Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Beerakaya pulgura

Beerakaya or Ridge gourd is a very commonly used vegetable in India. As amma calls it, it is a “good veggie” as it is low in fat and cholesterol, absorbs less oil, is high in fibre content and also a major source of iron. Pulgura is sweetened chutney that is made of beerakaya. It is another Andhra and Karnataka recipe.

Preparation time: 15-20 mins

Serves 2


Medium sized ridge gourd (Turi/beerakaya/heerekay) 1
Medium sized Onion 1
Green chillies 2
Cumin seeds (jeera/jeela karra) 1tsp
Jaggery (Gud/bellam/bella) 1/4th cup
Tamarind (chintapandu) 1 blob
Refined cooking oil 5 tsps
Red chillies 2
Mustard seeds 1tsp
Black gram (urad dal/uddi pappu) 1 tsp
Curry leaves 4-5
Finely chopped coriander 1 tsp
Pinch of Asafoetida(Hing/inguva) (Optional)
Salt to taste


Wash, peel and cut the ridge gourd into average sized cubes. Cut the onion into 4 halves.

In a pan/kadai (bandli/mookudu), heat few drops of oil and add the ridge gourd. Slightly sauté until it is soft and not brown and keep aside. This may take around 2-3 mins on simmer.

In the same kadai, shallow fry in few more drops of oil, the onions. Onions too are to turn soft but not brown. Green chillies can either be roasted as above or used directly.

Now grind into a fine paste: the ridge gourd, onions, green chillies, a tsp of cumin seeds, salt to taste, a blob of tamarind and jaggery equal to the quantity of tamarind used. Add a little water as it is easier to grind jaggery when water is added.

In the same kadai, add 2 tsps of oil. Once hot add mustard seeds and once they splutter, add the red chillies, black gram, curry leaves and coriander. Asafoetida can also be used, however we do not use asafoetida as the onion provides the required flavor.

To the seasoning add the finely ground paste and mix well. Leave to cook for 2 mins on simmer.

Beerakaya pulgura is done. Beerakaya pulgura can go well with any rotis, chapatti or pooris. However, the common way is to mix rice, a tsp of oil and beerakaya pulgura and just gulp it in.

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