Bottle Gourd Masala

Bottle gourd was a vegetable that I very commonly started seeing when I was living as a paying guest with a lovely Gujarati family in the first few years that I spent in London. Everyday morning, they would have a ritual of placing a bottle gourd or bitter gourd into their juicer and drinking the fresh juice. They told me that bottle gourd had loads of health benefits when eaten daily and that it could help get rid of a number of disorders. In memory of all the bottle gourds that had their juice squeezed out of them, here is a recipe where you can enjoy the goodness of the gourd in whole. 


Ingredients:
1 bottle gourd, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 potatoes, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 green chilies, slit
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon urad dal
1/2 tablespoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/ teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
1/4 cup coriander leaves, chopped
A pinch of asafoetida
Water as required
Oil as required
Salt to taste

Method:
  1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker. When the oil heats up add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Once the mustard seeds begin to splutter, add ginger-garlic paste, urad dal, asafoetida, green chilies and chopped onion. Once the onion becomes translucent, add tomatoes and cook it for a couple of minutes. Then add salt, coriander powder, cumin powder and chili powder and cook for another 2 minutes.
  2. Pressure cook the curry: Now, add chopped bottle gourd and the potato, then add 1/2 cup water and then pressure cook for one whistle. Once the steam settles, open the pressure cooker.
  3. Add garam masala and chopped coriander leaves. Serve the curry hot with rice or roti.

Notes:
  1. If you do not have a pressure cooker, use a large pan and cook till the bottle gourd and the potatoes are cooked. This may take around 15 - 20 mins. Check whether the potatoes are cooked by trying to slice them with a spoon. It should cut through easily. 




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