Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Beerakaya Senagapappu Kura/ Ridgegourd Curry with Bengal Gram

Anybody like ridge gourd? I mean like, love ridge gourd. Jump and squeal when you hear that's the curry for the day. OK, maybe not jump and squeal but really love it. I for one had never been in that category. For as long as i can remember when mom was cooking our meals, i wouldn't turn to look under the plate that was was covering ridge gourd curry. I knew it was easy to cook, i knew it had great many nutrients and was light on the stomach (making it a perfect curry for convalescents). Those were just not enough reason for me to eat this green vegetable. I mean when made into a curry. Of course i would devour the chutney made with ridge gourd. That's because i am very partial to chutneys, but you already know that. So what convinced me to eat ridge gourd in curry form finally. Well, i have not one but two reasons. 
One - i got married and my man, among the very  few vegetables he considers worth eating, agrees to eat this. Two - mom revealed that a dash of garam masala goes perfectly with ridge gourd cooked with Bengal gram. Garam masala people! That versatile spice powder (i love my spices) and no elaborate preparation of gravy either. I was in. And if you have a pressure cooker, the longest time you will spend hands-on to make this curry will be for peeling the gourd. You will have a delicious smelling kitchen and anybody else who is not a fan of this vegetable will want to peer into the dish and try a small helping at least. I now make this in my home about once a week, or at least once a fortnight. Try it, if you haven't already.
  • 1/2 kilo Ridge gourd/ Beerakaya
  • 2 tablespoons Bengal gram/ Chana dal/ Senaga pappu
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves (optional)
  • chili powder to taste or 2 green chilies, sliced
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala (optional but highly recommended)
Before and After pressure cooking
Wash the Bengal gram and soak it in water for 10-30 minutes. During this time, peel the ridge gourd and chop into 1 cm cubes. Place the soaked Bengal gram and two tablespoons of water in a dish, place the ridge gourd pieces on top and pressure cook for 3 whistles. When the pressure is off, heat oil  in a pan on medium flame. Splutter the mustard and cumin seeds. Add the green chilies and curry leaves, if using. Saute for a minute on low flame and with closed lid. Now add the cooked Bengal gram and ridge gourd. Season with salt, chili powder and garam masala. If there is too much liquid in the pan, cook on medium flame for a few minutes without a lid until you get the consistency you want. You can smash some of the cooked Bengal gram in the pan to get a thicker gravy.
La's notes: You can also add onion to this dish if you prefer extra gravy. Finely chopped onions should be added along with green chilies and an additional tablespoon of oil. Wait till the onion is translucent or slightly brown before adding the remaining ingredients.


  1. Love this kura, my kind of food,i can have with rice and pickle..yummm!

  2. Luv this Ridgegourd dal curry.Yumm and delicious luking click Dear.Luv it.

  3. Interesting curry looks great

  4. lovely delicious combo with rice..Yummmmmy!!!!!

  5. I have never had this vegetable in my entire life. I suspect it to taste a wee bit like Lauki ( gourd). In north India, they make a similar version with lauki and channa. Not a fan but for nutrition blah blah.it is okay once in a while.

    This curry in a dried form is a great diet food.

    you chop your vegetable so uniformly. Commendable.

  6. Thank you all for your encouraging words.
    Anita, I too think these gourds all taste alike and bland, thats why i need innovation and spices to make me eat it.

  7. I love this dal all teh time your version looks great

  8. This is one of my big favourites but these days the beerakayas are tooooooooo big, and I'm lazy to peel them. So I make it only rarely.

  9. Love this kura. We also almost prepare in the same way.

    My Kitchen Experiments

  10. I make kootu with channa daal too. I rarely get ridge gourd though. Yummm.

    Event: Halloween Fiesta

  11. Love veggies and dal anytime of the day. And especially when they look and taste so good!

  12. Thank you all.. didn't open my comp the last couple of days. Very happy to see all the comments :)
    Sra - true the gourds are so long these days, and sometimes they are bitter too. I always have to taste a small piece before cooking or the whole curry will get bitter after all the efforts.

  13. Mmmm....healthy recipe with great flavors..;)
    Tasty Appetite

  14. Splash of natural yoghurt and I'm in heaven!

  15. I never buy this veggie. The time i feel like eating the chutney I am forced to eat it myself. Will try your way.

    Hosting an event which I am calling Back to our Roots
    Also hosting for Nov’11 Veggie Food for the Month_Raw Banana.

  16. post something soon.... *sounds of crickets chirping*


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