Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Ridge Gourd Dal (Beerakaya Pappu)

Everyone has their own food weaknesses. Mine has always been rice and dal. I loose my dietary control over this combination. I am a dal-holic.:) So, what did I do with ridge gourd purchased from ‘Lotus’ yesterday, I have ridge gourd dal. Simple yet divinely tasty when mixed with rice and ghee. Today, no portion control for me.

Ridge Gourd (Beera Kaya, Turai) Pressure Cooked Ridge Gourd and Toor Dal Mixture
Ridge Gourd - In bite sized pieces………….. ……………Presssure-cooked toor dal and vegetable mixture

for two for two meals

Toor dal - 4 fistfuls (¾ cup)
One medium sized ridge gourd
outer ridges peeled first and then cut into small cubes
One medium sized onion & 6 to 10 green chilli peppers -all finely chopped
1 tablespoon of tamarind extract
¼ tsp of turmeric
½ tsp of salt
For popu or tadka: 1 tsp each of mustard seeds, cumin, urad dal, minced garlic and curry leaves

Take toor dal, vegetables (listed above), tamarind and turmeric in a pressure cooker. Add about two cups of water. Pressure-cook them til 3 whistles or until they turn soft. Wait until it’s safe to open the lid, then add salt to this cooked mix. With a wood masher, make a smooth paste of the cooked dal-veggies. At this stage, for a more soup kind of dal, add water to your liking, stir and bring it to a boil. (Do this step only if you add more water to the cooked-mashed dal. Otherwise it’s not necessary to cook the dal further.)

In a steel vessel, heat one teaspoon of peanut oil. Sauté the popu or tadka ingredients until golden, then add the mashed dal-veggie paste from the cooker. Mix the dal with popu ingredients thoroughly. Serve hot with rice and ghee.

Ridge Gourd Dal with rice and curry

Ridge gourd dal and curry with rice and ghee - my weakness and indulgence.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Beera kaaya(Ridge Gourd) (Thursday February 9, 2006 at 2:36 pm- permalink)

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23 comments for Ridge Gourd Dal (Beerakaya Pappu) »

  1. I see that you make a lot of ridge gourd dishes. Like my mom.. :)
    My mother makes Beerakaya pappu, Beerakayi kura, Beerakaya pachadi quite often in India.
    My husband doesn’t want to eat anything that has Beerakaya, so i don’t make it at home.

    I am going to Hyderabad next week and will try to make up for all that i have missed eating in the last two and half years.

    Indira replies..
    My mom also like that and I got it, who else but from her. :)
    I just like ridge gourd. Because they are not avialble here, where I live, whenever we go out of town trips, I make sure to visit a grocery shop(Indian / Chinese) that carries these veggies.
    Next week.. not that far.. You must be excited! Have a great time in Hyd!

    Comment by jasper — February 9, 2006 @ 3:08 pm

  2. two days back i made beerakaya curry , the one with coconut from ur recipe, it was really good. And now another with dal, it is only recently until i would ur site that i buy beerakaya, and with this i know 4 recipes for beerakaya, wow not bad !iam improving day-by-day.

    Indira replies…
    I know, I’ve been picking up lot of new recipes and ingredients because of food blogging. Very good not only for health also for variety. I’m glad that you tried and liked this vegetable, Priya. I’ve two more recipes with ridge gourd, then I’m done with this veggie, recipewise. :)

    Comment by priya,ar — February 9, 2006 @ 3:15 pm

  3. Hi Indira- seeing your blog after 3-4 days. Congrats on winning the photo contest. Your photos are beautiful and you are a clear winner. I tried your brinjal ginger subzi and it came out wonderful and different from what I am used to.

    You seem to have a knack for picking such beautiful ridge gourds. The ones I see have lack-luster skin and someetimes even mushy in places. So I have not experimented much with this recipe. Do you know recipes that use bottle gourd (or can it be substituted for this)?

    Indira replies…
    Thanks Mika!
    Ridge gourds, my mom used to grow them in our backyard, back at home. I can pick a good one and buy them only if they are fresh. They can spoil and turn mushy easily, even in the fridge, so I cook them asap within a week of purchase.
    Yes, you can use same recipe with bottle gourd for a bottle gourd dal. Make sure, that bottle gourd is fresh and young and make the dal more on the hot side(extra green chillies) little bit, otherwise, the dal tastes very bland.

    Comment by mika — February 9, 2006 @ 3:50 pm

  4. Hi Indira - I’ve seen these in the Indian grocery where I shop, but I’ve never tried them. I’ll have to take a closer look - if they look nice, I’m tempted to try this.

    I’m puzzled by your photo. Is the mixture on the left an intermediate step (i.e. before you mash the gourd and dal), or is it some other dish?

