This is just one of my favourite side dishes to eat with rice. It is a very flavourful dish which is made with vegetables steamed in a coconut yoghurt sauce and flavoured with ground spices and tempering. A great vegetarian delight originating from Kerala but enjoyed by all the south indians. This can be made with pumpkin, bottle gourd, ash gourd, cucumber, white radish, beetroot and pineapple. Whenever I make this dish I wipe the pot clean, because it is so tasty. I just love it!
Here’s the recipe:
2 cups bottle gourd cubes (from 1 medium sized bottle gourd)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup coconut grated
2 small green chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbs cilantro
1/2 cup yoghurt
2 tsp coconut oil / canola oil
2 tbs water
2 small dried red chillies
6 curry leaves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1. Peel the bottle gourd, cut it lengthwise into 2 halves, scoop out the pulp and cut it into small cubes.
2. Steam it with 2 tablespoons of water till it is just tender or al dente, do not over cook.
3. Grind together the grated coconut, cumin seeds, green chillies and cilantro with a little water to make a smooth paste.
4. Add this ground paste to the cooked bottle gourd along with the turmeric powder and simmer for a while till the raw smell vanishes. Switch off the stove.
5. Whisk the yoghurt to a creamy texture and add it immediately to the pot with the bottle gourd, mix well gently. Put it back on the stove on very low heat till it is hot enough. Remove from heat to add the tempering.
6. Heat 2 tsp of oil or ghee in a pan, add mustard seeds and when they splutter add the dried red chillies followed by the curry leaves. Immediately pour this over the bottle gourd coconut yoghurt gravy. Close the lid to retain the flavours. Serve hot with boiled rice. It is so yummy!
1. Do not over cook the vegetables.
2. Do not boil the gravy after adding the yoghurt as it will curdle. Just simmer it only on low flame while stirring every now and then.
3. Use 3 day old slightly sour yoghurt. The sweetness of the coconut combined with the tangy yoghurt balances the taste.