Thursday, 24 November 2011



1)    Tender ridge gourd – 1 kg.
2)    Mustard seeds – ¼ teaspoon
3)    Coconut oil or other cooking oil – 1 tablespoon
4)    Mild dry red chilies or Kashmiri chilies – 3 Nos.
5)    Salt – ½ teaspoon

To Cook:
Soak the tender ridge gourd in a basin of water with 10 ml. of vinegar for half an hour. Wash and cut off both the ends. Use a sharp knife to cut out the ridges. Save them for later. Split the ridge gourd lengthwise into 4 to 8 long strips (depending on the thickness of the gourd). Cut them across into 1 cm thick pieces and set aside. Break the dry red chilies into 2 or 3 pieces.
Set a wok on the stove. Pour in the oil and throw in the mustard seeds. As soon as they are about to finish crackling, add the dry chili pieces. Stir once and slide in the ridge gourd pieces. Tip in the salt. Stir and cover with a lid or a cloche. As soon as it comes to a boil, stir and turn down the heat. There is no need to add any water since there is plenty present in the ridge gourd. Stir once every 2 minutes so that the salt combines uniformly with the ridge gourd. Taste and add more salt if required.
The dish takes around 10 minutes to cook from the time it starts to boil. Switch off the heat and serve hot either by itself or with rice. Tender ridge gourd is quite sweet and watery and that makes the dish truly delicious.

1)    To have more flavor, you can substitute the dry red chilies with mild green chilies. Try out both versions and choose the one you like best. You can also try black pepper powder in place of chilies.
2)    Remember to save the ridges to prepare super delicious Ghosala Shiré chutney (ridge gourd ridge chutney); see my recipe.
3)    Use tender ridge gourd only. Mature ridge gourd is too full of fibre.

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