Friday, August 2, 2013

PODALANGAI (SNAKE GOURD) KOOTU

PODALANGAI (SNAKE GOURD) KOOTU

Snake gourd is not exactly everyone's favourite vegetable. Years ago, I remember many houses in Bangalore had their small back gardens and snake gourds grew in plenty. They were sort of straightened by tying a rock to elongate them in a manner of speaking.

My husband, for one, didn't care for snake gourd at all. I was very happy therefore when he actually liked a dish I made out of snake gourd, which is called " podalangai" in Tamil and " padavalkayi" in Kannada. We call it "Poddale" in Konkani.

The dish I made is adapted from Podalangai Kootu in Sangeetha's blog, Spicy Treats.




Ingredients:
  • Moong dal, 1/4 cup 
  • Channa dal, 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder, 1/4 tsp
  • Onion, medium sized, chopped, 1
  • Tomato, medium sized, chopped, 1
  • Snake Gourd, chopped, 1 and 1/2 cup 
  • Asafoetida, ( Hing), a large pinch
  • Salt, to taste
For The Masala:
  • Coconut gratings, 1/4 cup
  • Green chillies, 4-5, or as per taste
  • Cumin seeds (Jeera) , 1/2 tsp
To temper:
  • Oil, 1-2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal, 1/4 tsp
  • Dry red chillies, 1-2 , broken
  • Cumin seeds, 1/4 tsp
  • Fennel seeds, 1/4 tsp
  • Whole peppercorns, 3-4
  • Curry leaves, 1 sprig
To garnish:
  • Coriander leaves, chopped.
Method:

Soak the moong dal and channa dal together for 15-20 minutes.
Cook the dals with turmeric powder  in 2-3 cups of water taking care not to overcook the dals
Make a smooth paste by grinding coconut gratings, green chillies and cumin seeds, using a little water. Keep aside.
To the cooked dals, add the chopped onion, tomato, snake gourd and a pinch of hing
Mix this well and now add the ground coconut paste
If it is too thick add a little water. Add salt and stir well.
Cook this in medium heat till the vegetables get cooked. Keep aside.
Heat a kadhai and add oil
When it gets hot, temper with all the ingredients listed  under "to temper" one by one in the given order
When the tempering is ready, add it to the kootu
Stir well and add the chopped coriander leaves
Serve hot