I read quite a few blogs by other south indian ladies where turai or ridge gourd or more commonly known as peerkankai in tamil.. was very common in their style of cuisines, but somehow it was never so common with my mom , all i remember is she used to make some podi (powder) out of it, will have to find out how it is made. Well my freshest memories of turai are the days in Delhi during my Grads when the dear dabba walas had only three favourite veggies, lauki, turai and tinda and how to forger potatoes. Well since those days i used to hate this veggie, just couldnt gulp it down thanks to the way they used to make it...
Finally I wanted to strike out Turai from the "I hate this Veggie" list when my dear aunt gave me this tip to try out this style of this veggie and since then i have been a fan of this. Thanks to these events which made me try my one time favourite once again. This goes as an entry to Ramona from The Houndstooth Gourmet, who is hosting The Weekend Herb Blogging#126, an event started by Kalyn from Kalyn's Kitchen.
So here we start, this is a differet version of turai from the regular fried or gravy with some dal, try this out, its different and royal.. its made with a poppy seed(khas khas) and chashew nut(kaju) gravy. Here we go.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes(excluding time to soak)
1. 1 large Ridge Gourd (turai)
2. 2 medium onions chopped
3. 2 tbsp poppy seeds
4. 10-12 cachew nuts
5. 5-6 cloves of garlic.
6. 1 tsp cumin seeds(jeera)
7. Salt to taste
8. 1 tsp red chilly pwd.
9. 1tbsp coriander pwd (dhania pwd)
1. Soak the poppy seeds and cashew nuts separately for atleast 45 mins. You get to know if they are ready when cashews become soft and poppy seeds gain some size.
2. Once the two ingredients are ready use very little water may b drops, as they have already roaked in a lot, and grind it into a consistent paste, very much similar to a toothpaste, you make grind the garlic cloves along with this, or have minced garlics while sauting, i like grinding it with this.
3. Keep the paste aside. Peel the ridge gourd genourously as this takes off the bitter parts of it and wash it well. Cut it into small 1/2 inch cubes. Now boil them for about 5-7 minutes(high flame), make sure that you dont overboil it as peerkankai gets cooked very quick. Use very little water just the quatity enough for covering the turais.
4. Now heat a pan and into it add some cooking oil, add cumin seeds to it, when they start popping add the chopped onions and saute them till they get a nice golden brown colour. Dont chop the onions very finely, let it be nail sized long.
5. Once the onions are done add the paste prepared earlier to it, and stir it continuously, let it not stick to the bottom.
6. Add the salt, red chilly powder, coriander powder and keep frying till its gets a nice shining brown colour.
7. Now add the ridge gourds along with the remaining water. Remember we did not take much water may be half a cup is left now. Keep frying, may be for a minute or two on high flame, and then close the lid, and let it simmer for two minutes or till the oil starts leaving the corners.
8. Here the turais are ready, remember this didnt involve any turmeric, its a beautiful thick white gravy which is both rich and royal in taste and colour. IT tastes best with chapatis and some spicy daal, i used kate hue urad ki daal.