This is one of my favorite subzis to make in the summer when ridge gourds are in season.
No ridge gourds? Try it with bottle-gourd, sponge gourd, any soft gourd like calabash, or a soft squash or even pumpkin.
Tender. Flavourful. Very satisfying, with the delicious, rich taste and creamy texture of toasted, powdered sesame seeds that complement it beautifully.
Also an excellent choice for a plant-based diet or disease-reversal program, as it is just as delicious when made with zero oil – and still contains a good amount of essential healthy fat (along with fibre!) from the sesame.
Goes well with rotis, rice, or can even be a light, salad-like meal in itself.
A traditional dish from Andhra, this is sometimes also made using the oil cake (if the source is known, and hygienic!) from sesame seeds after the oil is extracted. Because it acts as a well-known galactogogue, and the gourd is cooling and gentle on the system, it is one of the dishes of choice given to new mothers. (Ahem. The oil cakes are usually used as fodder for cattle, – again, especially for those cows having newly calved!!) But the oil-cake version has to be tried to be believed – it really is something else! The crumbled oil-cake has the texture slightly akin to a soft cheese when cooked in the juices of the gourd.)
A lot of peel will be generated, which can be used to make this amazing chutney out of the peels!
Or just leave the peel on. Remove the rough, brown parts, and chop coarsely.
Nothing gets wasted, and it’s all delicious!
Ridge Gourd with Sesame (Turai Til Subzi)
A light and refreshing summer vegetable dish using minimal/no oil that goes well with rice, rotis, or by itself.
Substitute Ridge-gourd with any soft gourd, a squash or even pumpkin
- 500 grams Ridgegourd peeled, cut into large pieces 1-2 inches (See note* below for a good way to use the peels)
- Salt to taste
Tempering 1 (Optional)
- 1 teaspoon Oil (optional) Cold-pressed Sesame oil recommended
- 1/2 teaspoon Black gram dal seeds (Urad dal) de-husked, split
- 1/2 teaspoon Bengal gram dal seeds (Chana dal) de-husked, split
- 1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds Black
- 1/4 teaspoon Cumin seeds
- 1 pinch Asafoetida (optional)
- 2 nos Red chillies dried, broken into two (optional)
- 1 no Green chilly slit (optional)
- 1 tablespoon Curry Leaves (or 1 sprig)
- 4 Tablespoons Sesame seeds (or 1 cup sesame oil-seed-cake, crumbled)
- 2 nos Dried red chillies (hot/bland) optional (or to taste)
Heat a heavy bottomed pan and add the oil (if using).
Then add the Tempering 1 ingredients (if using) in the order given till they get browned/start popping/release flavours.
Quickly add the gourd pieces, (which will prevent the tempering ingredients from burning) along with the salt.
Cover and cook till half-done. Check often - it can be as fast as five minutes. The ridge gourds will release a lot of water.
Remove cover and cook till done, and all (or most ) of the liquid from the gourds has dried up.
Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds and dried red chillies (if using) in a small pan or tempering ladle.
Make a coarse powder of the sesame and chillies together.
Add it to the cooked gourd and mix. Heat through for a few seconds.
- It's always a good idea to do a taste test of the individual ridge gourds, since an occasional one can sometimes be bitter.
- Keep the peel (and a small piece of ridge gourd) to make this delicious Ridgegourd Peel Chutney.
- Ridge gourds are very high in water content. The pieces, once heated with salt will rapidly release a lot of water and then they will cook in their own juices.