Monday, October 20, 2008

Ridge gourd or Turai Chutney

This is a very simple and tasty chutney. Traditionally, only the ridge gourd peels are used to make this chutney, but I add the ridge gourd pieces with skin. The ridge gourd skin had lot of vitamins and provides a very good texture to the chutney. This chutney uses very less coconut because of the dense texture of the ridge gourd. It goes very well with dosas and idlis. Ridge gourd can sometimes be bitter. Ridge gourds have cheated me many times. I would make the dish using the ridge gourd and then find that the dish is bitter due to the ridge gourd. Now a days, I taste pumpkin, ridge gourd, cucumbers, summer squash and bottle gourds before using it in any dish. Taste the ridge gourd before frying it or you could end up with a bitter chutney.

1 cup ridge gourd with skin (or just the skin of 2 ridge gourds)
2 tablespoon grated coconut
5-6 garlic pods
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon jeera
small piece of tamarind
2 -3 green chilies or as per taste
salt for taste


Fry the onion, garlic and jeera in a teaspoon of oil. Fry till onion is brown and th garlic is pink. Add the ridge gourd or the skin and fry for 10-15 minutes on a medium flame till it is light brown.

( If you don't have much time to make the chutney, the fried onion and ridge gourd can be stored in the freezer before hand and then ground it with other ingredients when you need the chutney). Grind the onion and ridge gourd/ skin with other ingredients into a fine paste. I don't season this chutney as it already has a great flavor from garlic and onion.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 3-4

Pumpkin Sabzi

This is another of the winter sabzi made with butternut squash or pumpkin. This sabzi is spicy and sour due to use of amchur or dry mango powder. This balances the sweet taste of the pumpkin. Read more about pumpkin here. Peas, or beans can also be added to this sabzi. When I visited Calcutta, I had brinjal and pumpkin sabzi. I will post this sabzi recipe later.


3 cups cubed pumpkin
1 medium sized onion
1/2 teaspoon kalonji or Nigella sativa
1/2 teaspoon jeera or cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon sauf or fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon chili powder or as per taste
4 fenugreek seeds or methi seeds
1/2 teaspoon jeera powder
3/4 teaspoon amchur or dry mango powder
salt for taste
1 tablespoon oil

Chop the onion finely. Add 1 tablespoon oil in a pan. Add the jeera, sauf, methi and kalonji seeds. Add onion and fry it till brown. Now add the pumpkin, chili powder, turmeric powder, amchur powder. Add 1 cup water and cook covered till the pumpkin is soft. Add salt and serve hot.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2-3