Kaddu ka Dalcha

I am so in love with the bottle gourds that I get here in the Asian stores in Toronto. Young and tender with bright spring-bud green color is how I describe the bottle gourds that I get here.

Kaddu, Split Chana Dal, Tomato

Kaddu, aka ‘Bottle gourd’ or ‘Opo squash’ in English

Dalcha refers to soupy dal preparation from Hyderabad. It can be prepared with only a vegetable, which I am writing about today, or along with meat with bone combination, also called as Daalcha Gosht. The dal with either of the combination is then simmered gently in a tomato with tempering/baghaar spices sauce that impart a beautiful aroma and flavor. Once the vegetable and meat is tender it is allowed to cook with the mashed dal. Today I prepared Dalcha with bottle gourd for my lunch along with Qimah Methi and Matar Chawal. Traditionally Dalcha is served along with Baghara Chawal and Phalli Gosht, or even along with Biryani on the side.

Kaddu, peeled and cut into Diamonds

Peel and cut bottle gourd kaddu diagonally into large diamond shapes. The kaddu that I have used today was very green and callow, so it didnt have any tough and aged seeds. If there is any fibrous central pith with mature hard seeds, I suggest you slice the central pith and discard it and use only the clean white flesh. But it not mandatory.

Kaddu Ka Dalcha

Kaddu Ka Dalcha – Bottle Gourd in Legume Soup


Chana dal/Bengal gram (or) Yellow lentils/Tuvar ki dal – 1 1/2 cups
Canola oil/Ghee – 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
Garlic pods – 2-3, peeled and crushed
Dried red chillies – 2, each broken into two and stalks removed
Curry leaves – 10 fresh leaves
Tomato – 2, large, ripe and red, finely chopped
Chopped Cilantro – 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Bottle gourd/Opo Squash/Kaddu – 1, medium sized, around 750 gms
Raw tamarind juice/Kacchi Imli ka juice – 4 tbsp or to taste


1. Peel the bottle gourd. Slice off and discard the top and bottom of the gourd. Cut the bottle gourd into two halves lengthwise. If the central pith of the bottle gourd contains mature seeds, discard the central pith, or if the bottle gourd is young and tender, there is no need to discard the central pith. Now cut each half into 1 inch thick strips lengthwise. Cut each strip diagonally into 2-3 inch pieces.
2. Wash the dal in two or three water changes. Drain and keep aside. In a pressure cooker, add the drained dal and 4 cups water. Add 2 tsp salt and pressure cook the dal until it is soft and well cooked. You can puree the dal in a blender and pour it back back into the saucepan and keep aside. I just mash it using a dal ghotni or use an immersion blender sometimes.
3. In a large frying pan at medium heat, pour canola oil, and as soon as it warms up, add the cumin seeds and the crushed garlic pods. After 30 seconds, add the dried red chillies and curry leaves. Immediately add the chopped tomatoes, chopped cilantro, red chilli powder, salt, turmeric and mix well. Cover the lid for about a minute. Add the chopped bottle gourd and mix well. Pour in water to cover the bottle guard pieces and cover the lid. Let cook for about 10 minutes or until the bottle gourd is tender. To check, pierce a piece of bottle gourd with the tip of a sharp knife.
4. Once the bottle gourd is tender, add this to the saucepan with the pureed dal and pour in water to dilute and achieve a thin soupy consistency. Add the tamarind juice and mix well. Taste for seasonings. Let it boil once, then simmer and let it cook for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

This delicious dal is my entry to the event ‘Delicious Dals from India’ being hosted by Suma at her blog Veggie Platter.


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16 Responses to “Kaddu ka Dalcha”

  1. wow! beautiful pics

  2. hey
    dalcha looks good.
    i recently made dalcha too, but with meat and so i have to add onions.
    urs is a really quick and easy recipe.
    i learnt new today that i can cut kadu with seeds if it is soft. good.
    how do u make matar chawal. i think it is qubuli, can u send both recipes in future.

    i serve with ghost ka khorma and bagara khana.

  3. Hi mona,

    i also make dalcha but with meat. this is good combination with dum biryani.. i think kawabchini is important for dalcha.

    Jyothi, I would love to try your recipe. Do post it on your blog and let me know. ~Mona

  4. Thanks for the recipe for kaddu ka dalcha Mona! Tried it out- turned out great! Could you also post the recipe for another Hyderabadi favorite-Lukhmi?

  5. Lovely dish, will try this soon. Just got to know you are in Ontario, I am in Palmerston.

  6. Asak Mona,
    Your dalcha recipe is very simple and easy to make i’m going to try it today, a little elachi powder on dum will give a nice aroma, keep up your good work.

  7. shaikhmohammed Says:

    please accept my hearty congratulation on your blog second anniversarry. i wish and pray to ALLAH you just keep on bloging like this years to come and we can enjoy taste fo good and wonderful culnary skills and new recipes and innovative ideas. thanks

  8. Dalcha looks awesome in the cute handi:)

  9. Ooh…this is such a delicate spot for any Hydro. Kaddu ka Daalcha with Pasinde…. 5 star combo.

  10. Hearty congratulations on your blog’s second anniversary…..so happy to know abt this..

  11. mona, how did u cut into diamon shapes can u explain? also can you post the dalcha reciep with meat.i have only eaten it in weddings.

    Sri, to cut the Kaddu into diamong shapes, cut the flesh of the vegetable into long strips, then cut into pieces diagonally into diamonds. Also, I will post the recipe for Dalcha with meat in the future when I prepare it at home. ~Mona

  12. mona, your dalcha was delicious, i tried it this past weekend, and it was very easy and really tasted good. even my husband (who rarely compliments me on my cooking) was impressed. thank you so much.

  13. Mona, Can you post this recipe with the addition of meat/goat please?

    Sakeena, Inshallah I will. ~Mona

  14. Assalamualaikum Mona… I tried out your dalcha and chicken khurma yesterday and masha allah, it came out so well! I send you duas from the bottom of my heart 🙂 There’s nothing like great tasting home-cooked food… Allah ta’ala aapke poore jaiez dua qubool kare insha allah 🙂

  15. Hey Kaddu is pumpkin in Hindi & bottle gourd is called Lauki or Ghiya! Thought I should mention so it doesn’t confuse others. Keep doing what u do! Cheers!;0)

  16. […] Recipe Source: http://zaiqa.net/2009/06/kaddu-ka-dalcha/ […]

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