Soak the chana dal in 1 cup water. Peel and chop the bottle gourd, onion and tomato (5 minutes).
Turn the instant pot to saute mode and add cumin and onions. Fry until the onions are just beginning to caramelize (5 minutes).
Add the ginger and garlic pastes, tomato, powdered spices and a little water to prevent the masala from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cook this masala until thick and shiny (5 minutes).
Add the soaked chana dal along with the water and cook again (5 minutes). Turn off the saute mode.
Add the lauki, salt and a little water if required. Secure the lid, turn on the pressure cooking mode and make sure the vent is in sealing position. Set the timer to 5 minutes. Once the timer goes, release the pressure after 5 minutes (QPR).
Remove the lid, take out the lauki chana dal in a dish and garnish with cilantro or parsley. Sprinkle a little lemon juice on top. Your lauki chana dal is ready to be served with some warm Indian bread or rice.
You can buy ginger and garlic pastes from the market or make your own. Since this recipe requires both, you can make them together. Put equal quantities of peeled ginger and garlic in a blender along with some water and blend to get a smooth puree. Keep refrigerated in a glass bottle and use as required. Use one tablespoon in this recipe if making your own paste.
Keywords: bottle gourd curry, lauki recipe, lauki and chana dal, vegan Indian recipe