Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ridge Gourd - Vegan And Vegetarian

I love this vegetable but only recently have decided to not be lazy about cooking it - where I live, we get gourds that are half a mile long and I don't like peeling them. The ones in my hometown and another place I ran a kitchen in were much smaller and more convenient to use.

I rarely used to eat this as a child because its taste is quite unlike that of some other gourds, which I now realise, can only be described as nondescript. The other gourds', that is. However, the ridge gourd has its own distinctive taste and is a marvellous vegetable that can be chutneyfied, curried and added to dal. My grandmother's dish of Bengal gram (channa dal) and ridge gourd was really something else - I clearly remember how she unveiled a frozen dish one day and I whooped with delight because it was full of this particular delicacy, and that meant there had been more, and it would last a few days. The peels are supposed to make a great chutney by themselves but I think I've tried that only once and it was forgettable in my experience.

The recipe I have for you today contains milk but you can stop it before that to make it vegan.

Ridge gourd, peeled, diced: 4-5 cups

Oil: 1-2 tsp
Mustard seed: 1 tsp
Cumin seed: 1/2 tsp
Garlic: 4 cloves, sliced/bruised
Broken dry red chillies: 2-3
Turmeric: A pinch
Salt: To taste
Chilli powder: 1 or 1-1/2 tsp
Milk: 1 cup (Optional - mix with a tsp of rice flour)
Some water

Heat the oil in a large pan and pop the mustard first and then the cumin, garlic and red chillies.

Saute the ridge gourd for a couple of minutes.

Add the salt, turmeric and chilli powder and mix well.

Lower heat to simmer, add some water, say, about half a cup, if you want to speed up the cooking, cover and let the vegetable cook. It should have wilted, reduced vastly in size and become transparent and soft.

Now boil it a bit if it's too watery, to evaporate the water. The vegan version ends here.

Now add the milk slowly, in little amounts and mix. Remember, the flame should be on low, you don't want it to curdle - that's why some mix it with the rice flour. (Mine did, blame it on the telephone, I left it on for too long - but it didn't affect the taste.)

Simmer for a couple of minutes and switch off the flame.


There can be many variations to this. You can choose to add green chillies instead of red chillies and red chilli powder in the first step. You can add curry leaves there.

You can throw some onions into the mix too - after Step 1.

And, of course, you can do away with the garlic.

Other vegetables that you can substitute for ridge gourd are bottle gourd and snake gourd, though I haven't tasted the latter version.



very unusual way of cooking ridgegourd! the curry is looking curdled :o when i cook with milk i cook on very low flame and let the dish just come to a simmer over time. so it naturally thickens and gets creamy.


Yeah, Rajani, it was on v low flame, I spent 5 minutes away from it and that's what happened - I've confessed to it too :) maybe you didn't notice.

This curry is cooked regularly at night at home, either this or with bottlegourd.

Magia da Inês

Olá, amiga!
Passei para uma visitinha...
Seu cantinho é lindo, nutritivo e de bom gosto.
Muita paz, saúde e sucesso!...

F E L I Z P Á S C O A!!!

       ( ),,( )

Com carinho, para você e sua família...

Itabira - Brasil   


Is this the gourd that when dried because the expensive loofah?


Yes, Cynthia, tho' I've never bought one here and don't know how costly it is!


yummy i love veggie food
this blog is real nice.. amd very much to my taste


Hey Sra, this looks like a good vegetable curry. Is the ridge gourd related/the same as the marrow vegetable? It looks like what we call marrow in Barbados. I grew up eating marrow in "pickle" -cucumbers,onions,lime juice,salt,bell & chilli peppers,marrow,water - but I know some folks also use it in stews.


Maaya, thank you!
Harriet: Here's the link, you can see a pic here:
They are all gourds, but I think a marrow is more like a bottlegourd.

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