Thursday, April 30, 2009

White Pumpkin/Ash Gourd Sambaar

White Pumpkin/Kumbala kai/ Doodi or Kumbada/Ash Gourd is one of the best healthy vegetable. It is available in most of the time around the year.
I have prepared saambar/curry with Ash gourd, toor dal and spicy saambar powder which is prepared at home.

Lets see some benefits of using Ash Gourd in our diet.
Ash gourd is said to be packed with nutrition. It is loaded with Vitamin B 1. Vitamin B 3 and Vitamin C. It is full of minerals like calcium, potassium and it helps to maintain a healthy blood pressure level. Ash gourd juice is used like a common tonic because of its healthy qualities. Ash gourd works as cooling agent to our body. They have good amount of fiber and good for digestive system. They are the best remedy for constipation. Ash gourd juice is used for home cure for peptic ulcer. They can be used for dealing diabetes. In Ayurveda the fruit is used for astama , coughs, urine retention and internal hemorrhage. The rind is good for diabetes and seeds are good to remove tapeworms. Ash gourd juice is used for mercury poisoning and snake bites in Ayurveda. White Pumpkin is low in calories and it is good for treating obesity.
White Pumpkin Saambar has no onion or no garlic. It is also one of the traditional dish, we say it as bolu huli since no coconut is used and goes well with idli, dosa, chapatis, plain rice and rotis.
Lets see the recipe now :

Ingredients :

To Cook :
Toor dal : 1/2 Cup
Ash gourd pieces : 1 Big bowl. (1/4 Kg)
To Add :
Sambar Powder/ Rasam Powder : 3 to 4 Teaspoons
Tamarind : Small marble size
Salt : As required
Turmeric powder : a pinch
Coriander leaves : 2 Tablespoons
Seasoning : 
Mustard seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon
Urid dal : 1/2 Teaspoon
Ingh : a pinch
Curry leaves :  6 to 8 leaves
Oil : 1 Teaspoon

Method :

1. Wash pumpkin and remove the outer skin and cut it into pieces according to your wish .
2. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes with little water till they turn soft. Keep it aside.

3. Wash and pressure cook toor dal with little water and leave it for cooling.
4. Soak tamarind in hot water and squeeze out the pulp and keep the pulp aside.
5. Keep a big bowl on the fire. Heat. Add oil and mustard seeds.
6. Add urid dal. Let the mustard seeds splutter. Add curry leaves and ingh.
7. Add cooked white pumpkin pieces, cooked dal and salt. Mix it well.

8. Add turmeric powder and tamarind pulp. Mix it well and let it cook for 2 minutes.
9. Now add sambar powder/rasam powder and mix it nicely and slowly.

10. Let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Shift the ready curry to a serving bowl.
11. Add cut coriander leaves and mix it well.

12. Add a spoon of ghee before serving and serve with the main dish you have prepared.

Note :

Use of dal is optional. Toor dal/ Moong dal. I have used toor dal. Adding sambar/rasam powder is also optional. You can use any brand of powder. Make sure it taste good. (do not add the old powder). Adding a green chilly gives good aroma to the curry. Adding extra ghee to the curry is optional. (According to me adding ghee to the curry adds to the taste). Use of jaggery is also optional. ( I did not use ).
Time : 30 Minutes 
Serves : 3 to 4 

Fresh Sambar powder Recipe : 

Dry roast  1/4 teaspoon of methi seeds, 1 teaspoon of urid/channa dal, 2 tablespoons of daniya/coriander seeds, 5 to 6 red chilly (byadagi) and 1/2 teaspoon of jeera one by one. Add a handful of curry leaves and a pinch of ingh while dry roasting. Dry grind them once the ingredients cools. You will get fresh, aromatic sambar powder.

White Pumpkin Majjige Huli

 White Pumpkin  ( Ash gourd) Majjige Huli is a gravy dish.  Butter milk is called as Majjige in Kannada Language. (Karnataka). White Pumpkin is used for different types of curries and sweets. This Majjige huli can be eaten with plain rice, with chapatis, rotis, poori, idli and with Upma (Uppittu) also.
 Lets see some benefits of having " White Pumpkin " in our diet. 
 Ash Gourd or White Pumpkin has known for its medicine values and healing power. It is good for people who are suffering from diabetic.It is low in calories. It acts as a good detoxifying agent. Ash gourd is fiber content and good for constipation and helps in digestion. It is also good for acidity. It is good for common cold. It contain plenty of moisture. It contain protein, carbohydrates and fibre. Ash gourd contain minerals like calcium, phosphorous, iron and Vitamin C.

As I said earlier Majjige Huli means the curry made of curd or butter milk.

