Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Padawalkai raita

I've always hated some summer vegetables - the kind that are kind of watery and sweet-tasting when cooked. The gourds, for example - among my pet hates when cooked South Indian style, with coconut and a mustard seed tempering. Actually, I did some googling about gourds and was hard put to it not to laugh when i saw this listed under 'exotic vegetables', but I guess one man's meat is another man's exotica...
The vegetable I'm talking about today is called chichinda in Hindi, which is a funny name(gotta use it next time we play sabzi mandi...a card game I'll blog about on my other blog sometime). I have included a picture of it in case anyone doesn't recognise it by 'Snake gourd'. It's usually thin, long and dark green with light green stripes. I recently discovered a recipe for snake gourd that manages to make it taste amazing.

The recipe:


1 snake gourd, cut into 1/2 cm slices and then halved into crescents

1 tsp mustard seeds

2-3 green chillies, chopped

12-15 curry leaves

Salt to taste

1 cup yoghurt

1 tsp oil

  1. Put the oil on to heat in a wok

  2. When it's nice and hot, add the mustard seeds and wait for them to pop

  3. Then add the green chillies and the curry leaves and stor till the curry leaves are crisp - a few seconds

  4. Add the snake gourd and stir to mix

  5. Turn the flame to low and cook, stirring occasionally, till the snake gourd is nice and soft but not mushy.

  6. Take the wok off the flame and keep aside till the vegetable cools down.

  7. Put it into a bowl and add the yoghurt and salt and stir to mix well.

  8. Keep refrigerated.

This tastes great with rotis, rice and dal or even bread. It tastes better if you let it sit for a couple of hours after it's ready.

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