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)

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23 comments for Ridge Gourd in Tomato Sauce (Beerakaya Pulusu) »

  1. Hi Indira,
    I am a regular visitor of your blog and I love ur way of presenting the recipes. B.t.w me from andhra too.

    I tried some of your recipes..turn out so good..
    Yeah,coming to to beerakaya pulusu,my mom used to do it in the same way as you mentioned but I never tried here. Have to try..

    any way ,keep up the nice work.indira..

    any way..

    Comment by hema — January 11, 2006 @ 3:01 pm

  2. Hi Indira – This is another one of those vegetables I have not cooked myself. The only recollection of this vegetable is a chutney made with sauteed ridge gourd. I gotta get this next time at the grocery store! Would be a welcome change from the regular veggie fare.

    Once again great picture. btw have you ever had your camera lens fog up from the steam generated by cooking? 🙂

    Comment by GaramMasala — January 11, 2006 @ 3:05 pm

  3. In Assam, this gourd is called “jeeka”. We call this tomato gourd curry “jeeka tengaa” – tengaa means sour. It’s a staple fare, but we prepare it without any spices except maybe mustard seeds and lots of garlic. I don’t even use onion. It’s such a simple, idiot proof dish to prepare – the gourd cooks very quickly too. I especially like to cook it in mustard oil, and eat it with fresh cooked rice and a green chili on the side, maybe squeeze a slice of lemon to add a contrasting sourness … yummmmmy !!! Though because it’s so simple, and not everyone likes bland curries, I am not sure if I would serve it to guests.

    Comment by ritu — January 11, 2006 @ 4:20 pm

  4. ooops … I forgot to add in my previous comment, just before serving, I love to sprinkle lots of finely chopped coriander … ummmm … the aroma is lovely !

    Comment by ritu — January 11, 2006 @ 4:33 pm

  5. wow looks yummy. I have never bought bottle gourd and ridge gourd after coming to india . Shall buy these soon and try .Both the bottle and ridge gourd recipe look tasty.

    Comment by Priya,ar — January 11, 2006 @ 5:23 pm

  6. Thanks Hema, liked your comment.:)

    Hi GM…I suggest the ‘dry curry recipe’, that I linked in my post, because you are saying this is your first time currying this veggie.:)

    Always. If you go back in my blog, you can find plenty of foggy stovetop photos. Now, I learned a method.
    I remove the lid, reduce the heat to lowest setting, wait for the vapors to reduce, takes few minutes(exhaust fan also helps). And when I am ready with camera,focussed, everything ready, just before clicking, I increase the stoveheat with other hand. This is how I took this photo. Makes sense? 🙂

    Hello Ritu… Believe it or not, that’s how Vijay eats this curry, green chilli on one side and little bit of lime juice sprinkled. I’m not a big fan but he loves this curry, I don’t know why? 🙂
    Next time, I’ll try your version with mustard oil and garlic. Thanks for sharing your recipe with me.

    Hi Priya… you can also buy them in Chinese, Vietnamese shops. They are much cheaper and fresh, there. Try them, I’m sure you are going to like them in curries.

    Comment by Indira — January 11, 2006 @ 5:23 pm

  7. In Srilanka, we cook this veggie with payattham paruppu(Mung Dhal). Even though, almost all the vegetables from Srilanka/India were available in Hawaii, didnt come across this favourite vegetable. Was quite overwhelmed when i saw this in Montreal. This vegetable is imported to Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto mainly from Dominican Republic and neighbouring countries. Farms in Dominican Republic are growing vegetables like this including curry leaves for the Canadian market. quite impressive huh! thought, you might be interested in knowing this, since your recent visit to Toronto.

    I am going to try your dry version one of these days.


    Comment by Mathy Kandasamy — January 11, 2006 @ 5:32 pm

  8. Hello me again,
    I usually make chutney in preference to other recipes of ridgegourd.I find this in only indian shop.Sometimes gives bitter taste.
    And you might be knowing that in dried form, brush is made for bathing purposes.It’s very useful.I thought that zucchini is compared to
    Giya or bottle gourd.In fact they belong to same family.Yours still look tasty.

    Comment by R.L. — January 11, 2006 @ 5:44 pm

  9. Hey Indira,

    a very hapy new yr to you .I have linked you on my food blog ..

    great recipe by the way.Will try it

    Comment by Meenal Mehta — January 11, 2006 @ 5:56 pm

  10. Thats a new type of curry to make Ridged gourd! and the second person (the first one is me) I’ve read calling this squash as ridged gourd. They call it silk squash here, but in India, if I tell either of these names, usually I get blank faces!

    I will try it the next time I buy this.

