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Ridge Gourd Tomato Curry

7 Dec

I discovered ridge gourd only after moving to south India.  The first time that I bought it, my driving force was curiosity – I had no idea how this vegetable, which looked a cross between sponge gourd and bitter gourd, would be cooked, or what it would taste like. Pushcart vendors outside my apartment stocked ridge gourd in heaps, and it seemed to be the freshest, least expensive vegetable on sale. One day I walked up to a vendor, pointed and tried asking him to name the vegetable. In response, he swiftly wrapped two ridge gourds, held out the package to me and named the price!

And so I returned home, ridge gourd package in hand, and typed into Google image search: "long green Indian vegetable with spikes". Google didn’t disappoint – I found not just the name but also many ways to cook ridge gourd.

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Ridge Gourd Moong Dal

26 Apr

In the western world, Indian cuisine is mostly equated with rich, spicy gravies – kofta curry and chhole bhature and shahi paneer and their ilk. In reality, Indian cuisine is far broader than that. Indian food can be simple and minimalistic, as this dish I’m going to write about today – roasted moong dal with a green vegetable combination. I picked up the recipe of ridge gourd moong dal from a friend from Andhra, it’s been a regular in my kitchen since.

Ridge gourd and moong dal are both very gentle on the stomach, as are asafoetida (hing in Hindi) and lemon, the prime flavorings in this dish. Hing is a strong spice and, I suspect, an acquired taste. If this is the first time you’re cooking with hing, I’d suggest using very little of it. If you like it, use more another time. I do recommend it warmly, especially for its wide array of health benefits.

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Ridge Gourd Potato Curry with Poppy Seed Paste

28 Sep

My first attempt at cooking with poppy seed paste. This ridge gourd potato curry recipe is courtesy a Bengali friend, who tells me the cuisine of that area uses poppy seeds abundantly. Given how well this curry turned out, I know this spice is going to become a regular in my pantry.

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