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

Silk Squash Curry Burgers (Neti Beerakaya Kura)

We went to Strip district, last Saturday. This downtown wholesale produce market is where people go to hangout on a weekend morning in Pittsburgh. Full of ethnic groceries, wholesale organic produce, fresh meat and fish shops, roadside stalls, bakeries, cheese and coffee shops, eateries, difficult to find free parking space and big crowds; The atmosphere is usually like a carnival, more so on last Saturday, because of Steelers Super Bowl. We saw Polamalu wigs, face paintings, jam packed stalls carrying Steelers memorabilia. There were impromptu parades and street dancers, dancing to Steelers songs. The mood was boisterous and we had a fun time watching the spectacle.

We also did some grocery shopping; we bought Indian vegetables at ‘Lotus’, the big Chinese grocery shop in Strip distrcit. Because of Chinese New Year, the shop was buzzing with people. Crowds everywhere. One vegetable I bought after a long time was silk squash (or ‘neti beerakaya’ in Telugu), the smooth and silky cousin of rugged ridge gourd. Similar in taste to ridge gourd and its distant cousin zucchini, silk squash is great in curry avatar. This is very easy to prepare and is an Andhra variety.

Silk Squash (Neti Beerakaya in Telugu)

(For two, for 4 mini burgers)

1 medium sized, fresh and firm silk squash (neti beerakaya)
(Lightly scrape the outside skin, wash and cut into bite sized pieces)
1 onion – finely chopped
2 green chillies – finely chopped
½ tsp each of coconut powder and turmeric
¼ tsp salt

Popu or tadka ingredients – 1 tsp each cumin, mustard seeds, minced garlic and curry leaves

I also added half cup of bean sprouts for little bit of crunch and to boost the nutritional value.

Silk Squash, Red Onion, Green Chilli and Bean Sprouts


In a wide pan, heat one teaspoon of peanut oil, toast the popu ingredients, add and saute onion and green chillies first, then add the silk squash. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes until the squash pieces soften. Remove the lid, stir in turmeric, salt and coconut powder, cook for few more minutes. Just before switching off the heat, I added bean sprouts.
This Andhra style curry tastes great with rice and dal or with chapatis.

This weekend, in addition to vegetables, I also bought some fresh dinner rolls (buns) for pav bhaji. With some of those rolls, I prepared mini burgers today, for lunch. I sliced the roll (bun) into half, removed little bit of white bread from insides (to make space for curry filling), and pan grilled them for few minutes, on each side. Then filled them with silk squash curry. For Vijay, I also made an egg-white omelet for his burgers. The whole preparation took me about 20 minutes and the curry burgers tasted awesome.

Silk Squash Curry Burgers (One with Omelte and the second one no omelet)

Silk Squash Curry Burgers ~ our lunch today and my entry to the Stephanie’s ARF Event.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Beerakaya-Neti(Silk Squash) (Tuesday February 7, 2006 at 2:55 pm- permalink)
Comments (24)

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24 comments for Silk Squash Curry Burgers (Neti Beerakaya Kura) »

  1. I often see this at the grocery store not knowing what to make. Same family as ridge gourd hunh ?? That’s good to know. Will try your recipe. Also I’ll try to make “Thogaiyal” with this. Thank you so much

    Comment by Krithika Ramachandran — February 7, 2006 @ 3:33 pm

  2. You are welcome, Krithika.
    Smooth and tasty than ridge gourd, easily likable vegetable this silk squash is.

    Comment by Indira — February 7, 2006 @ 3:51 pm

  3. Hi… I know about ‘nethi beerakaya’, but how you made it into burgers is awesome.

    Indira replies,
    I’m glad you like it, Madhavi.

    Comment by Madhavi — February 7, 2006 @ 3:55 pm

  4. wow, the burgers look yummy! nice and spicy,but sadly i dont get these silk squash’s here πŸ™ and are those bean sprouts from american stores, is the ones they sell in small packets.

    Indira replies,
    Yep, they are the same bean sprouts also avialable in Chinese stores. I bought them from ‘Lotus’ along with silk squash, Priya. I halved them into small pieces for this curry.