Ingredients :

White Pumpkin :1/4 kilo
Coconut 1/2 cup
Green chillies : 2 to 3
Curry leaves : 5 to 6
Mustard Seeds : 1/4 tea spoon
Urd Daal 1/4 tea spoon
Jeera  (cumin seeds) : 1/2 Tea spoon
Ingh : a pinch
Oil : 1 Tea spoon
Salt : to taste
Water : 1/2 cup
Curd ( Yogurt ) : 1 Cup
Turmeric powder : a pinch

Method :

1. Wash the vegetable and cut in to pieces. ( according to your wish )
2. Cook with required water till they are soft.
3. Grind coconut with chilly and keep it aside.
4. Keep a pan on the fire and heat. Add oil, mustard seeds, urid dal and little jeera urd daal.
5. Let mustard seeds splutter. Add curry leaves and ingh. Add cooked pumpkin pieces.
6. Add salt and little water. Add turmeric powder. Mix it well.
7. Let it boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Add ground coconut - chilly mixture. Mix it nicely.
8. Cook for 2 minutes. Put off the gas.
9. Shift the curry to 2 bowls.
10. Add a cup of curd to one bowl. (The gravy should be warm not very hot). Mix it well.
11. Add coriander leaves to both the bowls. Serve with the main dish.

Note :

Do not over cook the vegetable. You can also use little jeera, ginger and green chilly to grind. I ground green chilly along with coconut. You can also add a spoon of fresh coconut oil to the curry. Do not add curd when the curry is too hot. It may curdle and will not look nice and taste good. It turns savoury soon too. Adding 1/2 spoon of moong dal or channa  dal helps to thicken the curry. You can cut green chilly and cook it along with white pumpkin pieces. ( I ground green chilly and coconut together).
Time : 20 minutes.
Servings : 3.

White Pumpkin (Ash Gourd) Avial.

Avial/Jeera Curry is one of the yummy curry with different vegetables. Here I have used only Ash gourd/White Pumpkin and prepared one of the traditional dish of Udupi.

 There is a story in one of the English text of primary kids which Avial arrived in the Indian Kitchen.
The story goes like this. 
Once upon a time a king held a party at night. He asked his chefs to prepare delicious dishes. He went to the kitchen to check the dishes they have prepared. He asked them to prepare one more curry. The chef took out all the remained vegetables, vegetable outer layers, put them together and cooked with coconut and other spices. King tasted and said it was delicious. He asked the name of this particular dish. And a chef uttered a name as Avial.
Avial is normally prepared using many vegetables like mangalore cucumber, white/red pumpkin, padavalakai( Snake gourd), beans, potatoes, carrots and you can add your choice of vegetables.
I have used white pumpkin/Ash gourd as it mention and little jeera and red chilly. You can even prepare this curry with green chilly instead of red chilly.
Let us see some of the benefits of using Byadagi Red chilly.
Red chilly is known as bit safe for our digestion system and it does not  cause gastric. Not harmful for our intestine. It does not cause acidity.
Byadagi chilly is good for our heart health, acidity and other related healthy properties.
They are good solution for weight loss, it is full of antioxidants. Byadagi chilly contain Vitamin C and carotene in a huge amount. Byadagi chilly contain Vitamins A and B and minerals.
White pupmkin/Ash gourd Avial is one of the healthy and tasty curry which goes well with Plain rice, chapati, poori, Akki rotti and other main dishes.
Let us see the recipe now :

Ingredients :

To Cook :
White pumpkin : 1/2 kilo
To Grind : Spices:
Coconut : 3 to 4 Table spoons
Cummin Seeds ( Jeera ) 1/2 Tea spoon
Tamrind Pulp : 1 Table spoon
Ingh (Asafotodia ) a pinch
For  seasoning : 
Muster seeds: 1/4 Teaspoon
Urd Daal 1/4 Teaspoon
Curry leaves : 5 to 6 leaves
Salt : to taste
Oil : 1 Teaspoon ( Coconut Oil)
Turmeric powder : a pinch
Water : 1 cup

Method :

1. Wash pumpkin and remove the skin cut into small pieces.
2. Cook till soft with required water.

3. Grate coconut and grind it with red chilly and tamarind with required water.
4. Remove from the mixi jar and keep it aside.

5. Put cooked Ash gourd to a big bowl and keep it on the fire.
6. Add little turmeric powder and required salt. Let it boil for 2 minutes.
7. Add ground coconut, jeera, red chilly mixture. Mix it well.
8. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.

9. Shift Avial to serving bowl.
10. Keep a small pan on the fire. Add coconut oil and heat. Add mustard seeds and urid dal.
11. Let mustard seeds splutter. Add curry leaves and ingh. Add this seasoning to ready avial.

12. Serve with the main dish you have prepared..

Note : 

Use of coconut oil adds to the taste. ( Optional). Adding turmeric powder is optional. Use of green chilly instead of red chilly is optional. You can use vegetables of your choice. Do not over cook Ash gourd. Use only required water since Ash gourd has lots of water in it. The curry should be thick to enjoy its taste. Use of curd instead of tamarind is optional.
Serves : 2 to 3
Time : 30 Minutes.

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My name is Nalini Somayaji. Teaching is my profession. Cooking is my passion. Reading, travelling, visiting new places, having fun with kids are some of the hobbies I can say. My recipes are Healthy, quick, easy and simple. Grown up being a traditional family member I love and respect Indian culture and traditions. Love classical dance and music.
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