BEERAKAYA/ TURAI/ RIDGE GOURD CURRY

This curry is definitely healthy and nutritious, going by the benefits of “Ridge Gourd”. I usually make two versions of it with a slight variation in the ingredients, both the versions taste yum and the ingredients added make the difference in terms of giving you varied flavors. Well. Version-1, I learnt from my Mom and the Version-2 from my Mom-in-law…I am sharing both the recipes here…Give them a try 🙂

**Make sure to check the bitterness of ridge gourd while cutting them as one bitter ridge gourd used will make the curry bitter. Discard the bitter one’s.

Click on the Version you would like to try……

Version 1 (with ginger-garlic paste, peanut powder, sesame powder)
  • Onions finely chopped – 1 cup
  • Ridge Gourd chopped into small pieces – 6 cups (Peel off the skin and cut the edges of the Ridge gourd)
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1/2 tbsp
  • Jeera – 1 tsp
  • Rai – 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Green Chillie slit – 2
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli powder – 2 tsp (Adjust according to taste)
  • Dhaniya powder – 2 tsp
  • Sesame powder – 2 tsp
  • Peanut powder – 2 tsp
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Salt – 1/2 tbsp (Adjust according to taste)
  • Chopped Coriander – 1 tbsp

Things to prepare:

Dry roast the sesame seeds, peanuts in a pan separately. Allow them to cool down completely, grind to coarse powder individually. Store them well and can be used in other dishes as well.

Let’s Get Started:

  • Heat oil in a Kadhai, add urad dal, rai, jeera and let them splutter.
  • Now add green chillies, let them fry a bit and add onions.
  • Add turmeric powder, salt to the onions, mix well.
  • Once the onions turn pinkish, add ginger garlic paste, give a good mix and allow it to fry till the raw smell of ginger garlic paste fades away.
  • Now let’s add chopped ridge gourd, mix well and place a lid on the kadhai. Let it simmer on medium to low flame, till the ridge gourd is cooked well. Water that comes from the ridge gourd itself is good enough for it to cook..
  • Remove the lid, let it cook for few minutes. Keep mixing at regular intervals till the water is completely absorbed into the curry.
  • Add red chilli powder, dhaniya powder, sesame powder, peanut powder and mix to blend all the flavors of dry spices into the curry.
  • Let it simmer for few minutes, add chopped coriander and mix gently. Once you see the oil oozing out, turn off the flame (Oil you see is from the peanut and sesame powder and adds a good flavor to the dish). We are all set.

Version 2 (with sesame oil, garlic, milk (optional))
  • Onions finely chopped – 1 cup
  • Ridge Gourd chopped into small pieces – 6 cups (Peel off the skin and cut the edges of the Ridge gourd)
  • Garlic pods – 6 to 10 (According to your liking for garlic :p)
  • Jeera – 1 tsp
  • Rai – 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Chana dal – 1/2 tbsp
  • Green Chillies slit – 2
  • Red Chillies – 3
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Dhaniya powder – 2 tsp
  • Sesame Oil – 2 tbsp (Alternatively you can use the cooking oil available in your kitchen)
  • Salt – 1/2 tbsp (Adjust according to taste)
  • Curry leaves – 8 to 10
  • Chopped Coriander – 1 tbsp
  • Milk – 1/2 cup (optional – It adds sweetness to the curry)

Let’s Get Started:

  • Heat oil in a Kadhai, add chana dal, urad dal, rai, jeera and let them splutter.
  • Now add red chillies, curry leaves, let them fry a bit.
  • Add garlic pods and saute till they turn light brown.
  • Add slit green chillies, onions.
  • Add turmeric powder, salt to the onions, mix well.
  • Once the onions turn translucent (pinkish), add chopped ridge gourd, mix well and place a lid on the kadhai. Let it simmer on medium to low flame, till the ridge gourd is cooked well. Water that comes from the ridge gourd itself is good enough for it to cook..
  • Remove the lid, let it cook for few minutes. Keep mixing at regular intervals till the water is completely absorbed into the curry.
  • If you would like to add milk, this is the right time. make sure the flame is set to medium, slowly add the milk and keep mixing the curry gently until the milk is also absorbed into the curry
  • Now add dhaniya powder and mix well.
  • Let it simmer for few minutes, add chopped coriander and mix gently. Turn off the flame and we are all set.

My take on the recipe “Version 2” where milk can be added :

When milk is randomly added to a curry, there is a chance of milk getting curdled. This happened with me most of the times and I could not figure iout why it happened. My mother-in-law said, it happens if the ridge gourd is not tender/ fresh , Internet said there is some reaction based on temperature you cook, acidic nature of vegetable, blah blah..As we add fresh milk, it did not bother me much. However, I never liked the texture which curdled milk gave to the curry…

One day it happened :p, I was checking a recipe from one of my favourite chef Tarla Dalal ji and she suggested a tip to avoid curdling of milk when added to a curry. **The tip she shared was to reduce the flame to medium, add milk slowly and keep stirring gently until the milk blends into the curry. Bravo! the tip worked and never failed :). Thank’s to her 🙂

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