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Snake Gourd Stew

8 Jun

snake_gourd_toor_dal
Potlakaya Kandipappu.

Stew is prepared by cooking vegetables slowly in a liquid medium. Stew made with lentils is called kootu in Tamilnadu. A masala paste is made of fried coriander seeds, peppercorns, red chillies and coconut. Most of the times urad dal is also fried together for its binding nature. Snake gourd pieces are boiled in this masala paste and cooked toor dal till they turn soft.
Makes: around 3 Servings.

Ingredients:

Snake Gourd 6 inch Long
Toor Dal 1/2 Cup
Onion 1 Small
Green Chile 2
Freshly Grated Coconut 2 tbsps
Coriander Seeds 1 tbsp
Black Peppercorns 3
Whole Red Chiles 2
Turmeric Powder a pinch
Salt to taste

Talimpu:

Urad Dal 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp
Mustard Seeds 1/4 tsp
Broken Red Chiles 3
Curry Leaves 6
Oil 2 tsps

Method of preparation:

Peel and finely chop the onion.
Remove stems, wash and slice the green chiles.
Remove stems, remove seeds and break red chiles into pieces.
Wash, remove ends, lightly peel and chop snake gourd into small pieces.
Wash toor dal thoroughly under water and boil in two cups of fresh water till just cooked.

Heat a tsp of oil in a pan, add coriander seeds and peppercorns.
Fry for few seconds and add broken red chiles and fresh coconut.
Fry for few seconds and remove from heat.
Once at room temperature, grind the fried ingredients into smooth paste adding enough water.

Heat oil in a pan, add all talimpu ingredients in order.
When urad dal changes color, add green chiles and onion.
Fry onion for a minute, add snake gourd pieces, ground masala paste, cooked toor dal and a cup of water. Add sufficient salt and boil till snake gourd is cooked soft but not mushy.
Serve snake gourd stew with steamed rice or with roti.
Notes: Make sure snake gourd is cooked before removing from heat.

Suggestions: If snake gourd feels raw, add half a cup of water and cook covered till soft. If kootu is too thick, add another half cup of water and bring to boil.
Variations:Serpent Gourd with Chana Dal, Pudalankaai Curry, Snake Gourd Fritters.
Other Names:Padavalanga Kootu, Paduvalakaayi Kootu, Padwal with Toor Dal.