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

Bottle Gourd in Yogurt

Dear L.G, before writing at her fabulous food blog Ginger and Mango, used to comment on ‘Mahanandi’ occasionally. Her comments were delightful and informative just like her current blog posts. In one of her comments in response to my mother’s recipe of sorakaya, she detailed a Kerala recipe of yogurt based bottle gourd curry and asked me to give it a try.

I have always wanted to visit God’s Own Country – “Kerala”. I don’t know when I am going to do that, but for now I am content to try at least Kerala cuisine. Yogurt and coconut based curries are hallmarks of Kerala cuisine and they call them “kaalan“. Here is my first attempt at bottle gourd kaalan, I hope I did justice to this traditional recipe and will be allowed to enter the God’s own country.:)

Yogurt, Bottle Gourd Cubes, Curry Leaves, Coconut-Chilli Paste

1 cup of cubed bottle gourd pieces
1 cup of day old, homemade Indian yogurt (sour curd)
6 green chillies and 1 tablespoon of fresh grated coconut (made into smooth paste)
½ teaspoon of each – turmeric and salt
For popu or tadka:
1 tsp of oil
1 tsp of cumin and mustard seeds, few pieces of dried red chillies and curry leaves

In a saucepan, heat oil on medium heat. Add and toast the tadka ingredients. Add the bottle gourd cubes and also green chilli-coconut paste. Stir in turmeric, salt and about quarter cup of water. Close the lid and cook on medium-low heat, until the bottle gourd pieces are tender. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the yogurt. Turn off the heat and remove the saucepan from the stove. Cover the pot with a lid and let the curry sit for about 15 minutes, for the flavors to mingle well. Serve warm with rice.

The curry tasted superb! Vijay more than me couldn’t get enough of this curry and we finished all in one setting. Thanks L.G for sharing this wonderful, traditional recipe.

Bottle Gourd in Yogurt Curry with Rice ~ Our Simple Meal Today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Coconut (Fresh),Green Chillies,Sorakaya(Dudhi,Lauki),Yogurt (Wednesday July 19, 2006 at 3:07 pm- permalink)
Comments (41)

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41 comments for Bottle Gourd in Yogurt »

  1. Hey hey u did it 🙂 That really looks good…Its one of every malayalis favourite I guess. Simple yet very good for health.

    Comment by Kerala Girl — July 19, 2006 @ 3:11 pm

  2. Indira you have done complete justice to this curry,we welcome you with open arms to Gods own country:)

    Comment by Sumitha — July 19, 2006 @ 3:25 pm

  3. Kerala Girl approved. I am happy! 🙂

    . :), Thanks Sumitha.

    Comment by Indira — July 19, 2006 @ 3:32 pm

  4. Hi Indira,
    Yogurt,grated coconut and sorakaya sounds like a great combination because of all their subtle flavors. Not surprised that the curry didnt last another meal. Will have to try this combo soon.
    Thanks for the recipe.

    Indira replies:
    Indeed it is. Give it a try, Pavani.

    Comment by Pavani — July 19, 2006 @ 3:45 pm

  5. Sounds Good..I make potlakaya pergu pachadi in the same way but never tried with squash.Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

    Indira replies:
    You are welcome, Celeste.
    With potlakaya… that must be good. We prepare bajjis with potlakaya, and occasionally pappu(dal). That’s it.:)

    Comment by Celeste — July 19, 2006 @ 3:50 pm

  6. Nice one,will taste even better if u add a little mustard seeds paste, just before turning off the heat.Aava pettina perugu pachadi tastes awesome.

    Indira replies:
    Thanks KK. I will remember that and thanks for the suggestion.

    Comment by KK — July 19, 2006 @ 3:54 pm

  7. Neat Indira. That looks quite authentic. Kaalan tastes even better the next day. So next time make some extra.

    Indira replies:
    Thanks Gini. Because this is the first time, I prepared it in small quantity. Next time, I’ll make it both for lunch and dinner.:)

    Comment by Gini — July 19, 2006 @ 4:06 pm

  8. You are already there Indira!!!
    Good job, as Gini said Kaalan tastes better the next day. Sometimes little bit of ground black pepper is added when you cook the vegetable for Kaalan.

    Indira replies:
    Thanks Archana. I will prepare it definitely in large quantity for next time and save it some for next day. I will also remember to add little bit of black pepper to the curry. Thanks for the suggestions, I really appreciate it.

    Comment by Archana — July 19, 2006 @ 4:13 pm

  9. Hi Indira,
    Looks great!!But it looks like you misspelled sour curd. You spelled it as ‘sore’.

    Indira replies:
    Yikes! Thanks Shrilatha, I have corrected it.