    Comment by Kay — January 12, 2006 @ 4:37 pm

  11. Hey Indira ,

    turai is good fun, unfotunately its not available here too much:(

    Comment by Meenal Mehta — January 13, 2006 @ 3:05 am

  12. hi,

    i m a regular visitor of your site. pictures are excellent and presented professionally.

    Adding split mung dhal to this recipe will add more taste.

    Comment by Shajith — January 17, 2006 @ 12:45 am

  13. Hello Everyone,
    I have never used Ridged Groud. How do you clean the skin? Do you peel the ridges and when its level, you scrape it?

    Indira replies…
    Hello Nidhi, just scrape or peel like you do with cucumber or bottle gourd etc.,. Scrape the ridges completely and litte bit of the green skin but not all. See other posts in ridge gourd category, you can find more images of ridge gourd to give you an idea. Hope this helps.< ?I>

    Comment by Nidhi — January 18, 2006 @ 7:18 pm

  14. hi indira,
    i made this today. This is the first time iam making ridge gourd . I had the same question what nidhi had but then from the picture i got the idea.The curry was good, totally different from the usual curries i make. And i also made bittergourd chips, and that was a flop show.Everything was ok until i broiled it for a little longer time and it was all burned 🙁 shall try it next time. thanx again for the recipes indira.

    Comment by priya,ar — January 19, 2006 @ 3:13 pm

  15. I’m glad that you tried and liked this veggie, Priya. You must try my favorites, I blogged- ridge gourd with milk and the other with potato and carrot. I’m sure you are going to like them too.

    Sorry about bitter gourd chips. Once you start the broil setting, you have to watch them like hawk, they turn black very fast.

    Comment by Indira — January 19, 2006 @ 3:42 pm

  16. Hi Indira, i prepared this curry at home yesterday and me and my hubby really liked it. Infact i had never had this vegetable becoz of its looks.
    but after making your recipe, it is surely going to be a regular buy from now on.Thank you.

    Comment by preethi — April 19, 2006 @ 4:28 pm

  17. Hi Indira,

    I must say your recipes are absolutely fail-proof… everything I’ve tried so far has turned out great at the 1st attempt… I just ensured that I followed all the steps & ingredient measurements accurately…. just brilliant.. 🙂 i made this ridge-gourd curry for dinner today… yummy… hubby & me loved it… was planning to make avocado chapati (your recipe again) to go with it.. but just didn’t have the time.. plan on doing that tomorrow.. hope u had a nice weekend…

    Indira replies:
    Thanks Meera and wish you the same for a nice, joyful weekend.

    Comment by Meera — May 16, 2006 @ 1:00 am

  18. hiIndira ,ur site is very colour full and contain simple recipies. just tell me can i avoid garlic in the recipies as we dont use much of garlic.

    Indira replies:
    I guess you can do that, give it a try to findout how you like the recipes without garlic. But adjust other seasonings to your taste.
    Let me know if you try, thanks Parvathi.

    Comment by parvathi Malladi — June 7, 2006 @ 1:46 am

  19. I was surfing the net because I was looking for a picture of ridge vegetable. And I stumble to this website. Now I have an idea how to cook this vegetable. Thanks!

    Comment by Kim — July 29, 2006 @ 9:55 am

  20. I love ridge gourd. I have always made it, but without coconut with some julliane of ginger to give it a north indian touch. But I am going to try with coconut now.
    Could u pls forward me the dry version of your recipe for Ridge gourd, also if you have a chutney recipe of Ridge gourd.

    Comment by Neeru — September 9, 2007 @ 11:56 am

  21. Hi Indira,

    I am a regular visitor of your blogs. First of all good job. I wud say I learnt most of our Andhra recipes from ur site 🙂 I cudn’t learn much from the elders in my family as I was working in US before and came back in a week’s time to US after marriage 🙂 So hearty thanks to the great work you have been contributing to all of us.
    I have a request. I would like to learn the receipe for Baingan Bartha. Could you help me out 🙂


    Comment by Priya Gade — October 6, 2008 @ 8:44 pm

  22. Hi Indira,

    I am a regular visitor of your blogs. First of all good job. I wud say I learnt most of our Andhra recipes from ur site 🙂 I cudn’t learn much from the elders in my family as I was working in US before and came back in a week’s time to US after marriage 🙂 So hearty thanks to the great work you have been contributing to all of us.
    I have a request. I would like to learn the receipe for Baingan Bartha. Could you help me out 🙂


    Comment by Priya Gade — October 6, 2008 @ 8:44 pm

  23. wow…beerakaya to inni varieties…. will definetly try your recipes

    Comment by Madhavi — April 7, 2011 @ 10:02 am

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