    Indira replies…
    Give it a try, Cathy, I’m sure you are going to like them. They taste almost like zucchini, much better than that.:)
    Yes, it’s the same dal. I pressure-cooked the dal, removed the lid and took that photo, before doing the mashing paste thing. I cook the dal in just enough water and I add extra water, while making a paste of dal -only when I’m in the mood for a ’soupy’ kind of dal. My regular preference is little bit, tight kind of dal, like shown in the final photo. See there was no water spreading around the dal, that tight.

    Comment by Cathy — February 9, 2006 @ 10:48 pm

  5. Indira,

    awesome ..iam going to try this :)

    Indira replies…
    Thanks Meenal. If you try, let me know how you like it.:)

    Comment by Meenal Mehta — February 10, 2006 @ 4:59 am

  6. Hi Indira, how’re you doing? Congrats on all the prizes and awards!

    Beerakaya never makes it into on my shopping list…but when its made with dal, i kinda like it. Also I love Beerkaya Pachadi that my mom used to make using just the outer skin of it. Ever tried it?

    Indira replies…
    Thanks Supriya!
    You may already noticed this, I love everything ‘beerakaya’ and pachadi with outer skin, YUM.:)

    Comment by Supriya — February 10, 2006 @ 5:22 am

  7. Indira,
    It looks really good, I have always used ridge gourd either to make chutney or curry but never tried it with dal. I will give it a try.

    Indira replies…
    thanks Arjuna. I’ve just checked your blog (left a comment on your first post). Very nice, keep it up.

    Comment by arjuna — February 10, 2006 @ 11:22 am

  8. Indira,beerakaayi is one of my favourite vegetables and love it with dal or cooked in milk.

    Indira replies…
    Cooked in milk is my favorite too, Sailaja. :)

    Comment by Sailaja — February 10, 2006 @ 12:49 pm

  9. Hi Indira:

    Ever since I stumbled upon your blog less than a month ago, I’ve been coming to it everyday..sometimes several times everyday:) I come home from work every evening and almost automatically come to your blog for inspiration and to try out a recipe to soothe the cold toronto winters. Since I feel bad about taking and not giving anything back:) just thought I would share this interesting link that my mom told me about which recently appeared in the Indian express :

    Its an article called Gourmet Grannies by Kamini Mathai about the some of the grand old dames of Indian cooking from Meenakshi Ammal to Malathi Chendur. Hope you enjoy it. Keep up the great work!

    Indira replies…
    Thanks Janani for your patronage and very nice words, I really appreciate it.
    I checked the link, you posted. A very interesting read. Thanks!
    As you may already know, I’m big fan of Malati Chandur and was surprised to read her lackluster response to her cookbook.

    Comment by Janani — February 10, 2006 @ 9:22 pm

  10. Indira,
    How do you get the ridgegourd poriyal/koora to be dry like in the picture? Everytime I make it, it becomes all mushy and watery. Your tip will be much appreciated as I like this vegetable a lot but never get it right whenever I cook it.

    Indira replies..
    Last 5 minutes, I cook the curry on high(the maximum) heat, without cover, until all the water is absorbed. Then immediately I remove the curry into a small storing kind of steel vessel. This works always, when cooking with ridge gourd and other similar kind of veggies. Hope this helps.

    Comment by Faffer — February 10, 2006 @ 11:40 pm

  11. Hi Indira,

    Can you suggest a good pressure cooker to me that would be appropriate for this type of dish? I would like to purchase one.

    Thanks and great blog.

    Indira replies…
    Hello Jonny, Thanks!
    about pressue cooker- I brought mine from India, it’s Hawkins brand. Here I saw some good quality pressure cookers at JC Penny and at Bed, Bath Beyond shops. Lot of variety in both size and quality, check them out.

    Comment by Jonny — February 11, 2006 @ 11:21 am

  12. What an absolutely precious find your website is! I adore everthing about it, esp the fantastic photos. I just have one suggestion. I recently found I thought, in a similar vein, maybe you could add another catagory in which you can showcase the lunch you packed for your husband. Anyway, just a thought. Keep up the fantastic work.

    Indira replies…
    Thanks Vani.
    Vijay, my husband comes home for lunch almost everyday.:), but thanks for the suggestion.

    Comment by Vani — February 11, 2006 @ 1:53 pm

  13. Hi Indira,
    Beerakaya Koora and pappu are great. Thanks for sharing and promoting Andhra Cuisine.

    When you get a chance, please blog some recipes which are low fat, high protien andhra cuisine for diet conscious souls. ( most of your stuff comes into this category, so you can choose your picks)


    Comment by Vamsi — February 12, 2006 @ 2:05 am

  14. Hi Indira,

    Good work and you have lot of patience. Even though I am not a native of Nandyal, I did my primary education in St.Joseph’s till 3rd class. I vaguely remember TTD kalyana mandapam, Srinivasa Complex in Srinivasa nagar and Bhagavan book store etc.

