Ridge Gourd Curry
Ridge gourd is a long, green-colored vegetable with ridges, and it's a rich source of fiber and vitamins. Many people don't particularly like this vegetable; however, when properly cooked into curries, chutneys, sambars, stir-fries, and even payasam (desserts), it can be surprisingly tasty. Ridge gourd curry is aromatic and comforting, and the sesame seeds give it a unique flavor. Serve this dish with rice.
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- 1-2 ridge gourds, washed, ridges peeled and cubed
- 1 tablespoon chana dal
- 1 tablespoon urad dal
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon methi (fenugreek seeds)
- 7-8 peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 3-4 red chilies, byadagi or guntur
- 1/2 cup fresh coconut, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1-2 sprigs curry leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon hing (asafoetida)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1-2 cups water, or as needed
- salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon tamarind, soaked in water for 10 minutes
- 1 tablespoon jaggery
- Wash the ridge gourds, cut off the ends and peel the ridges. Chop into cubes and set aside.
- In a pan, add chana dal, urad dal, cumin seeds, methi seeds, and peppercorns. Dry-fry till the lentils turn brown and aromatic. Transfer to a plate or bowl.
- In the same pan, add the sesame seeds. Fry till the seeds start to splutter and slightly change color. Transfer to a plate.
- Heat some oil and add the red chilies. Fry for a few seconds and transfer to a plate.
- Add the grated coconut and fry till light brown. Transfer to a plate. Allow the fried ingredients to cool down.
- In a pan or vessel, heat some oil and splutter the mustard seeds. Add curry leaves and hing. Fry for a few seconds.
- Add the chopped ridge gourd and turmeric powder. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add water, close the lid and cook till the ridge gourd is cooked well.
- After cooling down, transfer the fried ingredients to a mixer jar. Add soaked tamarind (or use tamarind paste) and water. Grind to a fine paste.
- Add the ground paste to the well-cooked vegetable. Add water to adjust the consistency. Add jaggery and adjust the salt. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat; then switch off the heat.
- Serve hot with rice, and enjoy.
- Try to use a young ridge gourd to prepare the dish. They will be soft and tasty to eat.
- No need to remove the soft seeds of the ridge gourd. Hard and thick seeds should be removed.
- No need to peel the skin of the ridge gourd. Only ridges should be removed.
- I used byadagi red chilies, which are less spicy. You can use Guntur red chilies, which are spicy. Or use both to get nice color and spiciness.
- The number of peppercorns can be increased or decreased according to your desired spice level.