Anyway, ridge gourd is very commonly seen in all supermarkets and wet markets in Singapore. I used to pass by without a second glance because I had never cooked with it before and had no clue where I can fit it in. I vaguely remember amma making a bajji (not the deep fried kind, we also refer to pachadi-like curries as bajji at home) with the vegetable but I wasn’t even sure if this was the same vegetable.
I would always resolve to go home and search for ridge gourd recipes online so that next time I can buy it. Of course the search never happened and I invariably forgot about it until I came to the supermarket next.
One day, I have no idea what came over me but I walked straight to the ridge gourd tray and picked up one. TH panicked. I could read his thoughts which went ‘now what experimental dish is she going to cook up with this weird looking thing?’ He asked me a few times if I knew how to cook it and I very confidently said ‘I will figure something out’. The challenge was not to cook something with it but to cook something that he would like.
I finally ended up trying this Ridge Gourd chutney with lots of coriander leaves and it came together really quickly and easily.
And yes, TH liked it too 🙂
Ridge Gourd Chutney
Ridge gourd, peeled and chopped – 2 cups
Fresh coriander leaves – 1/2 cup, chopped
Green chillies – 2, or to taste
Chana dal / bengal gram / kadala paruppu – 2 tsp
Urad dal / uzhunnu parippu / ulatham paruppu – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds / jeera / jeerakam – 1/4 tsp
Hing / asafoetida / kaayam / perungayam – a generous pinch (optional)
Sesame seeds / til – 1 tbsp (I used white sesame seeds, do not avoid this ingredients as its vital for the flavour)
Tamarind paste – 1 tsp (or use 1 tbsp lemon juice)
Salt – to taste
How to Make Beerakaya Pachadi:
1. Peel and chop the ridge gourd into chunks. Cook this with 1/2 cup water until soft and mushy. Set aside to cool.
2. Dry roast the chana and urad dal in a pan. When they are about to turn golden brown, add the sesame seeds and keep roasting until all are nicely browned and smell good. Throw in the jeera and the hing when the pan is still hot and set aside to cool.
3. Once the ridge gourd and the roast
Tastes good with dosa and steamed rice. Actually not just good, but really really good! The sesame seeds are the winners in this recipe so do not avoid those. Oh I said that already? Ok then!