    Just a suggestion because many non-indians don’t have pressure cookers and it will be difficult to get a soft dal. Normally to have a soft dal we don’t add Tamarind extract while boiling dal. Sourness hinders the dal cooking. Normally, tamarind extract will be added after the dal+vegetables are cooked. While cooking Mango dal, we don’t cook raw mango + dal also together for the same reason. We are from Coastal Andhra and my mom who makes tasty dals and fresh Chutneys told me the above.
    If you add 2-3 pieces of dry chillies while tempering, dal tastes really good. :)

    Keep continuing your good work

    Indira replies…
    Hello Swathi, I studied at St.Josephs from 7th to 10th class. All the places you mentioned are verymuch changed and thriving.
    Most of the times, I avoid writing if you don’t have this, you should do that etc., because it makes the post longer and tedious to read. There is always comments for someone who have doubts, I’m more than happy to respond to them.
    Thanks for your suggestion, that’s really a neat tip for newbies. I forgot to write dried red chillies and I always add some pieces for ‘popu’, whether I mention it on my blog or not, force of habit. :)

    Comment by Swathi — February 13, 2006 @ 10:18 am

  15. Thanks for the tip Indira. I’ll keep that in mind the next time I cook ridge gourd.


    Comment by Faffer — February 13, 2006 @ 6:02 pm

  16. Hi Indira,

    I made this dal yesterday for lunch… was too good.. I never thought one could add ridge gourd to dal… this is one vegetable I admired from a distance not knowing what to with it… thnx for the lovely ridgegourd recipes… I’ve neraly tried all of those…

    Indira replies:
    This is one of my favorite veggie and ridgegourd dal is one of my mom’s recipe, that I feel very nostalfic about. I am glad you liked it too.
    Thanks Meera.

    Comment by Meera — May 14, 2006 @ 2:31 pm

  17. Hello,

    I happened upon your site while looking for aratikaaya recipes. i tried the aratikaaya-pesalu koora and liked it very much. for the beerakaaya pappu, i have a suggestion. one of my aunties makes the pappu with pesarapappu. She actually fries the peeled beerakaaya skin slightly and grinds and adds it to the pappu while cooking..that takes quite good. you shd give it a try.
    very nice pictures and lucid description of the recipes. thank you for sharing them.

    Comment by Gayatri — June 27, 2006 @ 9:52 am

  18. Hi Indra,
    I made your Ridge Gourd Dal (Beerakaya Pappu)recipe. Came out great! Most websites have pretty pics (like yours) but the end result is not that great (unlike yours!)

    I noticed that you mention onion and green chillies in you list of ingredients but no further instructions in the recipe itself. I fried it with the tadka. I hope that was what I was supposed to do! Anyway, it tastes awesome!

    Who would have thought you could make ridge gourd so many different ways!

    Comment by Anamika — September 24, 2006 @ 9:51 pm

  19. Hi indira i try almost all ur recipes.They are simply superb and yummmmmmmmy.Thank u very much and please keep posting ur recipes.Thats a grt talent.

    Comment by ashuprakash — January 8, 2007 @ 6:02 pm

  20. Hi Indira,

    My mom is from bangalore and they make this tight dal called ‘hulli towae’. It is tuvar daal and channa cooked very tight with some vegetable and the regular tadka. It is divine when eaten with rice and ghee. Can you post a recipe of this if you have one:)

    Comment by Aarti — January 13, 2007 @ 11:30 am

  21. Hi Indira,
    Thanks for the yummy yummy recipe, I tried it today and it became our favourite pappu:)).

    Thanks again,

    Comment by laya — May 17, 2007 @ 5:01 pm

  22. Indira, I made a variation of this yesterday. Instead of using ridge gourd I used dudhi. Thank you for this wonderful recipe.

    Unlike the commenter above, I had no problems understanding that ridge gourd - in my case, dudhi - is a vegetable and I cooked that with the toor dal, tamarind, turmeric and peppers in the pressure cooker. Just like in your instructions. :-D

    Comment by Manisha — September 16, 2008 @ 4:24 pm

  23. Hi Indira,
    This is serioulsy a lot of help for bachelors like me who love cooking and eating at home.
    Everytime I wanted to cook something, I used to call my Mom and do.. but now that I have this online.. disturbing my Mother during odd times is stopped.
    Also the recipies are a replica of food from my Mom’s Kitchen…

    Thank you for the recipies..

    Comment by Vijaykumar — December 10, 2009 @ 5:09 am

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