Monday, May 14, 2007

Beera Kaya Koora ( Ridge Gourd/Chinese Okra Curry)

You get this vegetable in most India and Chinese grocery stores. I haven't seen them in regular super markets as much yet. If you are more into having crunchy vegetables than soft ones, this might not be it for you:). However I promise, once you try it you will like it. It's a tad bit acquired taste. There are several million ways you can cook with this vegetable. Make a chutney, dal, stew, soup and what not. Today I am going to make a curry out of it so it can be used at lunch with rice and with some bread or rotis for dinner tonight.

You have to peel the thick skin and also gut the seeds out of this, then it won't be as mushy:).
You can use frozen coconut powder

In this recipe ( and most in general) whenever I have to grind onions, I cut them into thin strips, saute them in little oil till light brown and then grind them to a paste. This way ( this is just my opinion) I feel like I don't have too much raw onion smell going on and also easy to stir fry the masala.

You can add half cup of cubed potatoes, turnips or carrots to this dish. Adds a good flavor and also some more meatiness to it:)

Beera Kaya( Ridge Gourd) - 2 large cut into cubes
Onion - 1 medium - cut in thin slices
Tomatoes - 1 medium - cut into thin slices
Green chillies - 2 slit length wise
Curry leaves - 4 - 6
Garlic - 2 cloves
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Coconut Powder - 1/4 cup
Coriander seeds - 1 Tbsp.
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp.
Red Chilli Powder - per taste
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - as needed


Heat oil in a pan. Add green chillies and onions and stir fry them with little bit of salt till onions are light brown. Add tomatoes to this and sautee them till tomatoes are soft and start braking in oil. Turn the stove off, remove pan from heat and let it cool for a bit. To this add coconut, coriander seeds, ginger, garlic, turmeric and grind it to a smooth paste with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water.

Heat oil in a shallow pan and add mustard, cumin seeds. Once they start spluttering add curry leaves. Add the ridge gourd pieces and sautee them till a little soft. Add salt to the pieces. Now add the ground paste to this and half cup of water and let it cook for 10 to 12 minutes covered on a medium to low flame. Keep checking in between to make sure the gravy is not sticking to the pan and you have enough water for the masala to stick to the vegetable.

Remove the lid and cook on high flame till all the water is evaporated and you end up with a gravyish dish:).


Lakshmi said...

Hi Sowju,
Great recepie. I'm going to try this. Only I dont have Beerakayalu. But I'm going to try this with other veggies like Cauliflower or string beens or even mixed veggies or even with potatos. Good work. Keep it up.

Lakshmi Dodda

subbanna said...

I am not a great cook but follow recipes intelligently. We have beerakaaya in plenty here in Des Moines, but never knew what to make of them. Thank you so much. I cooked this curry and it turned out super! Thanks

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