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

Ridge Gourd in Tomato Sauce (Beerakaya Pulusu)

Ridge Gourd, Beerakaya, Turai

Ridge gourd is often compared to zucchini, the squash. But the comparison is like saying potato and sweet potato are the same. Except for where they come from, there is no comparison at all taste wise, between those two.

Ridge gourd has a firmer, less watery texture than zucchini, and the flavor is much more intense and sweet, where as Zucchini seems to be full of water and nothing else when cooked and too bland to taste. Given a choice, ridge gourd clearly comes out as the winner, taste wise. Though I dislike character less personalities in life, I do like the bland zucchini. It took some time but it won me over. In case of ridge gourd, I may have made complaining noises about other veggies but never about ridge gourd or ‘beerakaya’ we call it in Telugu. Be as curry or chutney or in dal, I relish ridge gourd in all forms. I even tried growing it here, when we were in Houston albeit unsuccessfully, not good seeds.

Here is a recipe of ridge gourd in tomato sauce, Vijay’s favorite and My Mother-in-law’s recipe:

Ridge Gourd, Tomato, Onion, Dhania Powder, Green Chillies and Turmeric


2 young looking, fresh ridge gourds
Scrape the skin and ridges, wash, then cut into bite size pieces
4 ripe juicy tomatoes – finely chopped
1 onion – finely chopped
4 green chillies
1 tablespoon of coconut powder
½ tsp of dhania(coriander) powder & turmeric
¼ tsp of salt – or to your taste
Popu ingredients – 1tsp each of mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves & minced garlic

You know the drill. Heat peanut oil, do the popu, sauté onions, tomatoes and green chillies. Add chopped ridge gourd and all the seasoning. Stir to mix and cook, covered. Tomato juice and water that comes from cooked ridge gourd pieces is going to be enough to make the curry a stew/kurma type. So don’t add any extra water, unless you want a watery, thin version. Cook till ridge gourd pieces are tender and the sauce thickens. Serve it warm.

Though I have to say my favorite is always the dry curry recipe, that I posted a while back, I also make this sauced version sometimes, because Vijay likes it. Either as a sauce for pasta/with chapati/ or with rice, this curry tastes good. Sometimes, we do the dunking thing with toasted garlic bread. Good eat, any way you prefer.

Cooking Ridge gourd (Beerakaya Curry
Cooking ridge gourd (beerakaya, turai) in tomato sauce.

Recipe source: Attamma(MIL)

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Beera kaaya(Ridge Gourd),Indian Vegetables,Tomato (Wednesday January 11, 2006 at 1:59 pm- permalink)
Comments (23)

The New Home of Mahanandi: