Monday, August 1, 2016

Pointed Gourd Curry With Coconut Milk

Pointed gourd curry with coconut milk
Another summer staple from the gourd family is the pointed gourd. Locally known as potol, it is made into several dishes either on its own or in addition with other vegetables. Today I made a simple curry that I finished off with coconut milk.
Looking back on the garden of my childhood, this was one gourd that my parents didn't grow. Maybe our heavy rainfall and hilly terrain was not conducive for potol cultivation.

Pointed gourd/potol/parwal
This common vegetable also has its fair share of beneficial goodness. Rich in carbohydrates, vitamin A and C, pointed gourd contains trace elements of potassium, copper, magnesium, sulphur and chlorine. In Ayurveda, pointed gourd is usually used in medicines that deal with gastro-intestinal and liver disorders. Roots, leaves and fruit used in medicine.

Ingredients:
350 grams pointed gourd
2 medium onions, peeled and grated
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and ground 
A small pinch of ginger, peeled, cut and ground
4-5 green chillies, ground with the above spices
A quarter tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil, as needed
1 tsp coriander powder
2-3 tejpatta
A quarter tsp cumin powder
1 cup coconut milk
Coriander leaves for the garnish

Method:
Cut off the ends of the pointed gourds. Lightly scrape off the dark green, striped skin. Repeat till all the gourds are done.
Wash the gourds and drain in a colander. With a sharp knife, cut the gourds in halves.
Sprinkle a dash of turmeric powder and salt and mix well.
Heat the oil in a kadhai. Shallow fry the halved gourds in batches. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper.
In the same oil, throw in the tejpatta and the cumin seeds. As soon as they sputter, add the ground spices. (Onions, ginger, garlic, green chilli).
Fry for a few minutes, then add the rest of the spices.
When the spices come together, add the potol. Stir so that the vegetables are coated in the spices.
Season with salt and continue to cook till the gourds are almost done.
Pour the coconut milk and reduce the flame till the curry thickens a bit. This should take about 5-7 minutes.
Remove from the flame and transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with coriander leaves.
The coriander powder I used was toasted and powdered.
The coconut milk was extracted from one home-grown coconut. This imparted a hint of sweetness to this curry.
This curry goes very well with steamed rice or with rotis.
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