Brisbane Local Food

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The intoxicating seasoning paste in this Eurasian stew may be used to flavor chicken, beef, lamb, or seafood.

I used it for Ambilla Lambu -- pork and bottle gourd.

The advantages inherent in this recipe are (a) it satiates turmeric junkees and (b) takes up a lot of bottle gourd (or other squash/gourd) . Beans -- green of whatever variety --are a substitute .I used some of what remains of my lacto-fermented turmeric which is now almost a year old -- and tastes amazing. I also used a whole bottle gourd -- about a metre of veg!

I also substituted a bunch of 'spring onions' for the shallots. So I got myself a very green 'curry'.

[Note to self: plant some shallots as they are in season at the moment.]

As far as my culinary journeying is concerned, most gourds/squashes/zucchinis can be substituted one with the other if they are aged-on-the vine fruits. Younger forms don't hold up to the stewing. Pumpkins neither -- and they are also a tad sweet -- whereas your neglected and maligned gourd will absorb the flavor of the juices it is cooked in.

Recipes like this will also serve up well with spuds.

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I've found the over-large Tromboncinos are less than delightful fried by themselves. They would make good stew ingredients being coarser-textured and less sweet than their smaller cousins.

I'm finding that the Bottle Gourd vine is usually very productive and respond well to trimming. So containment is possible. It is easy to select where to cut without ruining production. Just keep your eyes on flower budding...

With lauki there are so many ways to cook it --LINK.

With its nutritional quotient, ease of growth and purported health benefits I see why it is so popular in South Asian cuisine.

I'm currently eating that Ambilla Lambu  I made as a leftover and it is truly delicious.

With the Troms --  a vine only slightly  less aggressive than the bottle gourd -- you'd treat it the same way: peel and remove seeds if necessary.

I'd add that the humble choko does not perform as well in stew-like conditions, whereas the other squash I grow -- the Mexican tatume squash -- does. But in my garden , none of the  squash fam perform as well as Bottle Gourd.

I've also been trying to grow snake gourd -- which tastes awesome with a great texture-- but I get a piffling harvest before death sets in..

I'm growing the 'yard long' version of Bottle Gourd when the Indian preference is for the squat variety. Harvested early enough you get good narrow length, sweetness and plenty of flesh.

Peeling is like whittling  a walking stick.

In this recipe I did, one kilogram of gourd (as per the recipe)  was equal to a squash 80 cm long.

There I was munching away on my new found stew delight when I realized that I had another two harvested gourds -- as in 'glut' -- to ASAP consume.

So I scoot up to the fam in town who runs the servo -- of Indian descent -- to share them. They now want to buy whatever I can grow. We both agreed that this was indeed a tasty veg.

So there: I've cornered the local lauki market -- aka bottle gourd.

But here's a tip: don't let your hanging down lauki yellow up.Even slightly.  Green is good. Yellowing is aligned with bittering.

Says my new partners.

I left with a chocolate bar after I refused payment. But since they also run one of the restaurants here I'm gonna need to up my harvesting.

Maybe we could swap lauki for petrol?

[Image: scootering in 2007 -- can't belive I've been doing it for over a decade]


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