This not one of the favourites among vegetables but in cultures that know its value, it is commonly used in daily cuisine. It is believed to help relieve respiratory problems, acidity, liver problems, help in the control of diabetes besides eliminating toxins. It is a popular vegetable in India and is readily available.
1. Snake Gourd Bhaji
Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes
Wash and scrape the snake gourd’s peel lightly. Cut into half and remove seeds inside. Then cut into strips first and then into small pieces. Chop onion into pieces as also the tomato and green chilies. In a pan add a little oil and fry the onions. As it turns translucent, put in the snake gourd, green chilies and tomato pieces. Stir fry for about 3-5 minutes. The juices from the vegetables will come out. Next, put in the powders of turmeric, chili, coriander, jeera and pepper. Stir well and add salt to taste. Add 11/2 cups of water to the pan and close with a lid. Allow the vegetable to cook well [approximately 8-10 minutes]. When the snake gourd is well cooked remove the lid and wait the water has dried up. Serve the sabji with dal and rice or with rotis.
2. Snake Gourd stuffed with Mince Meat
This is a spicy curry. Vegetarians can opt to do the stuffing with potatoes/ crumbled paneer or minced soya nuggets.
Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes
For the stuffing;
For the gravy:
Fry all the ingredients for the gravy in a little oil for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a mixer grinder and grind to a fine paste.
In another pan fry garlic-ginger paste in some oil and add all the other ingredients into it. Fry the mince meat for about two minutes and then cook it well by adding a little water. Place lid and allow the mince to cook [approximately 10-12 minutes]. Remove lid and allow the gravy to dry up. Check for salt and chili. Set this aside.
Take the gourd cylinder pieces and stuff fully each piece with the meat mixture. Seal both ends with flour paste and set on a plate. When all pieces have been filled, deep fry and quickly remove onto a plate.
Transfer the ground curry paste into a pan and add water to it to get a gravy consistency. Cook for 3 minutes and check flavours. Lower the flame and gently put in the stuffed gourd pieces one by one. Boil in gravy for about 2 minutes and turn off flame. Transfer into a serving dish and garnish with coriander leaves. It is best served with steaming hot rice.
3. Snake Gourd Chutney
Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 5 minutes
Fry urad dal and chilies in a little oil till brown. To this add the gourd pieces and continue frying. Allow the gourd to shrink and begin to change colour. Turn off the flame. Allow to cool. Transfer fried items, coconut and tamarind and salt into a mixer and grind to a paste. Transfer this into a serving dish. Crackle mustard seeds, curry leaves, 1 red chilli and hing in a little oil. Pour this over the chutney. Serve with rice.