Here is my another favorite recipe for Ridgegourd aka Beerakai. When i was a kid, i wasn't a big fan of this vegetable but after coming here i started craving for this veggie a lot. This recipe calls for tender ridge gourd and tamarind. Ridge gourd is extremely versatile like Tofu since it can absorb the flavors of other ingredients that it comes in contact. Make sure you look for tender ones when buying!
How to know if ridge gourd is tender( letha beerakayalu ):
- Look for sharp ridges and when pressed your nail should be able to easily slip into the gourd which says they are tender and ready to be cooked, unlike the mature ones which are used to make Loofahs.
Normally they use milk ( palu posina beerakai kura ) when they cook with ridge gourd, but in this recipe i am using tamarind. This Beerakaya pulusu curry is a one pot dish which is so simple yet quickly adds up to good health and great taste. The unique texture of ridge gourd when cooked and the zing from the tamarind makes this curry a hit. Another important addition to this curry is Fenugreek Seeds aka Methi Seeds which adds so much flavor to the curry( Dont cook this curry if you dont have fenugreek seeds on hand!! )
- 1 arm sized ridge gourd( beerakai )
- 1/2 small lime sized tamarind
- 1 big onion
- 5 green chillies
- cilantro / coriander
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp mustard seeds( aavaalu )
- 1 tsp cumin seeds( jeela karra/ jeera )
- 1 tsp Methi seeds( menthulu )--- Required!
- 10 curry leaves
- a dash of hing
- 1 tbsp split chick peas / chana dal
- 2-3 tbsp oil
- a pinch of turmeric
Method of preparation:
- Peel the gourd ( save the peels for the chutney ) and chop into 1/2 inch pieces
- Slit green chillies length wise, and onions into 1 inch pieces
- Soak tamarind in warm water for 5 min, remove any seeds in tamarind and keep aside
- In a pressure pan, heat oil and add seasonings and when they start to pop, add curry leaves, onions and chillies
- Fry for 30 sec and add ridge gourd pieces( beerakai mukkalu) and tomatoes
- Saute for 2 more min and add tamarind pulp and water until the pieces just get immersed in water
- Pressure cook for 5-10 min or if u have Indian style pressure cooker with weight, switch off the heat just after one whistle
- Once the weight comes off easily, open and cook under flame until desired thickness.
- You can mash it a little(or more if you want a thick gravy ) with a round bottommed spoon or masher.
- Add sugar at this point( you can either avoid or get overboard with sugar )
- Adjust salt to taste and if you need more spice, you can add red chilli powder.
- Switch off the flame and add cilantro! Voila, the spicy ridge gourd curry is ready!
Ridge gourd curry in tamarind sauce tastes great with hot rice, roti, chapathi or bread. You can follow the step by step how to pictures for this curry! This will be my entry for Vegan Month hosted by Suganya . And this grindless gravy is on its way to Grindless Gravies event hosted by SRA