    Comment by priya,ar — February 7, 2006 @ 4:28 pm

  5. What a great looking little burger!
    Congrats on winning BTW πŸ™‚

    Indira replies,
    Thanks Clare!

    Comment by clare eats — February 7, 2006 @ 7:48 pm

  6. Hi Indira,

    Chanced upon your site a few days ago and I am hooked. Your recipies are interesting & photos are SUPERB. Just mouth watering.

    Since even I have some pancake mix & banana languishing in the pantry…I plan to make your banana-nut cake. Thanks !


    Indira replies,
    Thanks Sonali!
    If you try it out the banana nut cake – let me know how you like it.

    Comment by Sonali — February 8, 2006 @ 1:49 am

  7. Indira – I have never dabbled with this squash before… I am going to start with ridge gourd first! I love your idea of scooping out some of the bread for stuffing room. I must remember that!

    Indira replies…
    Give it a try, GM. Cooks easily and tastes great with rotis/tortillas etc., best for a work day.

    Comment by garammasala — February 8, 2006 @ 8:05 am

  8. Great burger! πŸ™‚ You come with the neatest and most creative ideas, Indira!

    Btw, I was thinking about your pics getting stolen. You might want to include a watermarked or mahanandi written over the picture in one corner and compacted into one layer but in a lowlit way such that it doesnt distract the main focus of the picture. Well,That way, I dont think they’ll dare to steal, if you had your stamp on it. and even if they do, the credit is yours. The readers will know where the pic is from. Just thinking loud.

    Indira replies..
    That’s very nice of you, Kay. Thanks!
    and also thanks for your suggestion. It crossed my mind to do that but the image looks bad and I don’t want that. There is always some neat tricks one can do to remove the logo etc., if they want to steal the photos. There is no way, one can prevent the theft. Fellow bloggers that’s ok, but newspapers – that’s toomuch. That’s why I’ve started adding the tag ‘image copyrighted’ to every photo from last week. I’m hoping that it deters people to lift the images from my blog.

    Comment by Kay — February 8, 2006 @ 8:38 am

  9. Wow, it looks good….”neti beerakaya ” sounds musical,guess the dish tastes great!

    Indira replies…
    Kind of sweet, tastes really good, Lera.!

    Comment by Lera — February 8, 2006 @ 9:07 am

  10. I’ve been a silent admirer for a while now. No more. I made your brinjal-ginger subji day before yesterday and it went down a storm. My other halfs comment being it was the best form of brinjal he had ever eaten!

    next stop walnut banana cake!!!!

    Indira replies…
    Hello 31, brinjal-ginger curry did make you comeout, πŸ™‚ aha.. it has that effect on people, I know. I am also a big fan of that curry, can’t get enough of it. I wish I’d take credit for the recipe, but it’s really a very common, regular kind of recipe from our area (Nandyala). Anyway, I’m glad that you guys enjoyed this recipe and thanks for the feedback. I really appreciate it.

    Comment by 30in2005 — February 8, 2006 @ 9:45 am

  11. Indira, You continue to amaze me with not only your meticulously written out recipes but also with the AMAZING photographs – This content is of a professional quality; you should think about putting a book together.

    Indira replies..
    Thanks Anu!

    Comment by Anu — February 8, 2006 @ 1:10 pm

  12. First–congratulations on winning the photograph contest! (I always loved that photo–the colors are amazing, as is the light)

    And secondly–the burger idea is a great one. We have farmers here growing silk gourd in the summer, so I will have to try them then–it is exciting to have recipes for stuff I see, but don’t know how to cook to try.

    Once more–a big congratulations!

    Indira replies,
    Thanks Barbara.
    I really got irritated with that host, he and his snide remarks about the quality of photos. I thought until now, food events are fun. I’ll be careful from now onwards and participate in the events only selectively. They do reflect the host personality, don’t they?
    Silk squash taste so sweet particularly when sauteed with bean sprouts. Thai often use it in stir-fry noodles. Give it a try,Barbara. I’m sure you are going to like this veggie.

    Comment by Barbara — February 8, 2006 @ 1:36 pm

  13. Indira,

    I chanced upon ur website a few days ago while.
    And promptly feel in LOVE with pics. I am from rayalaseema too and cant tell you how happy I felt looking at the UGGANI recipe.:):)
    Please take a look at my blog and the you will know why I asked you to look at it.


