If you haven’t seen or heard of a snake gourd before, you can check it out here. This dal can be served with rice and is a typical iyengar recipe. As the curry blends with the steaming hot rice, it releases all the aromas of the pepper, cumin and hing. The heat of the pepper is balanced out by the soothing effect of the moong dal. Ah traditional cooking was so much of a science!
Ingredients: Serves 4
Moong dal- 1 cup cooked
Urad dal – 1 tbsp
Jeera – 1 tbsp
Fresh ground pepper – 1/2 teaspoon
Shredded coconut – 1/2 cup
Hing- 1 pinch
Pressure cook the moong dal first. Cut the snake gourd lengthwise first into two halves and remove the seeds and the mushy part inside. Then cut the gourd into smaller pieces. Sprinkle some salt on the vegetable and steam it in a steaming basket.
(Some people pressure cook the gourd along with the moong dal, but I don’t since it gets overcooked and loses its nutritional value in the process. Steaming it gives a crunchy taste while preserving the nutrients.)
Dry Roast the urad dal, pepper, jeera, curry leaves,hing and coconut in a shallow pan without oil. Grind this roasted mixture into a smooth paste by adding water.
Mix the cooked moong dal, steamed gourd and the ground paste and allow to simmer for 5-10 mins. Add salt as needed. Garnish with some more cumin seeds spluttered in a little oil/ ghee if necessary, for added taste. Serve with rice or roti.