Saturday, February 17, 2024



Growing up in South Bengaluru -when the summer months arrived, my mother used to make this dish called Kumbalakai Majjige Huli. Kumbalakai is the Kannada name for Ash Gourd and Majjige is what Buttermilk is called in Kannada. Ash gourd has numerous health benefits and is particularly popular in summer. Buttermilk of course is the perfect coolant for the heated body during the hot summer months. 

Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for dishes made with ash gourd, such as :-

This goes great served with hot steamed rice. I often make this with hot steamed rice and a tomato rasam.

I hope you will enjoy this old summer favourite!


  • Kumbalakai (Ash Gourd), 600 grams  - yields 3 and 1/2 cups after removing the core and peeling
  • Fresh Buttermilk, 1 and 1/2 cups 
  • Curry Leaves, a few
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/8 tsp
  • Water, 2-3 cups
  • Salt, to taste, 
For the Masala: 

  •  Fresh Coconut Gratings, 1/2 cup
  • Green Chillies, 5
  • Channa Dal, (Bengal Gram) 1 and 1/2  tbsp  ( soaked in water for 2 hours)
  • Jeera, (Cumin Seeds), 1 tsp
  • Coriander seeds, 1 tsp
  • Coriander Leaves, 1/4 cup
For Seasoning:
  • Mustards Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Jeera, (Cumin Seeds), 1/2 tsp
  • Hing, (Asafoetida)( Hing), 1/8 tsp
  • Dried Red Chilli 1, broken into halves
  • Coconut Oil, 2 tsp

Wash and peel the ash gourd and discard the core. Chop the ash gourd into bite sized pieces.
About 600 grams of ash gourd would yield about 3 and 1/2 cups needed for this dish
Soak the channa dal for about 2 hours in water and drain away the water

In a thick bottomed pan, cook the ash gourd adding two cups of water, turmeric powder,  a few curry leaves and salt 
Cook covered on medium heat for 5 minutes 
In a mixer jar, grind together the fresh coconut gratings, soaked channa dal, green chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and coriander leaves to a fine paste adding just the required amount of water 

When the ash gourd is  half cooked, add the freshly ground masala and mix well and let it cook 
on medium heat till the raw smell of the masala goes. You will find that the curry starts to thicken. 
Lower the heat, add the fresh buttermilk and mix well. Adjust the consistency by adding water if required. 
Let it cook on low/medium heat for a couple of minutes.  
Switch off the gas

Heat oil in a seasoning pan and on medium heat add mustard seeds, when they splutter add the jeera seeds and let them sizzle
Next add the asafoetida, dried red chilli and saute for a few seconds
Pour this seasoning on to the Kumbalakai Majjige Huli and transfer the dish to a serving bowl
Serve with hot steamed rice 

* If you don't have fresh buttermilk, you can use curds whisked with water 
* Never add buttermilk on high heat as this will result in it curdling. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you have liked this recipe, I would appreciate your leaving a comment. Thank you !