the salt and add in some Dalchini (Cinnamon) Powder from the top …this is a special touch from my Ma. I usually forget to do this, but not today. Add some fresh chopped Coriander (Cilantro) and Enjoy!!!
Ma, hope you feel better soon and I wish I was in Pune with you.
P.S: In the picture above, the beautiful woman is Ma and the dorky kid with the thick glasses is Your's Truely

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