It’s been an exciting learning curve in our newly planted kitchen garden. The sun’s direction, weather changes, water supply and fertility of soil were our primary challenges. Then came the deciding factor of choosing plants and their positioning.
As the Bhindi (okra) and potlakaya (snake gourd) began thriving, we (first timers) counted each new leaf and pod:) The potlakaya creeper is a fast growing plant and soon climbed up the prepared trellis and gave small white flowers in abundance. ‘Look! let’s count the potlakaya hanging underneath’ I later muttered to hubby. We even tied a string and stone to each so it would grow long and straight…haha!
Over to the kitchen- with the garden fresh gourd in hand.
padval, chirchinda. It grows best in warm climate and sandy, loamy soil with a bit of compost. It is high in fiber and has much water, so it’s low in calories. It has Vitamin A, B and C and is used in medicinal properties like treating dandruff and diabetes. The pith and seeds are discarded after slicing.
A variety of recipes can be made from this vegetable. One can just temper /fry it for a curry, boil it and add some yoghurt for a raita or make stuffed curry. What’s your preferred recipe? From which region?
(Potlakaya Poriyal) or Snake gourd Vegetable
2 snake gourds medium length
1/2 cup fresh grated coconut (or dry roasted, if not available)
1/2 spoon urad dal + chana dal mixture
1 sprig of curry leaf
1 spoon mustard seeds
1 spoon turmeric powder or haldi
1-2 dry red chillies
(optional – green chilli and ginger paste as required)
1-2 snake gourds, choose tender ones. Slit lengthwise and de seed, removing all the pith. Wash and sprinkle some salt, let it rest. Discard the water.
In a wok/ kadhai add 2 spoons of oil. Once warm, sprinkle the lentil mixture, mustard seeds and dry red chilli. Add a sprig of curry leaf or kadipatta. Let this tadka or tempering crackle, take care this does not burn.
Add the gourd pieces and stir cook. Add a bit of water to cook if required else cover the kadhai with a some water on the lid. Stir as required and vegetable cooks quickly. Add the fresh grated coconut, adjust the salt.
I avoid adding any ginger / garlic to these garden fresh vegetables to keep their inherent taste. Suit yourself. Garnish with kadipatta or curry leaves. Serve with rice or roti.
A very quick and easy preparation, and light on the stomach. Enjoy!
What’s growing in your garden?
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