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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Snake Gourd

snake gourd


Snake gourd used to be on the bottom of my list of favorite veggies growing up. But now, I find that it has become one of my comfort foods: along with rasam and rice, this dish completes one of my favorite meals.

This is a simple snake gourd recipe - just sauté lightly salt and serve South Indian style with tempering and curry leaves.


Ingredients:
2 medium snake gourd(each about 10"-12" long), cut into rings
OR
1 pkt frozen, cut snake gourd*
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste

for tempering:
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp mustard seeds,
1/2 tsp urad dal

*I prefer the frozen ones as they are readily available in indian stores locally, and so far have not been bitter at all; fresh snake gourd can sometimes turn out to be incredibly bitter; even salting and draining sometimes does not remove all the bitterness.

Preparation:
  1. if using fresh snake gourd, cut them in half, scoop out the spongy insides, cut them into rings, salt them and let them sit for a while then rinse in fresh water and pat them dry
  2. heat the oil in a pan; add the urad dal and mustard seeds; ural dal will turn nice golden brown and release nutty aroma; mustard seeds will spatter (have a screen lid handy) and die down
  3. add the turmeric powder, frozen (no need to thaw) or fresh cut snake gourd, and salt to taste; cover and let it cook till tender but firm
  4. if not using frozen, check and add a few Tbsp of water as needed to cook the snake gourd till it is fork-tender, but not mushy and still holds shape
  5. stir in the black pepper powder, adjust to taste; serve warm as a side with rice or roti

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