Sponge gourd kurma

Sponge gourd / nethi beera Kaya in Telugu is a bit neglected vegetable for using in cuisines and not frequently available every where. But they can easily be grown in kitchen gardens. This gourd has got lot of medicinal benefits (like minerals and vitamins etc).This vegetable is also called gilki/ turai/ loopah. It is very soft as the name suggests and different recipes can be prepared with this like dal, chutney etc. This recipe kurma is prepared very quickly and is very delicious, can be served with chapathi/ pulka/ poori / masala rice preparations.Tender gourds can be used in salads.
Ingredients:
Tender sponge gourd – 300 Gms,
Onion – medium 2, cut into small pieces,
Green chilli – 2, slit vertically into two,
Red chilli powder – 1 Tsp,
Haldi – 1/4 Tsp,
Salt,
Tomato – 1 medium ,chopped fine,
Oil – 3 Tablesp,
Dhania powder – 1 Tablesp,
Ginger garlic paste – 3/4 Tsp,
Cloves – 2,Cinnamon – 2 small bits, Bay leaf – 1,
Poppy seeds – 1 Tsp,
Coconut gratings – 1 Tablesp,( prepare a fine paste of poppy seeds and coconut ),
Chopped coriander leaves – 1 Tablesp,
Milk cream / malai – 1 Tablesp,
Method:
1).lightly scrape the washed gourds and cut into 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes.Keep aside.
2).Heat oil in a kadai, add cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, fry for a second and add onion along with green chilli. Fry till onion becomes soft ,add ginger garlic paste .Fry till the raw smell disappears.
3).Add tomato ,cook for few seconds and add dhania powder, haldi, chilli powder.Cook for half a minute and add gourd pieces. Add salt and cook the curry with lid ( pour ittle water on th lid , as this prevents sticking of curry to the bottom )on slow flame for 3 minutes, checking once or twice.If necessary add 1 or 2 Tablesp of water.
4).When the pieces turn tender ,add the poppy coconut paste along with 4 to 5 Tablesp of water for gravy. Stir well and cook the curry for 1 or 2 minutes under slow flame..Add a Tablesp of cream or malai to give extra taste.sprinkle coriander leaves.
Tip:
1).You can prepare this kurma in cooker after adding gourd pieces allowing cooker for one whistle. After opening the cooker ( last step)you can add coconut poppy seeds paste along with water for gravy.
2).Best side dish for diabetics.

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