    Indira replies…
    I’m so happy to see another Raayala seema native doing the food blogging and thanks for contacting me. I’ve just left a comment on your blog, please check it out.

    Comment by Santhi — February 8, 2006 @ 4:56 pm

  14. Wow ur curry burger photos look amazing..i lov the pockets created in your burger…it gives a cool look to the photo….Ur Pittsburgh pictures were just brilliant…Congrats on winning the contest for (DMB)….

    Indira replies…
    Thanks BDSN!

    Comment by BDSN — February 8, 2006 @ 7:22 pm

  15. Indira, congratulations on winning the photo contest. I’m glad you won, because I missed your recipe for chakli when it first came out! They look excellent! Congrats to your football team, too.

    Indira replies..
    Thanks Brett!

    Comment by Brett — February 8, 2006 @ 10:04 pm

  16. I didn’t say anything about that comment when it was made–about DMBLGIT–on the host’s site. But I wasn’t pleased.

    And I agree with your sentiments–it was not a good thing to say and it puts a bad feeling on the entire process. I agree with your solution, very much.

    Anyway, I still think that you deserve congratulations for the win, and I promise to try those silk gourds when they come into season.

    Indira replies…
    Thanks for lending me your ear and thanks for your gentle worlds, Barbara!

    Comment by Barbara — February 8, 2006 @ 10:40 pm

  17. is this similar to rigged gourd..

    Comment by tony — February 9, 2006 @ 7:39 am

  18. Nice Burgers Indira πŸ™‚
    Btw, I’m back to posting..

    Indira replies…
    that’s one protein packed post.:) Like both recipes, AA. Good (re) start!

    Comment by AA — February 10, 2006 @ 4:34 pm

  19. Dear Indira,

    My sister sent me the link for you wonderful site.I tried the banana nut cake on my kids and lo they enjoyed with so much, may be I will keep making it continuously for many more days.

    Thanks a ton.


    Comment by Shubha Shashikanth — February 24, 2006 @ 5:06 am

  20. hi…
    yeah ..shubha is absolutely right.she tried her banana cake on me also….n believe me it was yum.


    Comment by Himani Pandey — February 24, 2006 @ 5:49 am

  21. Yes , you can make chutney ( pachcadi/Thogayil) out of neti beerakai.

    Here is the recipe

    Take 3-4 spoonfuls of Urad dal. Raost it under low flame w. a little oil. Remove the peel from the neti beerakayi and dice the vegetable. Fry the peices under low flame w. a little oil , add some salt and turmeric. This leaves a lot of water.

    Then , make the seasoning w. some Dhaniya ( coriander seeds), mustard , hing ( asefoetida , I use this a lot ), and curry leaves.

    Grind the vegetable w. Urad dal ( a bit coasely) then add the seasoning and grind a wee little bit.

    It makes a yummy chutney !!

    Comment by Prabhavathy Sridhar — May 17, 2007 @ 8:07 am

  22. Hello Indira, is this the same vegetable known as Winter Melon? (see

    Indira replies:
    Hi Jonny, Yep. It is the same.
    I edited the wiki entry to add the Telugu name.:)

    Comment by Evil Jonny — May 18, 2007 @ 1:55 pm

  23. Indira, winter melon is ash gourd or booDida gummadikaaya in Telugu. πŸ™‚

    Comment by Vani — June 13, 2007 @ 4:19 pm

  24. […] My paternal grand father worked as a staff member in a court for about many years and he knew quite a lot about the judicial branch of the government. He always compared the judicial system to a vegetable called “Nethi Beerakaaya” ( exact translation can mean, Ghee Ridge Gourd). He never said this to me directly but I heard it from my father who always heard the reference from his dad.  He would always say , if you go looking for ghee in a vegetable which goes by it’s name, it necessarily need not mean you have to find ghee in it. He compared the Judicial system to that vegetable by commonly using a phrase in Telugu […]

    Pingback by NIDIA 5: Just Justice | — September 11, 2017 @ 12:33 am

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