Summer vegetables. Where I live, they’re usually Cucurbits. In every shape and size. From the large gourds and pumpkins to medium sized ridge gourds and smooth gourds to the tiny tindas and ivy gourds. Life can get very boring at times. We also get many varieties of beans. But you see, that’s what I like about winter – the colour. In summer, almost everything we’re able to cook is green. So, in order to make life a little interesting, I try different things with the same vegetables. This time I was mighty pleased with the result. Whipped up on a Saturday night when I really wasn’t in the mood for any heavy weight cooking. The bag of quartered ivy gourds in the fridge came in very handy.
¼ kilo Ivy Gourd, quartered lengthwise
1 cup Basmati Rice
2 tbsp Coriander Seeds
¼ cup Coconut, scraped
2-3” stick of Cinnamon
2-3 Red Chillies
2 tbsp Tamarind Paste
Salt to taste
1 tsp Oil
1 tbsp Oil
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
¼ tsp Asafoetida
8-10 Curry Leaves
Coriander Leaves for the garnish
Heat the oil and roast the coriander seeds for 2-3 minutes. Add the chillies, cloves, cinnamon and coconut and roast for a little longer. Grind this mixture to a paste adding the tamarind paste and salt.
In a pressure pan, heat the oil for the tempering, add the mustard seeds and the asafoetida. When the mustard seeds splutter, add the curry leaves and the ivy gourd pieces. Fry for a couple of minutes. Add the ground masala and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the rice along with the salt and turmeric powder and mix thoroughly. Fry until the masala coates the rice grains and is a little dry. Add 1 3/4 cups of hot water. Cover and cook for 1-2 whistles.
When done, separate the rice grains with a fork. Serve hot with a raita/pachadi on the side.