“Lau murgi” means chicken with bottle gourd and is something that I grew up with in Bangladesh. This dish was served at weddings in Christian communities. When made for a wedding, it’s made in vast quantities and there are a team of people that work together. Community elders will come to the house with the wedding and do everything from peel onions to grind spices by hand.
The reason I remembered this dish was that I found bottle gourds in an Asian grocery store I visited the other day. I couldn’t keep from buying them, even though I hadn’t planned to do so. Once I came home I knew I wanted to make lau murgi, but I realized that I had never really paid attention to how it was made back when I lived in Bangladesh. One key memory was that it’s made with coconut milk.
I finally figured out how to re-create it from my childhood, and the result is what you see below. Bottle gourd has a hint of sweetness and gives the dish a unique taste. Coconut milk and tomato add creaminess and a bit of tang. This dish actually tastes the better next day as it sits in the refrigerator and marinates — the chicken absorbs all the spices and really pops with flavor.
Please don’t get discouraged by the long list of ingredients; once you have everything together, the dish comes together fast. Once you have these ingredients in your pantry, you can go back to them to make endless recipes from around the world, e.g., from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka just to name a few.
If you can’t find bottle gourd in your area, you can try this with zucchini. If you make this, let me know how it turns out! I always welcome feedback from my readers.
- 6 pieces bone in, skin on chicken thigh, excess fat and skin trimmed
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 small stick cinnamon or 1/4 tsp. ground
- 2 cinnamon leaves (tej patta/Indian bay leaves)
- 1 cup yellow onion, coarsely ground in a food processor
- 1 tbsp. ginger paste
- 1 tbsp. garlic paste
- 1 tsp. red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 tbsp. cumin powder
- 1 tbsp. coriander powder
- 1 tsp. garam masala powder
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. cardamom powder
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 13.5 oz. can coconut milk
- 5 cups peeled and diced bottle gourd
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
Heat a large heavy bottom sauce pan over medium- high heat. Once the oil is hot, add cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Cook for 30 seconds, then add the onions. Cook this for 2-3 minutes until onions are soft. Add garlic and ginger, then cook for another minute, stirring often.
Turn down the heat to medium, then add all the dried spices, including salt and sugar. Cook for about 30 seconds, then add tomato sauce and water. Turn down the heat to low and cook for 6-8 minutes, until most of the liquids gone.
Add chicken pieces, then stir well to coat the chicken with spices. Cover and cook the chicken on low heat for 10 minutes, keeping an eye and stirring a few times so the spices don’t burn.
After 10 minutes of cooking time, add the coconut milk. Stir well, then cover and cook for 25 minutes, stirring few times in between.
Add the bottle gourd pieces after 25 minutes of cooking. Stir well, then cover and cook for another 10-15 minutes until gourd pieces are soft and the chicken is tender. Taste for seasoning and sprinkle with chopped cilantro before serving.
You can serve this curry with rice, flatbread, roti, or grilled naan.
Did you make this dish? I’d love to know how it turns out! Feel free to like this post and comment or use the hashtag #globaldinein on Instagram. If you would to be notified of upcoming posts, please consider subscribing to my blog!