Ridge Gourd Kootu

Ridge gourd (Luffa acutangula/ peerkangai) is a native vegetable that grows plentifully around us in South India. Both the mildly-sweet flesh and the fibrous peel of ridge gourds are edible, so we prepare ridge gourd kichadi as a side for idli & dosa and ridge gourd kootu for rice using the flesh, and also prepare a chutney (dip) using the peel.

img_9956 Ridge Gourd Kootu
Peerkangai kichadi served with idli

Ayurvedic properties of ridge gourds:

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.

Here I have listed down the ayurvedic properties of ridge gourd 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)
  • Benefits: Anorexia (Arochaka), cough & cold (Kasa), diabetes, urinary tract disorders (Meha), fever (Jwara), asthma and chronic respiratory disorders (Shwasa), skin disease (Kushta)
download Ridge Gourd Kootu
Peerkangai kodi

Since ridge gourd (peerkangai) is my husband’s favorite vegetable, I cook these gourds as frequent as possible especially during summer. It goes well with sambar, rasam or any other kuzhambu. Now the recipe for ridge gourd kootu (peerkangai kootu) as below:

img_5745 Ridge Gourd Kootu
Lunch with sambar, peerkangai kootu & keerai thandu poriyal

Ridge Gourd Kootu Recipe:

img_5738 Ridge Gourd Kootu

Time taken: 30 min
Yields : 1 cup (200 ml)

Ingredients:

  1. Ridge gourd : 3 Nos.
  2. Green gram lentil (cooked & mashed) – ¼ cup
  3. Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  4. Salt – ½ tsp

For spice mix:

  1. Coconut – 3 pieces (each 1″)
  2. Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
  3. Green chillies – 2 Nos.
  4. Garlic – 1 clove
  5. Shallots – 5 Nos.

For tempering:

  1. Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
  2. Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
  3. Onion – 1 No. (or shallots – 10 Nos.)
  4. Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Cooking Method:

  • Peel the skin using knife/ peeler and chop them into big chunks.
  • Steam those chunks for 5 min.
rg-steaming1 Ridge Gourd Kootu
How to prepare peerkangai
  • Prepare a coconut paste as shown below and keep aside.
grindg Ridge Gourd Kootu
  • Heat a pan with oil in medium flame.
  • Add mustard seeds and when they begin to crackle add chopped onion & curry leaves.
  • Sauté until onion become translucent.
  • Add turmeric powder and fry for 5 sec.
  • Then add steamed gourd, cooked lentil & coconut paste and combine together.
  • Finally, add salt and mix well.
  • Now ridge gourd kootu is ready to serve.

peerk Ridge Gourd Kootu

Recipe notes:

  • After cooking the gourd its volume is reduced to 1/3; so we need to use at least one gourd for each person.
  • We need to check the taste of the gourd before cooking, if it tastes bitter we need to discard the whole gourd.
img_9934 Ridge Gourd Kootu
Bitter flesh is inedible

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  1. Love the way you present it all!!! Great recipes tempered just right with a dash of reflections and delightful pictures taken with love and dedication …. All from a passion so deeply rooted in our culture and tradition. Wonderful dear Megala ?

    1. Yes, many of us are not aware of the health benefits of locally grown vegetables. I’m glad that you find it useful. Thank you !

  2. Tasty and healthy dish! Very well explained as well. SO interesting to read about the ayurvedic properties of ridge gourd. It seems like a very powerful vegetable.

  3. Nutritional information is very helpful Meghala. I never tried this veg with dhaal… gonna add this to next week menu ?. Thanks for posting!!

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