Thursday, November 7, 2019



My husband used to hate some vegetables like pumpkins, ash gourd etc in his youth and childhood. I always tell him that there is nothing wrong with any vegetable, it all depends on how it is cooked !!
I am glad to say that he not only eats them without complaint these days but has actually begum to enjoy them!!

One such vegetable is ash gourd, also known as White Pumpkin or Winter Melon. We  call this  "Kuvale" in my mother tongue, Konkani. It is called, "Boodagumbala " in Kannada, "Petha" in Hindi, and "Neer Poosinikai" in Tamil.  Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for our Konkani style Kuvale Sasam, for Ash Gourd Mor Kuzhambu from Tamilnadu and for Ash Gourd Pumpkin Coconut Stew from Kerela.

Today's recipe is adapted from Ashgourd Coconut Curry from Udupi Recipes a website which largely features recipes from the Udupi region of my home state of Karnataka.


  • Ash Gourd, about 750 grams 
  • Tamarind, a ball of gooseberry size
  • Jaggery, grated, 1 and 1/2 tbsp
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/4 tsp
  • Salt, to taste 
For the Coconut Masala :-
  • Coconut Gratings, 1 cup
  • Coriander Seeds, 3 tsp
  • Urad Dal (Black Gram), 1 tsp
  • Chana Dal ( Bengal Gram), 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Byadgi Red Chillies, 4
  • Curry Leaves, a sprig
  • Oil, 2 tsp
For Seasoning :- 
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Urad Dal, 1/2 tsp
  • Curry Leaves, a few 
  • Red Chilli, broken into two, 1
  • Oil, 1 tsp


Wash, peel and cut the ash gourd to bite-size pieces discarding the core and seeds
Soak the tamarind in warm water for 15-20 minutes, extract the tamarind juice and keep aside
In a small pan, heat 2 tsp of oil and on medium heat roast separately, one after the other, the urad dal, chana dal, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, Byadgi red chillies, and curry leaves
Allow this to cool and transfer to a small mixer jar
Grind these roasted ingredients along with the coconut gratings and the required amount of water to a smooth paste and keep aside
In a vessel cook the ash gourd pieces along with 1 cup of water, salt, and turmeric powder and bring to a boil
To this, add the tamarind extract and cook till the ash gourd gets done. Make sure the ash gourd is cooked but remains firm. (Please note that ash gourd gets cooked very soon so take care that it does not get overcooked.)
Now add the ground coconut masala and the grated jaggery and mix well
Adjust the consistency of the curry by adding water, if required. Check for salt and add only if required.
Bring to a boil  then let it simmer for a few minutes and switch off the gas
Finally season by heating oil in a small pan. On medium heat add the mustard seeds and when they splutter add the urad dal and sauté till the dal changes color
Add the broken red chili and the curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds
Pour this seasoning on to the Ash Gourd Coconut Curry
Transfer to serving bowl and serve hot with rice or chapatis.

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