Ridge gourd (botanical name Luffa), the dark-greened vegetable having sharp spikes or ridges on the outer skin is low in calorie belonging to the cucumber family.
This gourd is used in the preparation of varieties of curries and chutneys and the recipes vary from region to region.
Known as turai in Hindi and peerkangai in Tamil. In our home we use this gourd to make the traditional kootu or chutney or the north indian way using onions and tomatoes.
This time when I made my grocery purchase (which also included the ridge gourd) thought of cooking something different. Suddenly struck me that I have been staying in Bangalore for the last three years and have not posted any recipe typical to the region of Karnataka.
It is about time I explored and tried some regional recipes. Just then remembered a recipe by Chef Venkatesh Bhat ‘Heerakai Masala Curry’, by the way ridge gourd is called heerakai in Kannada and beerakaya in Telegu.
I had instantly liked this recipe and had made note of it in my diary, because here was a tasty dish that did not use any spice powders like turmeric, chili, coriander, or garam masala and yet tasted superb. Bet by now you must be curious to know more about this.
This is supposed to be a traditional preparation of the Malanad region which later traveled to other areas. The vegetable itself is high in nutritive values and with ingredients like groundnuts and sesame added to it, the health quotient is increased and the curry absolutely hits the right taste buds with hint of sweetness, sourness, chilliness.
Recently made this for dinner along with wheat rotis. The peanuts and sesame lends a different flavor to the dish.
There you go……..do make this and have it with chappatis or rice.