Bottle gourd is a popular Indian vegetable .Village people believe that it has some property to reduce our body fat.
The Tamil meaning of Bottle gourd is surai kaai. Koottu means a watery side dish .
Bottle gourd is a watery vegetable and tastes somewhat similar to white pumpkin or cucumber. Mostly it is used in making sambar , dhal or a watery side dish called koottu . The most common way is to cook it with Thoor dhal or green gram dhal.
Cooking it with Curd belongs to South TamilNadu cuisine.
In Tamil nadu a grand vegetarian feast should be served on a Banana leaf (gently cut with its tip). The rice must be accompanied by a koottu (watery side dish), a poriyal (cooked and tempered vegetables with shredded coconut) , a varuval (deep or shallow fried vegetable ), a curry (a spicy side dish with some dry gravy), sambar (dhal based stew), vatha kulambu (tamarind based stew), more kulambu (curd based stew), rasam (a soup poured on rice.. good for digestion), Payasam (a rice or vermicelli based sweet ) and at last the Buttermilk on rice. The other dishes are a an appalam, vadai , some sweet. Oh , my God ...What an elaborate lunch menu .Isn't it?.Believe me , we people cannot take every day like this . But the very thought makes us nostalgic. Right?
Just because of my love for our native cuisines , I am eagerly collecting as many recipes as possible . And this curd based recipe is my favorite koottu .
Surai kaai Thayir pachadi koottu / bottle gourd - yogurt curry.
Bottle gourd - 1/2 kg (1 small)
curd - 1/2 cup
onion - 1 (small)
olive oil - 1 tbsp
mustard seeds - 1 tsp
curry leaves - 1 brig
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
salt - to taste.
ginger - 1 inch
green chilli - 3
channa dhal - 2 tbsp
shredded coconut - 2 tbsp
cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Soak the channa dhal for 30 minutes.
Peel the skin of the bottle gourd. Chop it into small cubes. Donot discard the seeds. Tender seeds tastes good.
Heat 1 cup of water and add the chopped bottle gourd, salt, turmeric powder and cook it .
Grind together the items given .
Pour the ground masala to the cooked bottle gourd.
Let it come to boil.
Now add the curd and switch off flame. Check for salt.
Heat oil in a separate pan. Add the mustard seeds , after it crackles , add the chopped onion, curry leaves and fry till the onion becomes red.
Add this tempering to the cooked bottle gourd.
Bottle gourd thayir koottu is ready.
Serve as side dish with plain rice or rice and sambar or with chapathi.