Snake gourd June 2, 2007Posted by live2cook in Sauces and Gravies.
In my culinary life, My Grandma, Mom and Mother in-law are the people that I look up to. When I look at the way they live, I learn new things. They always amaze me. I remember them going to the vendor at the street corner and buy the produce that he carried that day and cooked according to what they bought.
One day, I was at the local grocery store and surprisingly happened to see them carry Snake Gourd that my grandma loved. It brought back the memories of those childhood days when the visits to the small shops holding her hand was a bliss. With those thoughts in mind, I bought the snake gourd and prepared her favorite “Porichcha kuzhambhu” with it.
Porichcha kuzhambhu differs from sambar and kuzhambhu varieties in that it doesn’t have tamarind. It is not a traditional stew either as the spice mixture differs. It is something in between the traditional stew and a kuzhambu.
What we need:
2 cups of cleaned and chopped Snake gourd.(Discard the white part and seeds in the center)
1/2 cup of Toor dal
1/2 teaspoon Sambar powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Urad dal
1/4 teaspoon Mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon Cumin seeds
1 pinch of Asafetida
2 tablespoons of Shredded coconut
1 teaspoon Rice flour
3-4 Curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon oil
How to Prepare:
Boil the toor dal seperately in 1 cup of water until very soft. Keep aside. Boil the chopped snake gourd along with the sambar powder in 1 and 1/2 cups of water till done. Add the cooked dal and salt to the cooked vegetable. Grind the coconut along with the cumin seeds and add to the vegetable. Bring to a boil. Mix the Rice flour in 1/2 teaspoon of water and stir into the boiling gravy. Cook till the gravy thickens. Heat the oil in a small pan. Add the Mustard seeds, urad dal and asafetida. When the mustard seeds splutter, add the curry leaves and add the mixture to the gravy.
This is my entry for Nupur’s A-Z of Vegetables.
Note: A colleague of mine who reads my blog regularly, wanted to know more about “Asafetida”. Asafetida is a gum like spice that can be bought as a block or as powder. We can find them in Indian/Asian groceries in US. Normally, we don’t use asafetida in recipes that has Onion or Garlic. In recipes without onion and garlic, asafetida plays the major role of giving the recipe a nice aroma. Overdoing it in recipes will end up in bitter taste. So we add only a pinch of it.