Gourds have always been an integral part of Andhra cooking. Various gourds like bottle gourd and snake gourd are incorporated into everyday cooking in various recipes like dals, stir fries and stews. High in fibre content and low on calories, these vegetables are specially recommended after a bout of sickness when digestive system is affected and needs to recover. Also very good for health conscious people. Mixed with dals, gourd form a complete meal combining required protein content with fibre and other necessary vitamins.
Here is a simple recipe that can be made quickly and is very nutritious:
Bottle gourd : peeled and cubed 2 cups
Tuar dal/kandipappu/red gram dal : 1 cup
Tomatoes : 1 medium chopped
Onion : 1 medium sliced
Oil – 3 tbsp
Bengal gram dal/senaga pappu/chana dal -1 tsp
Urad dal/minappa pappu -1 tsp
Mustard seeds/ avalu : 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds/jeera : 1 tsp
Dry red chillies : 3-4 (broken or used whole)
Hing/asafoetida : a couple of pinches
Green chillies : 2 to 3 chopped or slit
Curry leaves: a few
Chilli powder: to taste.
Salt : to taste.
Chopped coriander: for garnishing.
Pressure cook the tuar dal till soft.
Pressure cook the bottle gourd pieces in cooker for a couple of whistles or cook in boiling water till soft.
(You can alternatively throw the gourd pieces along with the dal in the cooker and cook but the nutritional value will be lost.)
Heat the oil in a pan. Add the chana dal and urad dal. Fry until they slightly change colour. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and fry. Now add the red chillies, asafotieda, turmeric and continue to stir.
Add chopped green chillies and chopped onions. Continue to fry on reduced heat till the onions change colour. Now add the chopped tomatoes and continue cooking till the tomatoes turn soft.
Add the cooked gourd pieces and dal. Mix well.
Add salt to taste chilli powder and coriander. Cook for a couple of more minutes.
Dal is now ready. You can serve this with a rice and pickle of your choice along with papads.