Today's recipe is a traditional Bengali dish, very healthy and filling side dish made using ash gourd and lentils, tempered with cumin seeds and bay leaves. Being grown on creepers, ash gourd has the highest life force which helps in making our meditation practice more effective. It is generally cultivated for its nourishing and medicinal values. In India it is well known as 'Petha', contains lots of minerals and vitamins. It is broadly used for making sweets. Ash gourd juice is highly recommended for maintaining general good health and in curing many deseases. It is very comfortable and delicious side dish with rice, pickle and papad.
INGREDIENTS:750 gm Ash Gourd (petha)
1/2 Cup Yellow Moong Dal
2 Bay Leaves
2 Red Chillies
2-3 Green Chillies (chopped)
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
A pinch of Asafoetida
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder (optional)
3-4 tbsp Clarified Butter (ghee)
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste
Chopped Coriander Leaves for garnishing (optional)
First cut ash gourd from the middle and cut into wedges. Peel the ash gourd by using a knief or peeler and deseed. Cut into 1&1/2" thin slices as shown in the picture below. Set it aside.
Dry roast moong dal for 3-4 minutes, till it turns into golden brown and a nice aroma comes out. Keep it aside.
Heat clarified butter in a kadai. Add asafoetida, cumin seeds, bay leaves and green chillies. Saute till cumin seeds lightly changed its colour.
Add Chopped ash gourd in it. Stir for 2 minutes followed by adding roasted yellow moong dal in it. Mix nicely. Add turmeric powder and salt in it. Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes. Ash gourd releases lots of water and it is getting cooked in its own juice. Keep stirring occassionally.
Add broken red chillies in it. Fold well. Cook uncovered till all water evaporates and oil comes out from the sides. Mix sugar in it. Keep frying for 3-4 more minutes. Switch off the heat now.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice. Its delicious!