Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Peerkangai Thokku (Ridgegourd Curry/Turiya/Turai curry)

Peerkangai Thokku (Ridgegourd Curry/Turiya/Turai curry)
After our relocation more inland, it has been easier to get rid of Indian vegetables. Although we eat many of the ‘english’ vegetables, I do seek comfort in cooking and eating the veggies I grew up eating. One such was ridgegourd. Ridgegourd is rich in fibre and also said to have cooling properties. It is supposedly rich in vitamin C, making it good for our immune system and also rich in other minerals like manganese, magnesium, zinc. I was looking for ridgegourd recipes and came across a number of different versions of the ‘thogayal’ made with the peel of this goody. My grandmom makes it too and I will post that recipe sometime. Long story short, I did not see recipes that suggested the use of the inside of the vegetable (apart from the stuffed ridgegourd I had posted earlier). However, the good this about this recipe is that it uses the skin and the flesh and that means you do not have to spend time peeling the vegetable, but you can also get to consume the goodness from the skin. My husband does not usually like something like a thokku, so I made it slightly runny to make it seem like sambar and told him it was in between sambar and vegetable on the side and so pleased it went down well. This recipe is a keeper! Here it is for you to try...
1 ridgegourd, sliced thinly with skin
5-6 pearl onions, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chunkily chopped
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon urd dal
1 teaspoon sambar powder
Turmeric powder
3 green chillies, slit
Few curry leaves
4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
½ teaspoon tamarind extract
Salt to taste
Cooking oil, preferably gingelly oil

Heat some oil and add mustard seeds, urd dal, asafoetida and turmeric powder

Once the seeds splutter, add the onions, green chillies, garlic and curry leaves and cook for couple of minutes

Add the tomatoes and cook for another couple of minutes

Add the ridgegourd slices and required salt, some water and cook covered until ridgegourd is cooked. You may need to add water every now and then and stir every now and then

Add the tamarind paste and cook for couple of minutes

Add the sambar powder, required water and cook until raw smell goes away

Depending on how thick or runny you like it to be, add more water or wait to reduce further
Serve with rotis or rice