Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Teasel Gourd in Spicy Coconut Curry (Phaagla Saasam)

Teasel Gourd is a most sought after vegetable during season amongst Konkanis. I discovered this recipe by chance during a recent conversation with my mother. I liked to dig into her wish-list of Konkani lunch and dinner preparations. This is one of her favorite recipes which I attempted trying in my kitchen - Teasel Gourd Saasam.

My mom makes a spicy coconut curry based dish with fried Teasel Gourd bits and pieces pre-sauted in oil. The gravy comprises of red chillies, coconut, tamarind and mustard seeds. We call this Saasam in Konkani. Saasam in Konkani stands for Mustard seeds. My guess here is may be this dish is meant to be prepared with mustard seeds. Mom usually makes 2 kinds of Saasam - Bittergourd and Teasel Gourd. This curry requires absolutely no cooking and everything is ready by grinding, frying and mixing together. Best with warm rice. She makes this everytime I am at home especially for Sunday lunches over elaborate conversation with friends and family. I took a liking for this dish owing to the no-cooking-required technique which I found very amusing.

Preparation + Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Teasel Gourd or Phaagil (finely chopped) - 3 cups
Red Chillies - 4-8
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Grated Coconut - 1 cup
Salt - As per taste
Turmeric powder - Just a pinch
Tamarind - 1" piece or 2 teaspoon paste
Ginger (optional) - 1 " piece
Oil - For frying

Apply salt to the chopped Teasel Gourd bits and set aside for 15 minutes. I added the seeds as well for the extra crunch, choose to retain or discard them as per choice. Squeeze out the juice and saute the bits in one teaspoon oil. Stir fry till they reduce in size to tiny bits which are crispy and fried.

Roast red chillies on low flame in 1/2 teaspoon oil. Allow to cool, grind with grated coconut and tamarind. For the last spin in the blender, add mustard seeds and grind to a smooth paste. It took quite some time in my blender, but the results were good and satisfactory. Do not add too much water, the curry should be thick in nature. Saute minced ginger in oil and add to this.

Add the fried Teasel Gourd bits to this and serve with warm rice. Since, this dish is concentrated in nature, smaller quantity of this curry goes well with greater quantity of rice.

1 comment:

  1. I could smell the aroma of the curry, nice creamy one with lots of coconut..



I appreciate any comment and would love to hear from you. Trust you enjoy my blog.