Mahanandi

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

Ridgegourd~Moongdal (Beerakaya Pesara Pappu)

Precious things in nature often have some protective mechanisms to guard themselves. A pineapple or a rose, by the looks or touch, they strongly give signals to not to touch. But remove those sharp things and you know there will be a sensory explosion awaiting you. Same thing with the vegetable, ‘ridge gourd’ (beerakaya, turai). Just at the first look a person with any veg sense or nature sense would immediately know that this vegetable has something special going on.

Nature has showed a special interest on this veggie. Unlike any other gourds, ridge gourd has some sharp vertical ridges along its body. The younger the vegetable the sharper the ridges are. Once you peel the ridges and cut it open, sweet tender taste awaits you. Mature, old ones have ridges like far end of knife, dulled and raised - signaling that they are not good for consumption. Like dried rose petal potpourri, they are also destined for bathrooms as loofas. But young ones, they taste tenderly sweet and here in this traditional Bharath recipe they are paired with moong dal. Lightly roasted moong dal and tender ridge gourd cooked together with green chillies. And tadka is added at the end to bring life to the dish. Easy comfort food that tastes good, particularly on a cold day like today.


Ridge Gourd and Roasted Yellow Moong Dal

Recipe:

Yellow Moong dal: Roast 1 cup of yellow moong dal in an iron skillet to light golden-brown color. I prefer moong dal always roasted, this is a habit I got from my mother. It takes few minutes to do the roasting but I do think they taste so much better as a result.

Ride gourd and green chillies: Peel the ridges of one medium sized young ridge gourd and scrape the skin lightly. Cut the vegetable to small pieces. Comes about 3 cups. Also finely chop 8 green chillies.

Cook: Take roasted moong dal, ridge gourd pieces and green chillies. Add a tablespoon of tamarind juice, half teaspoon of turmeric and one glass of water. Pressure-cook or cook covered until they are tender. Remove the lid, add about half teaspoon of salt and mash the dal to smooth consistency.

Do the popu or tadka: Heat a teaspoon of peanut oil in a vessel. Add and toast few curry leaves, a tablespoon of minced garlic and one teaspoon of cumin and mustard seeds, in that order. When seeds start to dance, immediately add the mashed dal to the popu.

Serve warm. Tastes good with rice and with chapatis.


Ridge Gourd~Moong Dal with Rosematta Rice

Turai curry with fresh dill - recipe

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Indian Vegetables, Beera kaaya(Ridge Gourd), Moong Dal (Washed) (Thursday November 2, 2006 at 2:34 pm- permalink)
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