Monday, April 27, 2009

An All Peerkangai (Ridge Gourd) Meal


I decided to make Sunday an all peerkangai day after dilly dallying with the question ‘what to cook?’ nibbling at my mind for a long time. The fresh stock of Peerkangai (Ridge gourd ) in the refrigerator wooed me into taking this decision. Peerkangai paruppu with a mango thrown in for the tang, peerkangy chutney for the spice and peerkangai bajji to crunch, accompanied the staple hot rice . With sips of hot jeera rasam in between, we did enjoy the peerkangai meal after all!

Ridge Gourd & Raw Mango with Lentils

Ridge gourd (Peeled and cut into cubes) – 1 cup
Raw Mango (Peeled and cut into cubes) – 1 /2 cup
Tur dal (Reg gram or split pigeon peas) – ½ cup
Moong Dal (Green gram dal) – 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Oil – 2 tsps
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Green chillies (Chopped) – 2
Fresh coriander leaves – a small bunch
1. Scrape the rough ridges of the ridge gourd and cut them into cubes.
2. Peel raw mango and cut into cubes.
3. Wash both dals and add the cut vegetables and turmeric powder.
4. Pressure cook with 3 cups of water.
5. When all the ingredients are cooked, mash them together with the back of a ladle and add salt and blend.
6. Heat oil and add the mustard seeds.
7. When it splutters add the asafoetida powder and the chopped green chillies.
8. Add the seasoning and chopped coriander leaves to the dal.

Now the delicious Peerkangai mangai paruppu is ready. Instead of using mango, the juice of one lime can be blended into the cooked dal just before seasoning. Relish it with hot rice and a teaspoon of ghee or with hot rotis

Ridge Gourd Chutney

Ridge gourd (Peel Scraped and cut into slices) – 1 cup
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Urad Dal (Black gram dal) – 1 tbsp
Red chillies – 6
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Tamarind – the size of a marble
Salt – ¾ tsp
1. Scrape the hard ridge off the gourd, and cut the gourd into small cubes.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds.
3. When it splutters add the black gram dal and roast till it is golden in colour.
4. Add asafoetida and the broken red chillies.
5. When the chillies become crisp add the cut ridge gourd and sauté.
6. Decrease flame and cover with a lid.
7. Cook until the vegetable becomes soft, stirring it now and then.
8. Turn off fire and cool the ingredients.
9. Add tamarind and salt and grind it in a mixer.
10. Remove the chutney when the vegetable becomes smooth and the dal is still coarse.

Ridge Gourd Bajji

Ridge gourd – 1
Besan or Bengal gram flour -1 cup
Rice flour – ½ cup
Spice powder – ½ tsp
Asafoetida- 1 pinch
Salt – ¾ tsp
Curd – 1 cup
Oil – for frying.
1. Scrape ridge gourd and slice it into moderately thick rounds.
2. Blend all the other ingredients with little water to make a thick batter.
3. Heat oil in a pan.
4. Coat the ridge gourd slices with the batter by dipping them into it.
5. Drop the batter coated vegetable slices one by one into hot oil.
6. Turn them now and then to get an even golden brown colour when fried.
7. Drain on tissues and enjoy the bajjis with sauce or chutney while still hot.

Note from Dibs: The peerkangais here in Syndey are literally giant sized and are more than a foot long! I often feel like Bhima carrying a peerkangai from the Market! It is called 'Sin-Qua' here, and found in the section for Chinese Vegetables!!