PUDALANGAI PARUPPU USILI
In Tamil, snake gourd is called Pudalangai. In my childhood I remember many houses in Bengaluru had kitchen gardens and these invariably had vegetables growing in them including the long snake gourds.
We call the snake gourds Poddale in my mother tongue, Konkani; Padavalkayi in Kannada and Chichinda in Hindi.
The health benefits of snake gourd are well documented in many ancient texts as described in this article in Netmeds.
Elsewhere in this blog you will find recipes using snake gourd such as:-
Today's recipe is from Tamilnadu and is a side dish made with snake gourd and lentils. I have adapted this from Pudalangai Paruppu- Araichu ( Usili) by Anushaa Ashok in the Cookpad website.
We had this for lunch recently and found it to be quite tasty served with steamed rice and hot rasam.
- Snake Gourd, 500 grams
- Toor Dal, (Split Pigeon Peas/ Arhar Dal), 3 tbsp
- Chana Dal, (Bengal Gram Dal), 3 tbsp
- Green Chilli, 1
- Byadgi Dry Red Chillies, 5
- Asafoetida, 1/8 tsp
- Turmeric Powder, 1/8 tsp
- Mustard Seeds, 1 tsp
- Curry Leaves, 6-8
- Salt, to taste
- Oil, 3 tbsp
- Coconut Gratings, 2 tbsp
- Coriander Leaves, finely chopped, 1 tbsp
Wash the snake gourd thoroughly, lightly scrape off the outer skin, snip off the two ends, cut the snake gourd into two, remove the seeds
Slice the snake gourd into small pieces.
Wash and soak the toor dal and chana dal together in adequate water for about an hour
Drain the excess water
In a small mixer jar, grind together the soaked toor dal and chana dal, green chilli, dry red chillies, asafoetida, salt and turmeric powder, to form a coarse paste, without adding any water
Heat oil in a thick-bottomed kadhai and on medium heat add the mustard seeds, when they splutter add the curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds
To this add the chopped snake gourd, and saute
Sprinkle a little water, and add salt to taste, ( remember that a little salt has already been added for the ground paste) and mix well
Cook on medium heat till the snake gourd gets done, stirring from time to time
(I prefer to keep it slightly crunchy so take care not to allow it to get overcooked)
Once the snake gourd is cooked, remove and keep aside
Now add the ground paste to the same kadhai and sauté for a couple of minutes or till the raw smell goes
Add back the cooked snake gourd to the kadhai and mix thoroughly and let it cook for a few minutes more
Switch off the gas
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and coconut gratings
Transfer to serving bowl and serve hot as a side dish to the main meal