Since ridge gourd (Luffa acutangula) is my husband’s favorite vegetable, I cook these gourds as frequent as possible. I usually make ridge gourd gothsu as a side for idli & dosa and kootu for rice as shown below.
Ayurvedic properties of ridge gourd: There are 2 varieties of ridge gourd: sweet variety used for culinary purpose & bitter variety for medicinal purposes. Since bitter variety is too bitter to consume, it can not be used for cooking but it has been used to make ayurvedic potions to treat spleenomegaly, hepatomegaly, hemorrhoids, etc. I have listed below the ayurvedic properties of ridge gourd being used as a vegetable:
- Taste (Rasa): Sweet (Mathura)
- Qualities (Guna): Light for digestion (Laghu)
- Potency (Veerya): Coolant (Hima)
- Action (Karma): Balances all three dosha (Kapha, pitta & vata)
- Indicated in: Anorexia (Arochaka), cough & cold (Kasa), diabetes, urinary tract disorders (Meha), fever (Jwara), asthma and chronic respiratory disorders (Shwasa), skin disease (Kushta)
Now the recipe for peerkangai kootu :
Time taken: 30 min
Yields : 1 cup (200 ml)
- Ridge gourd : 3 Nos.
- Green gram lentil (cooked & mashed) – ¼ cup
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Salt – ½ tsp
- Coconut – 3 pieces (each 1″)
- Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
- Green chillies – 2 Nos.
- Garlic – 1 clove
- Shallots – 5 Nos.
For tempering :
- Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
- Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
- Onion – 1 No. (or shallots – 10 Nos.)
- Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Cooking Method :
- Peel the skin using knife/ peeler and chop them into big chunks.
- Steam those chunks for 5 min.
- Prepare a coconut paste as shown below and keep aside.
- Heat a pan with oil in medium flame.
- Add mustard seeds and when they begin to crackle add chopped onion.
- Add curry leaves and saute until onion become translucent.
- Add turmeric powder and fry for 5 sec.
- Add steamed gourd, cooked lentil & coconut paste and combine together.
- Add salt and mix well.
- Serve with hot rice and sambar, kara kulambu, or rasam.
Please Note :
- After cooking the gourd its volume is reduced to 1/3; so you may have to use at least one gourd per person.
- It is better to check the taste of a gourd before cooking, if it tastes bitter discard the whole gourd.