Ridge gourd (Luffa acutangula) is a native vegetable that grows plentifully in every village in South India. Mildly-sweet flesh and the fibrous peel of ridge gourds are edible, so we generally prepare gothsu as a side for idli & dosa and kootu for rice using the flesh, and chutney (dip) using the peel.
Since ridge gourd (peerkangai) is my husband’s favorite vegetable, I cook these gourds as frequent as possible especially during summer. You can refer the Ayurvedic properties of ridge gourd as below:
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. I have listed below 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)
Ridge Gourd Kootu Recipe:
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.
- Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
- Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
- Onion – 1 No. (or shallots – 10 Nos.)
- Curry leaves – 1 sprig
- 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.
- After cooking the gourd its volume is reduced to 1/3; so it may be required to use at least one gourd for each person.
- It is necessary to check the taste of a gourd before cooking, if it tastes bitter we need to discard the whole gourd.