* 1 medium size bottle gourd
* 1 Tbsp olive oil
* 1 tsp cumin seeds
* 1/2 inch ginger root, grated
* 2 garlic cloves, grated
* 1/2 tsp turmeric
* 1 tsp chili powder
* 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1 Tbsp lemon juice
* cilantro and butter for garnish
1. Peel and clean out seeds of bottle gourd and cut into bite size cubes.
2. In large soup pot, put oil and cumin seeds, and heat over medium heat until seeds start to brown lightly. Stir in the ginger, garlic, turmeric, chili powder, and bottle gourd, and heat stirring for 3 minutes.
3. Pour in vegetable stock and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
4. Cover pot and simmer slowly for another 15 to 20 minutes or until bottle gourd is soft.
5. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice, taste again for salt and add more if needed. Drop small pat of butter on top, then add cilantro sprigs for garnish. Serve hot.
What an tasty soup! It may seem exotic to cook with bottle gourd, but in some parts of the world, it's a staple.
Combining wonderfully tasty and aromatic ingredients like ginger, cumin, and turmeric gives this soup a unique flavor perfect for company or just as a treat. Enjoy!