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Peerkankai or Turai (hindi) or Ridge Gourd Koottu

September 20, 2012

Peerkankai is one more vegetable with cooling effect.   The best way i can make it is as ‘kootu’ which means adding of lentils to it to make it stew-like.   This way, sometimes if ‘peerkankai’ happens to be bitter (which is rare), the bitterness is removed by the lentils.

Ingredients:  500 gms of Peerkankai (tamil) or Turai (hindi) or Ridge gourd, channa dal 1 cup (bengal gram), one small onion, 1 small tomato, 2-3 garlic flakes (optional), curry leaves for garnishing, coriander leaves, dry red chili – 1 or 2 torn and de-seeded, and mustard seeds, cumin seeds 1/2 tsp each for sauteing, 1 tsp oil for sauteing,  red chili powder 1 and 1/2 tsp or 2 split green chilis, turmeric powder, asafoetida powder,  salt to taste, water.

Method:   We follow the usual method for koottu.   Some pressure cook the dal separately, boil the vegetables separate and mix both.  But i cook both the dal and the vegetables always together for preventing wastage of nutrients.

Dice the onion and tomato and keep aside with garlic flakes. Rinse and pressure cook the channa dal upto 1 whistle as it takes longer to cook while the peerkankai (turai) is soft and watery and cooks in a minute,  after adding the onion, tomato, garlic, turmeric powder 1/2 tsp, red chili powder 1 and 1/2 tsp or 2-3 split green chilies.

Wash and peel the Peerkankai and core the soft center for seeds if any.    Dice the vegetable and after the first whistle of the pressure cooker, add the vegetable to it and cook until a second whistle.

Note:  pressure cooking is not mandatory; normal cooking takes over an hour so i prefer pressure cooking.

When the pressure eases lift the lid and you can see that both the dal and all the vegetables have blended nicely.   You can leave it as such or mash it further (today i left it as such without much mashing; sometimes the full dal koottu tastes so good).  So Peerkankai koottu is almost ready but for garnishing.

Salt it.   Take a pan and add a single tsp of oil to it and heat it.   Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida powder, a red chili torn and de-seeded, curry leaves and a garlic flake for sauteing.   When the mustard seeds splutter, take off the stove.   Add this garnishing to the peerkankai koottu and mix well.   Garnish with coriander leaves finally.   Peerkankai koottu is ready.

Goes with rice and also with rotis as a good subzi.   Has a good cooling effect on body.   The purpose of making koottu is to derive the benefits of both vitamins and minerals from vegetables and protein from the bengal gram.  The garlic and the asafoetida powder ensure that the gastric problem is prevented but garlic is optional.

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From → Vegetarian

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