Ridge gourd or Dodka in Marathi, was never my favourite. But since I moved away from my homeland and saw less of it, the more I missed its mild flavour and subtle sweetness. So recently I decided to make it slightly more interesting by adapting my Mum’s recipe a bit.
It’s not the most visually appealing, and dry looking on the outside, it resembles a non-prickly cactus plant. So I peel away the fibrous skin to reveal a soft moist interior. Its flavour is delicate and subtle, calling for a simple masala of coconut, garlic and coriander. I also add a touch of roasted onion and garlic masala called ‘kanda lasun masala’ and the ubiquitous roasted ground peanut. All that remains is to cook the gourd through, serve and scoop it up with a millet ‘bhakri’ (flatbread) or chapati.
This is not the traditional recipe I grew up with, more on that another time. Nevertheless, it is the perfect medicine for an occasional case of homesick taste buds.
Ridge Gourd Curry / Dodkyachi Bhaji / दोडक्याची भाजीCourse: MainCuisine: Maharashtrian, IndianDifficulty: Easy
500g ridge gourd (washed and chopped) (4 medium ridge gourd)
170g onion (chopped) (1 large)
250g tomatoes (chopped) (3 small)
9-10 garlic cloves
15g fresh coriander (leaves and stalks)
35g dry coconut
50ml sunflower oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp asafoetida
1 tsp turmeric powder
1½ tsp kanda lasun masala (a special spice mix of roasted garlic and onions)
1½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
400ml hot water
3 tbsp roasted ground peanut
Salt to taste
- Grind the coconut, garlic and coriander to a fine paste and set aside
- In a deep heavy bottomed-lidded pan, heat the oil and splutter the mustard and cumin seeds over a medium flame.
- Fry the chopped onions until translucent along with the green masala from step 1.
- Add the asafoetida, then turmeric, kanda lasun masala followed by the chilli powder. Fry everything together over a low flame until lightly cooked.
- Tip in the chopped tomatoes followed by the ridge gourd. Mix everything well over a medium flame for a minute or so.
- Pour in the hot water. Stir and cook covered for 5-7 minutes until it comes to a rolling boil.
- Stir in the roasted ground peanut and adjust the seasoning.
- Then simmer for another 5-7 minutes over a low to medium flame. Serve hot.