Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Beerakaya Gasala Kura

Ridge Gourd in Poppy Seed Sauce:

Poppy Seeds (Gasa Gasalu, Khus Khus)

The tiny, cream colored poppy seeds are a must have thing in many Indian kitchens. In Andhra, in addition to sesame and peanuts, poppy seeds are also used extensively both in sweets and in savory preparations. When added to sweets like payasam, bhakshalu and to laddus etc, they offer a nice, nutty texture and crunchy contrast.

When it comes to savory – poppy seeds are lightly toasted first and ground to prepare creamy sauces for curries. Nut like, with a subtle, soothing flavor and rich taste, it’s impossible not to like poppy seed sauce. Plus it’s low calorie when compared to nut based sauces.

Both vegetables and meat are cooked in spice flavored poppy seed sauce. The most popular being, ridge gourd (beerakaya), green brinjal (Poluru Vankaya) , potato and chicken. My mother prepares a terrific ridge gourd curry in poppy seed sauce called “Beerakaya Gasala Kura”. Here is my mother’s recipe.

………..Poppy Seed Powder Shaped to Round Ball ………………….Ridge Gourd……………..


2 fresh, firm looking ridge gourds
Peel the outer ridges and the skin lightly. Wash, and remove both ends. Cut ridge gourd to small, bite sized pieces. – about 5 cups.

For Poppy Seed Paste:
¼ cup poppy seeds – in a hot skillet, toast them lightly. Remove to a spice grinder. Grind to smooth without adding water. (It takes at least 5 minutes to grind poppy seeds to fine consistency like shown in the above photo.)

4 green chillies, one garlic clove and one teaspoon of grated ginger – Grind them to smooth in a mortar or in a blender.
¼ tsp each – salt and turmeric
¼ tsp each – cumin, mustard seeds and few curry leaves.

In a wide skillet, heat a teaspoon of peanut oil. Add and toast curry leaves, cumin and mustard seeds. When they start to splutter, add ridge gourd pieces. Stir in the poppy seed powder along with green chilli-garlic-ginger paste, salt and turmeric. Add about quarter cup of water. Mix thoroughly. Cover the pot and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring in-between. Ridge gourd cooks fast and when the sauce starts to thicken, turns off the heat. Serve warm with sorghum roti or with chapati.

Apply same method, but replace ridge gourd with banana pepper/ brinjal /potato/chicken to cook terrific tasting poppy seed based curries.

Beerakaya Gasala Kura with Ragi Roti ~ Our Meal Today and My Entry to RCI~Andhra Event

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Beera kaaya(Ridge Gourd),Poppy Seeds (Tuesday May 22, 2007 at 7:38 pm- permalink)
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