- Ivy Gourds – 500gms
- Onions – 4(240gms)
- Cumin Seeds – 2tsps
- Red Chilies – 5
- Turmeric Powder – 1/4tsp
- Salt – To Taste (1 1/2tsps)
- Oil – 4Tbsps
To Cook Ivy Gourds:
- Salt – 1/2tsp
- Oil – 1 1/2tsps
Take Ivy gourds into a bowl and add water. Wash well the Ivy gourds rubbing between fingers. Take one Ivy gourd and cut the end portions. Vertically cut the Ivy gourd till three-fourths its length. Take care not to cut till the end. Turn the Ivy gourd upside-down and cut vertically three fourths its length—take care to cut in the opposite direction to the previous cut. Observe that Ivy gourd is cut into two parts without getting separated. In this similar way cut the end portions of all Ivy gourds and make slits as mentioned above.
Peel onions and chop them into small pieces.
Remove stalks of red chilies and break them into small pieces.
Take a microwave safe bowl and add the slit Ivy gourds. Sprinkle 1/2tsp salt and pour 1 1/2tsps oil on the Ivy gourds. Toss and coat the Ivy gourds with oil and salt. place this bowl in microwave oven and cover it partially. Cook the Ivy gourds on high power for 5 minutes. Allow 5 minutes standing time before removing the bowl from oven.
Meanwhile let us prepare Ullikaram (onion spice mixture).
Heat a pan and add cumin seeds and red chili pieces. Fry stirring on low flame for 1 1/2Minutes or till cumin splutters. Take the roasted cumin and red chili pieces into a dry mixie jar and add turmeric powder and salt. Grind the spices coarsely and transfer it into a plate. In the same mixie jar add onion pieces and grind coarsely. Add the roasted cumin-chili powder and mix well. Ullikaram(onion spice mixture) is ready.
After removing the bowl from microwave oven observe that Ivy gourds are softened. Also observe that water oozed out of the vegetable—do not throw away this water.
To make this curry use a flat pan. Here I have used a cast iron flat pan to make this curry. Heat the pan and add oil to it. When oil is hot add softened Ivy gourds along with the water oozed. Mix well to coat oil on all the Ivy gourds. Spread the Ivy gourds evenly in the pan—try to arrange them in a way so that each Ivy gourd touches the pan. Cover the pan and cook on medium flame for 6 minutes stirring after every 2 minutes. After 6 minutes remove lid and stir once. By this time Ivy gourds are cooked and slightly fried. Add the Ullikaram (onion spice mixture) and mix well. Take care that each Ivy gourd is coated with onion spice mixture. Cook uncovered stirring in between till moisture evaporates from the curry. Fry the Ivy gourds stirring in between till onion mixture turns golden brown in color and the curry looks dried and fried. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with hot rice.
Onions naturally have a sweet flavor. The sweet flavor of onions mixed with roasted cumin gives a special flavor to the dish.
Points to Remember:
Select tender Ivy gourds to make this curry for the given time specifications. More mature Ivy gourds would take longer time to get cooked. The cooking timings given in this recipe works when using tender Ivy gourds. If using mature gourds use your discretion while cooking.
This curry may also be made by using thinly sliced Ivy gourds—but the whole gourds give a nice look to the dish.
Roasting the cumin seeds releases the aroma and flavor.
When cooked adding salt and oil in microwave oven the Ivy gourds get softened but not get cooked fully. Salt helps in releasing water from the vegetable and oil helps in not letting the vegetable become soft.
One can even stuff the onion spice mixture in each Ivy gourd before adding to the pan. As the onion mixture is wet it will come out easily from the gourds anyhow, so I have not stuffed the gourds with onion spice mixture but have directly added in the pan.
Use a flat pan to cook & fry the Ivy gourds. A flat pan helps in frying each gourd separately. Using cast iron pan will ensure that the gourds are evenly fried without getting burnt at the bottom of the pan. Cast iron pan absorbs oil and works as a non stick pan.
Stirring the curry is very important to evenly fry the gourds without burning them at the bottom of the pan.
This recipe requires more oil (4Tbsps + 1 1/2tsps) to get the taste of the dish. Using less oil may alter the taste accordingly.
The combination of the sweet onion flavor and the roasted cumin flavor with the spice of red chilies ensures one to have more servings.
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