In our attempt to give traditional Indian vegetables a glamorous makeover, we’ve asked chefs from a host of luxe hotel brands like Hilton, Swissotel and Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts to craft out delectable delights from humble veggies like snake gourd, teasel gourd and yam, amongst others. And what an enticing spread it has been so far! From snake gourd burgers to yam pancakes, chefs have lent modern, contemporary twists to these veggies, creating stunning dishes.
Taking ahead this mini-series on Sprucing Up Veggies is Sous Chef Hanumanthu from Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centre, who picks up the dense ash gourd, a pumpkin sized-vegetable with a pale green rind which aptly complements its white flesh. Commonly known as white pumpkin or winter melon, ash gourd is a fibre, water and nutrient rich vegetable known for producing a cooling impact on the body. In Southern India, it is cooked into a mildly spiced yoghurt based gravy, or grated, sugared and thickened into a sweet delicacy.
Chef Hanumanthu gives a new spin to the ash gourd by making Ash Gourd Errusery.
Here’s the recipe from chef’s kitchen…
300 gms ash gourd, peeled and chopped
½ cup fresh coconut, grated – to be ground
¼ cup fresh coconut – to be roasted
1 green chilli
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp split white urad dal
A few curry leaves
3 dry red chillies
¾ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coconut oil
Salt, to taste
Grind coconut, cumin seeds and green chilli with a little water if needed. In a thick bottomed pan, add chopped ash gourd along with a little water, salt and turmeric. Cook till it is tender, yet firm and the water has dried up. Add the coconut and spice paste and let the mixture cook for another 4-5 minutes. In another small pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds followed by urad dal. Once the urad dal has turned golden brown, add curry leaves and the dry red chillies. Add coconut (kept aside for roasting) and stir on a medium to low flame till it adopts a slight brown hue. Once done, add this to the errusery, give a good stir and serve hot.
Try out this easy-to-make, nutritious and tasty dish when you’re undecided on what to cook.