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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.

2 medium snake gourd(each about 10"-12" long), cut into rings
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.

  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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