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Beerakaya/Ridge gourd Pachadi

Summer and ridge gourds goes hand in hand in the place I grew up. During summer we used to have ridge gourd for dinner every other day prepared different ways.

Here I am presenting simple chutney made of ridge gourd aka beerakaya.

Ridge gourd is really good for health. It has a very high water content, making it a very low calorie vegetable. It has lot other health benefits which makes me include this vegetable a regular staple in my kitchen.

Here is a simple recipe for ridge gourd chutney and wait for lot of ridge gourd recipes to follow as it is summer again :)

Enjoy!!!!

Ingredients
2 medium sized ridge gourds(around 2 cups of chopped pieces)
1 big tomato
3 cloves of garlic
4 to 5 green chillies (per spice level)
small piece of tamarind or 1/2 tbsp of tamarind paste
1 tsp urad dal(minapa pappu)
2 tsp chana dal(pachi senaga pappu)
1 tsp cumin seeds(Jeera)
1 tsp oil
Salt per taste
For Tempering
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 dried red chilli
1/2 tsp urad dal(minapa pappu)
1/2 tsp chana dal(pachi senaga pappu)
1/2 tsp of turmeric
pinch of Asafoetida/hing (Inguva)(Optional)
5 or 6 curry leaves
Method
Wash the ridge gourd and scrape off the hard ridges and leave the skin on. Chop roughly into medium sized pieces and set aside. Chop the tomato and set aside. In a pan heat 1/2 tsp of oil. Add the dals and green chillies and fry till dals are light golden brown in color. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
In the same pan add the tomatoes (and if using tamarind add the piece of tamarind as well. If using paste just leave it alone for now) and cook for 2 minutes till soft. Transfer the cooked tomato pieces and tamarind to a plate and set aside. Now add 1/2 tsp oil to the pan and add the ridge gourd pieces. Close the lid and cook the ridge gourd pieces till they are soft all the way through. Stir occasionally. Usually the water from the ridge gourd will be enough to cook the pieces. Turn off the heat and let all the ingredients cool.
Add all the ingredients except for the tempering to a blender jar and blend to a coarse paste. Transfer the chutney to a bowl and set aside.
Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. Add the red chillies and fry till they turn light brown. Add in the mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal and let them splutter. Add in the hing and turmeric. Add the curry leaves and let them splutter. Turn off the heat. Add the oil mixture to the chutney. Give it a good stir. 
Serve with steamed rice and little bit of ghee.

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