This pachadi is pure vegetarian food sans the onion-garlic twosome. Saatvik khana – fresh, healthy and light. Ridge gourd is a vegetable that is vata pacifying according to ayurveda and one of my favorites. I am always looking for recipes of sweet-flavored ridge-gourd, known as beerakai in Telugu, peerkangai in Tamil and torai/dodka in Hindi/Marathi.
I first tasted this pachadi at my friend’s home and enjoyed it very much and its been a regular at our home ever since. It was definitely a new take on a familiar and abundantly available vegetable. The addition of sesame seeds, coriander leaves and lemon juice makes it slightly special with a unique flavor and adds a nutritional punch. The advantage of using lentils and sesame seeds in the preparation of this pacchadi is, it gives a thick texture (as ridge gourd tends to be watery) and also a richer and fuller taste. The inclusion of fresh coriander leaves not only gave a herby flavor but also worked wonders in transforming the pale shade of ridge gourd into a vibrant green shade. Serve with white rice and you have a vegan meal. Left over pachadi works great as a spread over toasted brown bread.
Beerakaya Kothimira Pachadi Recipe
Prep & Cooking: 20 mts
Serves 4-5 persons
2 medium sized ridge gourds, washed and chopped into pieces with skin
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
3 green chillis, chop into big pieces (adjust)
1 tbsp bengal gram/senaga pappu/chana dal
1 tsp split gram dal/minappa pappu
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tbsp sesame seeds/nuvullu/til
1 1/2 tbsps lemon juice
2-3 tsps oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
pinch cumin seeds (optional)
1-2 dry red chillis
big pinch asafoetida/inguva/hing (optional)
few fresh curry leaves
1/2 tsp oil
1 Heat a tsp of oil in a cooking vessel, add bengal gram, split gram dal, cumin seeds and stir fry for a few seconds till the dals turn red. Remove and keep aside.
2In the same vessel, add sesame seeds and fry on medium heat for 2-3 mts. Remove and keep aside.
3In the same vessel, add the green chillis and coriander leaves and fry on medium heat for 3 mts, stirring constantly. Remove from pan and cool.
4 In the same pan, add another tsp of oil, add the chopped ridge gourd pieces and stir fry for 4-5 mts till the rawness of the vegetable goes. Remove and cool.
5 Once cool, grind the dals first till coarsely ground, add the rest of the sauteed ingredients along with lemon juice and salt and grind to a coarse paste.
6 Heat a tsp of oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and let them pop, add curry leaves and dry red chillis followed by asafoetida and stir fry for a few seconds.
7 Pour the seasoning over the ground pachadi and serve with hot rice.