December 14, 2011

Peerkangai Thogayal

Thogayal (Chutney) is a kind of rice mix that goes with plain rice & sutta appalam on the side (fire roasted papadum). Peerkangai (ridge gourd) thogayal is one such delicious thogayal that I eagerly look for in my mom's cooking.

What to look when buying
Though ridge-gourd is very hard & prickly on the outside, it is very soft, has white pulp and spongy on the inside. Look for ridge-gourd with stems that are fresh and deep green in color. They should be firm & heavy for their size. Do not buy them if they have dark spots / blemishes on them. Avoid ridge-gourd that are in lighter shades of green or wilting. Usually, I break them into two halves to know if they are tender in the inside too.

IngredientsMedium sized Peerkangai (Ridge gourd) - 3 nos
Tamarind - a very small lemon size (soaked in hot water)
Whole urid dal - 2 tbsp
Hing - small piece (about an inch)
Red chillies - 2 nos
Black pepper corns - 1 tsp
Cilantro - a handful
Oil & Salt - to taste

How to cut peerkangai
For thogayal, we need only the spongy portion of the vegetable. Use a peeler and peel off the skin. Then, cut the spongy portion of the vegetable into small cubes of equal size.

Fry hing, urid dal, red chillies, pepper corns one after the another in a little oil until you get a nice aroma & urid dal is golden brown (Take care not to burn them). Keep it aside and let it cool. 

Now, saute the cut peerkangai in a pan (without oil) until the vegetable becomes soft & tender. Peerkangai is a very watery vegetable and it retains water when cooking. So, don't be surprised to see some water after sauteing. Keep it aside and let it cool. 

Now, grind everything together along with cilantro & salt. Serve along with hot rice & ghee. I like to have it with curd rice.

You can also skip cilantro and also make thogayal without it.

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