As always I have been missing in action :) But I am enjoying my days as my In-laws are here and days have gotten a bit busier than usual. As my daily schedule has changed a bit and we slowly getting used to it, school also got out for summer and with both kids at home hollering at each other and making as much sound as they possibly can, I surely can use a breather from both of them!
Coming to the cooking, I am learning new recipes from my MIL and today's recipe is one of them. I am not sure how many people have eaten to tasted snake gourd in their life! It a very common vegetable in India, but here in US its not that common. Though Indian groceries carry them, they are sometimes not even worth to look at. I usually find them dry, shriveled and not at all worth buying. But whenever they do look fresh, I tend to buy them. I make a simple fry by chopping it into circles. There are couple more varieties of dishes we make out of it. But this recipe of my MIL is my favorite. Using coconut and yogurt along with snake gourd, it makes a very yummy and tasty combination.
We call it Potlakaya perugu pachadi, but it can also be used as Snake gourd raita, since it is made of yogurt.
It is best eaten with hot rice with a drop of ghee. But you can eat it with stuffed parathas where raita makes for a good side dish. Even with rotis and chapathis, it tastes delicious!
The actual recipe calls for sour yogurt, but here it is substituted with a small piece of tamarind. If you don't want to use tamarind, go ahead and use a bit of lemon juice.
1 small potlakaya / Snake gourd, about 7-8 inches long, cut into pieces
1/4 cup fresh or frozen coconut
15-20 green chillies (use according to your taste, more or less)
2 garlic cloves, cut into pieces
1/4 tsp jeera, cumin seeds
1/2 cup yogurt
some water as needed
a small piece of tamarind (this can be substituted with lemon juice or totally skipped if the yogurt is sour)
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp Chana dal
1/4 tsp urad dal
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp jeera or cumin
2 dry red chili, broken into pieces
few curry leaves
pinch of hing, inguva, asfoetida
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
In a small pot, add some water, the pieces of potlakaya, cover and cook until it is cooked, not soft but just cooked.
Heat a few drops of oil, add the coconut and chilies and saute until the coconut starts to turn color. Remove aside and cool.
When cooled, grind the coconut, chili, tamarind (optional), yogurt, cooked snake gourd, 2 cloves of garlic and 1/4 tsp jeera together.
You don't have to grind it to smooth, just that you don't have any big pieces. It also shouldn't be of runny consistency. It should be thick and should have consistency like coconut chutney or tomato chutney.
Now for tempering. In a small pot, add the remaining oil and heat. Add the garlic, chana dal, urad dal, mustard seeds, jeera and let them splutter.
Add the red chili, curry leaves and a pinch of hing. Saute for 10 seconds.
Add this to the ground snake gourd yogurt mixture. Add salt to taste.
Stir in the chopped coriander leaves and its ready to be served.
Serve with hot rice with a drop of ghee. But it also yummy to eat with rotis or chapathis or even even hot hot savory pongal or katte pongali.