May 11, 2006

Snake gourd- lentil side dish / Padavalanga Parippu Kootu

Padavalanga or snake gourd is a long dark green vegetable, quite bland on its own but adapts well with different lentils and curries. It goes well in vegetable stew, as a thoran, and as a curry too. As a kid, I was not too fond of it. But last year, I grew it in my vegetable garden and when I tried different recipes with, I could appreciate the versatality of the gourd. This is a side dish which goes well with a rice based menu.

Cooking time:25 mins but preparation time is another 5 mins.
You will need:
Bengal gram /dal(Kadalaparippu) - 1 cup
Oil - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
Snake gourd(Padavalanga) - one
Salt - to taste
Cumin seeds(Jeerakam) - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 4 nos
Small onions/shallots- 3 nos
Garlic pods - 3 nos
Grated coconut - 1/4 cup

For seasoning:
Oil-1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 10 nos
Small onions/shallots- 3 nos

Preparation Method

1. Soak Bengal gram for 15 mins. Wash and scrape the skin lightly.Cut the
vegetable into small pieces.
2. Cook it with the oil, turmeric powder and salt and water. Check every few
minutes to prevent the lentils from sticking to the bottom. The oil prevents
the lentils from excessive frothing. It takes about 20 mins for the lentil to be
fully cooked.( It is fully cooked when the grams stand apart, yet crumble
when you apply pressure.)
3. Simultaneously, cook the gourd with salt, green chillies and turmeric and
enough water to cover it.
4. Dry roast cumin seeds, small onions, garlic and coconut,on slow heat till
it turns light brown. Grind them without adding water.
5. When the snake gourd and lentil are cooked, mix them thoroughly.
6. Add the above paste into the vegetable mixture and cook for another 3
mins.Check for salt and add if needed.
7. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan. Lower the flame. Add the ingredients for
seasoning in the order of mustard seeds, curry leaves and shallots.Fry for
a minute till the shallots turn translucent and add to the snake gourd dish.
Serve with rice.

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