As a ten-year-old, I would think that my mother is deliberating poisoning me every time she made Tori, Ghiya, or Tinde (Ridge Gourd, Bottle Gourd, or Round Gourd). I mean, who makes these vegetables and then bullies their kids to eat them. These vegetables gave a lot of kids of my age nightmares and me because no one liked them. But, sadly, in those days, one didn’t have a lot of say in what the mothership cooked. You ate it whether you liked it or not or went to bed hungry. Under her stern glare and the prospect of a thrashing or no meal looming on the horizon, you just ate it and prayed that you kept it down.
And now as a grown-up person, these vegetables make me happy, and the fact that I can do so much with them is exciting. These vegetables belonging to the Gourd family are full of flavor, vitamins, and perfect for the hot Indian summers cucumber, squash, melon, and pumpkin are also a part of the same species. In Sydney, I make a Bottle Gourd Halwa as a dessert for my Modern Desi Dinners and also make a chutney with it. We don’t get Ridge or Round gourd there, so the sight of Ridge gourd today as I managed to step out for essentials shopping had me excited.
Since we were making one meal at a time, and we decided to add Moong dal for a more wholesome one-pot meal. The ridge gourd is cooks very quickly and melts like butter and tastes heavenly. Serve it with hot Tandoori Rotis and a drizzle of ghee, and you will find that you are all grown up and have fallen in love with this not so loved vegetable.
Recipe – Cooking time 45 minutes
3 – 4 medium-sized Ridge Gourd
2 medium Onions finely chopped
3 Tomatoes finely chopped
1 cup yellow Moong Dal
Salt to taste
1 ½ tsp Turmeric powder
1 ½ tsp Red chili powder (you can adjust this as per your taste)
1 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Cumin seeds
Freshly chopped coriander for garnishing
1 tbsp Ghee or Vegetable oil to cook
Soak the Moong dal in water for 15 minutes
Peel the Ridge gourd and chop them into medium-sized chunks. Put it in a bowl of water with salt as it starts to oxidize very quickly.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add Vegetable oil or Ghee, Cumin seeds, and onion and cook till slightly brown but not burnt.
Add all the dry masalas including salt and mix well till the raw smell of the spices disappear
Now add the Tomatoes and cook till mushy
Drain all water from the Moong Dal and Ridge Gourd and add them both to the pan, mixing well on a low flame, so they get coated in the masala.
Add ½ cup water to the pressure cooker and cook only for one whistle. Turn off and wait for the pressure to release. If using an Instant Pot pressure cook for 3 minutes only.
Serve hot with Rotis
Ridge gourd had a high water content, so ½ cup water is enough to cook it. You are looking for a thick consistency.
The dal & gourd cook very fast so 1 whistle should be enough
You can also cook this dish in an open pan if you don’t want to use a pressure cooker
Taste the Ridegrourd when you chop it to ensure it isn’t bitter.