Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Snake Gourd Kootu (Gravy)

Snake Gourd is one of my favorite Childhood Vegetables. I am a lover of Vegetables since my childhood and love them even more if it's picked freshly from the garden. I remember my uncle would bring fresh snake gourds everytime he visited us from the village and I would make gourd fry immedietly and consumed it just like a snack.

Though it is available here in US, it is not as fresh as we get back in INDIA. Snake gourds are of INDIAN origin and widely used vegetable in Saiva Pillai's Cuisine. I bought some seeds from INDIA two years back. But I missed to plant them last year. This year I was reluctant to plant thinking that the seed would have lost its potency. As my mom insisted , I thought of giving it a try. I sowed the seed in a small pot inside the home and once I got the little plants out, I repotted in a large pot and kept at the backyard near one corner of my home. I had plans of putting trellis but never got time to do that.

As the Saying goes " Vallavanuku Pullum Ayutham", meaning A smart man needs no weapons, it crept almost close to my rooftop holding the vinyl sides, smiling at me from there. Last week I harvested one 3 feet Snake gourd. My mom asked me to tie a small stone to the end so that it will grow even more longer. But I wanted to take it before it gets woody and hard. As usual I wanted to make it fresh. I decided to make Snake gourd Kootu(Gravy) so that everyone gets to eat. If I fry , quantity will become very less.

I didn't leave out anything out of my lovely serpentine vegetable. I made Kootu, Pudalangai Thayir Pachadi and Sponge chutney.

Pudalangai Kootu ( Snake Gourd Gravy)


Snake Gourd -1
Green Chillie - 2
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Coconut - 2 tbs
Broken Channa
Dhal - 1/4 cup (Soaked and Pressure Cooked for one whistle)
Garlic -2 Cloves

Shallots - 2 Finely cut
Curry Leaves- few sprigs
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp

Method :

Slit the Snake Gourd Lengthwise and scoop out the spongy stuff inside the gourd.
Keep it safe. we need it for our next recipe. Cut the gourd into small pieces. Grind together coconut, green Chillies , Cumin seeds and add garlic at the end and keep the paste aside. Pour little oil in a pan, Add the cut vegetable to it and saute it for some time. Once the vegetable becomes tender not brown or crispy, add the coconut paste, Salt and Cooked Lentils and cook for sometime. Heat a pan with a teaspoon of oil . Add Mustard seeds and once it tampers , add broken red Chilli,finely cut shallots , Curry leaves and a bit of hing and return the kootu to this pan and switch off the heat.

Serve with hot rice and pulikozhambu.

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