Ash gourd, winter melon or white gourd is a very healthy fruit (eaten as vegetable) in south Asia. It has been in the menu for over 2000 years. It has many health benefits; it is used to cure kidney stones, digestive problems and is an excellent diet for diabetic patients. It is also used to cure acidity and intestinal worms. It is also called Petha in Hindi, Boodugumbala in Kannada, Kohla in Marathi and Neer Poosanikai in Tamil.
We will need 30-45 minutes to cook this yummy gravy. So let’s get started with the ingredients:
- Ash gourd – ½ Kg.
- Small coconut 1.
- Dried red chillies 15. (Gundu Molzuka Chillies or fat chillies)
- Lemon sized tamarind.
- Pinch of turmeric.
- Mustard seeds 1½ tsp.
- Curry leaves 1 stalk.
- Salt to taste.
- Coconut oil 3 tsp.
Once you have all the ingredients ready, let’s start the fun. Step by step method:
- Peel the skin of the ash gourd (you need not throw the skin; I have a nice tasty side dish recipe for that too).Cut the ash gourd in to medium sized pieces as shown in the picture below.
- Put some water in a vessel. Add turmeric and salt, and then cook the ash gourd for 5 minutes.
- Now we will prepare the masala. Grate the whole small coconut. Fry the chillies in ½ tsp. oil till they turn slightly dark in colour. Put these ingredients with Mustard seeds and tamarind in a mixer and grind to medium paste.
- Till now our ash gourd in the vessel must be half cooked, now we will add the masala in to vessel. Cook till the water boils (5-10 minutes).
- Remove from heat; we will now start the seasoning. Take a small pan, put oil and heat it.
- Put the mustard seeds in the heated oil; Put the curry leaves when it starts crackling. Empty the wok into the curry vessel and immediately close the lid. Keep aside for 2 minute till the aroma of the seasoning gets absorbed by the curry.
- Serve hot with rice and a side dish.
I am sure you will enjoy this dish. Please email me and tell me about your experience cooking this recipe.