Ridge Gourd Chutney / Hirekai Chutney:
Ridge Gourd (tori/turai in Hindi; hirekai in Kannada; Peerkangai in Tamil; Beerakaya in Telugu) is also known as club or sponge gourd (used in Chinese cuisine) or silk squash, scientific name being ‘Luffa’. It is a ridged fruit with white pulp inside, eaten as a vegetable. It is used both in North India as also the south in many different ways including preparation of different curries, stuffed or otherwise, as also soups.
For us, especially at dinner times, when one is not in a mood to have the same dishes as cooked for lunch, what comes into picture are these chutneys. A light rasam with a chutney, along with rice will make a light yet enjoyable south Indian meal.
The ridge gourd here provides for the much needed fiber in the meal, as also many other benefits which are attributed to this gourd such as reducing sugar levels since it contains certain insulin like peptides and alkaloids. It is said to be beneficial for liver health, eye health, skin health, improving immunity, helps in weight loss and also is a rich source of Vitamin C.
I use it mainly for preparing the chutney, a snack called ‘bajji’ which is where ridge gourd is deep fried coated with gram flour batter and also in mung dal preparation.
Before we proceed to the recipe, I feel I ought to share with you all some encouraging words I have heard from some of my kind viewers. This honestly makes a BIG difference to what I do and how I do it.
… For eg. the other day someone mentioned that they find my blog ‘very professional with a lot of good food’ and they would like to read through in more detail once they are at their computer and not just browsing on their mobile. That really made my day.. On another occasion, another kind visitor said, they had been looking for a resource for Indian recipes which are healthy and were really pleased to have found my blog.. Again, another kind lady once said, they find many of my recipes interesting, pictures very professional and so on….. I mean really, all this makes a difference.
Commitment to a blog is hard work, especially so since there is a lot of thought put into every post, with care and effort put into writing about the ingredients, the history, mentioning tips, taking care to capture pictures of critical stages in the cooking process and so on – this takes up a LOT of my time and energy, not to mention money… there being no monetary rewards, a HUGE impetus that keeps me going is the feedback I receive..
With deep gratitude towards every single one of you who helps me believe in and pushes me to improve what I am doing, with your VALUABLE feedback, I shall proceed to today’s recipe.
ridge gourd – 1 , peel the gourd, chop the gourd and the peel into small pieces
oil – 2 tsp + 1 tsp
de-husked black gram – 1 & 1/2 tbsp (urad dal)
mustard seeds – 2 tsp
asafoetida – 1/2 tsp (avoid asafoetida if on a gluten-free diet)
dry red chilie – 1 – 2 (as per taste)
green chilies – 2-4 (as per taste)
tamarind pulp – a marble sized portion (this provides the tang to the recipe)
fresh grated coconut – 2tbsp (optional)
jaggery powdered – 1 tsp (optional) (or else use demerera sugar)
salt to taste
for tempering: (optional)
oil – 1 tsp
mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
red chili – 1
curry leaves – 3-4
- ridge gourd - 1 , peel the gourd, chop the gourd and the peel into small pieces
- oil - 2 tsp + 1 tsp
- de-husked black gram - 1 & ½ tbsp (urad dal)
- bengal gram dal (yellow split peas) - 1 tbsp (chana dal)
- mustard seeds - 2 tsp
- asafoetida - ½ tsp (avoid asafoetida if on a gluten-free diet)
- dry red chilie - 1 - 2 (as per taste)
- green chilies - 2-4 (as per taste)
- tamarind pulp - a marble sized portion
- fresh grated coconut - 2tbsp (optional)
- jaggery powdered - 1 tsp (optional) (or elseuse demerera sugar)
- salt to taste
- for tempering: (optional)
- oil - 1 tsp
- mustard seeds - ½ tsp
- red chili - 1
- curry leaves - 3-4
- in a pan, add 2 tsp of oil, heat it moderately.
- add urad dal, chana dal, red chilies, green chilies, mustard seeds, asafoetida and stir fry until the lentils turn golden. then, switch off the heat. continue to stir for another ½ to 1 min until the lentils turn deeper golden in color. do not burn the lentils. they will then give a bitterness to the chutney.
- transfer to a plate and allow them to cool.
- in the same pan, add another tsp of oil, heat it, add chopped ridge gourd peel and roast until they are say 50% done(softened). now add the chopped gourd in too and roast until everything is well cooked. transfer to a plate and allow it to cool.
- once cooled, grind the ingredients mentioned above along with grated fresh coconut, jaggery, tamarind pulp, salt adding some water to make a paste. this does not need to be too fine.
- now transfer the ground paste onto a bowl.
- prepare tempering using a small tempering pan, heating a tsp of oil. splutter the ½ tsp of mustard seeds, add red chili, curry leaves. turn off the heat.
- transfer this to the chutney.
- serve with hot steaming rice and a bit of ghee, or as an accompaniment to a meal.
coconut and jaggery (or demerera sugar) are optional.
tempering too is optional.
make sure you wash the ridge gourd well, since we will be using the peel as well in the dish.
Resources : Helathbenefitstimes.com