Saturday, January 29, 2011

Gardudde Ambat / Bottlegourd in Coconut Sauce

Ambat is a Manglorean curry which consists of the basic Masolu and vegetables. Masolu is a thick paste made with grated coconut, tamarind and dry red chiles.
Ambat may or may not contain lentils. Moong ambat, takka ambat consists of plain masolu or gravy. While others like valli ambat have toor dal or pigeon peas. I find the ones with lentils more healthier as less coconut is used to prepare the gravy. 
During religious festivals ambat is prepared with mustard and curry leaves seasoning. Some of the ones I have earlier posted are Mooga randayi/Ambat, karate ambat and takka ambat. Some ambat curries are seasoned with fried garlic while others are seasoned with fried onion. Valli ambat and papaya ambat are such curry. Another famous ambat is cauliflower and peas ambat which I will post later. 

1 medium bottle gourd
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup toor dal or pigeon peas
1 teaspoon coconut oil or any other oil
salt for taste

For the gravy or Masolu:
1/2 cup coconut
1 inch piece of tamarind
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
5-6 byadgi chili or red chilies or as desired

Peel the bottle gourd and chop it into one inch pieces. Pressure cook the bottle gourd with toor dal, onions, salt and 2 cups of water. Cook till the toor dal is well done. Stir the toor dal and vegetable with a ladle till the lentil is all mushy.
Fry the red chilies in a pan till they are crisp. Finely grind the red chilies along with grated coconut, tamarind, turmeric adding as little water as possible. Add this paste to the lentils and mix well. Add water as per desired consistency and get it to a boil. Fry the remaining chopped onion in the coconut oil till it is golden brown. Season the curry with the onions. Serve hot with rice.

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