The curry is not as yellow as it looks in the photograph.
I think, I went overboard while trying to adjust the contrast. :)
I learnt this recipe from my mother. Also, I have only seen her making this preparation and nobody else. (Although I am sure that somebody in some corner of this world must be making it too. :))
Anyway, when she gave me the recipe, she just mentioned in passing that it is based on a Kerala recipe, although she did not mention which one. (As I have mentioned before, she has studied Home Science, in which the students get to learn a lot of cuisines. Hence the connection.)
Before I started blogging, my knowledge of the cuisine of Kerala was limited to 'Avial'. And I knew that this dish could not have been based on that. So I just left it at that.
Then, a few days back, when Indira blogged about 'Kaalan', a bottle gourd and yogurt preparation from Kerala, I was sure it was the mother of this preparation by my mother. :)
As you can see in the next pic, I made this curry with the beautifully round bottle gourd, which was in the guessing game yesterday. Here's how I prepared it.
Recipe for Bottle Gourd Curry with Moong Dal & Yogurt
approx. 500 g. bottle gourd/Doodhi/Lauki (3 packed cups, when diced)
1 tbsp Moong Dal, washed and soaked in about ¼ cup water for ½ hour
4-5 tbsp yogurt, beaten smooth
3-4 green chillis
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
a pinch asafoetida powder
chopped coriander leaves for garnishing
Clockwise from top: Bottle gourd, green chillis, Moong Dal
1. Wash and peel the bottle gourd. (You need not throw away the peels. This chutney can be made using them.)
2. Dice the peeled bottle gourd. Cut the green chillis in ½ inch long pieces.
3. Heat the oil in a pan, and add mustard seeds once it is hot. Once they splutter, add the asafoetida powder.
4. Add the Moong Dal along with the water and quickly cover the pan with a lid. The water tends to jump high at this point, and may burn your fingers.
5. After about two minutes, open the lid, and add turmeric powder and bottle gourd dices to the pan. Stir and add ½ cup of water.
6. Cover and cook the bottle gourd on medium-high heat for about ten minutes.
7. Once the bottle gourd is cooked, add salt, yogurt and green chilli pieces.
8. Cook uncovered for 2-3 minutes, while stirring often, so that the yogurt does not separate too much.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve warm with phulkas/chapatis or rice & dal.