Bottle Gourd Stew

7 Oct

bottle_gourd_stew
Sorakaya Pulusu.

Bottle gourd is chopped and cooked along with chopped onion. Tamarind is soaked in water to extract all the pulp. Then tamarind pulp and ground spice powder is added to the cooked bottle gourd. Once the stew comes together, it is tempered and garnished with chopped cilantro.
Makes: around 4 Servings of Bottle Gourd Stew.

Ingredients:

Bottle Gourd 1/2 of Small One
Onion 1 Small
Tamarind 2 inch sized Ball
Jaggery 1 – 2 inch Block (optional)
Turmeric Powder 1/4 tsp
Green Chiles 2
Cilantro few sprigs
Whole Dried Red Chiles 2
Chana Dal 1/2 tsp
Urad Dal 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
Coriander Seeds 3/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil 1/2 tsp

Talimpu:

Fenugreek Seeds a Small Pinch
Urad Dal 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves 6
Asafoetida a big Pinch
Oil 1 tsp

Method of preparation:

Peel the thin skin and remove ends of the bottle gourd.
Wash and chop the bottle gourd into small chunks.
Remove stems, wash and slice the green chiles.
Peel, remove ends and finely chop onion.
Wash and chop the cilantro.
Soak tamarind in few tablespoons of hot water and extract all the thick pulp.

Heat oil in a pan and add chana dal, urad dal, broken red chiles, cumin seeds and coriander seeds.
Fry for a minute or two or until aromatic and remove from heat.
Once the spices come to room temperature, grind them into fine powder.

Bring to boil 1 1/2 to 2 cups of water to heavy boil in a sauce pot.
Add chopped bottle gourd and chopped onion.
Let the bottle gourd cook and turn soft.
Then stir in tamarind extract, jaggery (if using), green chiles, ground spice powder, turmeric powder and salt.
Boil till the stew slightly thickens.

Heat oil in a small pan, add all talimpu ingredients in order.
When mustard seeds almost stop spluttering, remove from heat and add to the above stew pot.
Boil the stew for 3 more minutes and remove from heat.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve bottle gourd stew with plain steamed rice and dollop of ghee.
Notes:Make sure bottle gourd is cooked well before removing the stew from heat.

Suggestions: If bottle gourd is still little raw, add half a cup of water to the stew and cook on medium flame till done. If the stew is too thin, mix few tsps of rice flour in enough water and add it to the stew and boil till the stew thickens. If the stew is too thick, add sufficient water and boil the stew for 5 more minutes.
Variations: You can also temper the stew at the very beginning of the cooking process. Also check Vegetable Stew with Plain Dal.
Other Names:Bottle Gourd Stew, Sorakaya Pulusu, Anapakaya Pulusu, Lauki Stew.

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