    Comment by Shrilatha — July 19, 2006 @ 4:52 pm

  10. This looks so yummy!! and simple. I will try it this weekend. Great recipe and fabulous pics. Indira, I tried your aloo dum, and egg plant curry both were delicious.

    Indira replies:
    Its really is yummy Deepa, give it a try.:)
    I am glad to hear that you tried and liked aloo and brinjal recipes. Thanks for letting me know.

    Comment by Deepa — July 19, 2006 @ 4:58 pm

  11. Hi Indira,
    We make similar kind called ‘maggige huli’in kannada. Your pictures are making my mouth water. This will be our dinner today. Thanks.

    Indira replies:
    I didn’t know that. Thanks Madhu.

    Comment by Madhu — July 19, 2006 @ 5:11 pm

  12. Indira

    Is it by any chance similar to majjiga pulusu – we also call it mor kozhambu in tamil…. But we dont use coconut though ??

    Indira replies:
    I guess so but I am not sure, Revathi. In our home, for majjiga pulusu, we don’t use coconut at all.

    Comment by Revathi — July 19, 2006 @ 6:03 pm

  13. awesome recipe…
    came here to see if u have said anything about Indian govt banning the blogs..:)

    Indira replies:
    I’m able to open blogspot sites of India, Santhi. They decided to block the sites because of recent terrorist bombings in India, right?

    Comment by santhi — July 19, 2006 @ 7:53 pm

  14. Your Kaalan looks so delicious. Your last pic is wanting me get a spoon from the kitchen 🙂

    Indira replies:
    .:) thanks Krithika.

    Comment by krithika — July 19, 2006 @ 9:47 pm

  15. I am not going to comment on anything until I see lot of photos of Kittaya 🙁

    By the way, thanks for the lovely recipe 🙂

    Indira replies:
    Thanks for your interest on Kittaya. We don’t take pictures of Kittaya that often and also he is an independent sort of guy. Usually I publish his photos once in 2 or 3 weeks.

    Comment by Nikul — July 19, 2006 @ 11:13 pm

  16. gr8t taste. i add some ginger and mustard seeds to the coconut paste to make it more tangy!!!and it tastes yummy!!!

    Indira replies:
    I will remember that for my next try, thanks Madhuli.

    Comment by madhuli — July 19, 2006 @ 11:37 pm

  17. yummy recipe, indira. I’ve got the list of recipes increasing each day 🙂 wonder when am I going to try all of these.

    Indira replies:
    I know, me too. I’ve bookmarked already 50 recipes of fellow bloggers to try.:)

    Comment by sowjanya — July 19, 2006 @ 11:46 pm

  18. The recipe looks exactly like the recipe for a south indian dish named, Majjige Huli in Kannada or Majjiga Pulusu in Telugu.

    Indira replies:
    Really? I didn’t know that before. For us at our home, majjiga pulusu is prepared without coconut.

    Comment by Raghuveer Dhone — July 20, 2006 @ 12:48 am

  19. Indira,
    I make a similar curry with bottle gourd in yogurt. It’s my mother’s recipe, and you know what…she taught it to me telling that it is a Kerala preparation. 🙂 I am happy to see the original recipe now. Will blog about that of my mother sometime soon.
    Btw, your chilli-coconut paste parked on the coconut piece looks vaiiiiiiry cute.

    Indira replies:
    Knowing the recipe origin is always good. Look forward to seeing mothers recipe, Vaishali. Thanks.:)

    Comment by Vaishali — July 20, 2006 @ 8:44 am

  20. “Ah! What do you think?”

    “Should we ? hmm..she missed to add a little cumin”

    “But still..Vijay just licked his plate clean?”

    “But cumin”

    “She just popularised Kerala cuisine…if she makes it, you can see the Whole World of Food bloggers starting to make it”

    “Thats a point..”

    “Thats the only point.okay now open the gate”

    “Welcome Indira to God’s Own Country.You are now a part of us” 🙂

    Indira replies:

    Confession time:

    “Father, I have sinned.”

    “What did you do?”

    “I didn’t follow L.G’s recipe to the word. I didn’t add cumin and garlic to chilli-coconut paste and I didn’t boil the yogurt for sometime.”

    “and you still called it Kaalan?”

    mumbling… “yes, father, I apologize for that.”

    “Try it one more time, this time follow the recipe, then I’ll open the pearly gates for you.”

    “Merci father, thanks father!”. 🙂

    Comment by L.G — July 20, 2006 @ 8:55 am

  21. Arre LG do you think our Indira would have forgotten to add something in her dish!No way,of course she added cumin ya:)

    Indira replies:
    . 🙂

    Comment by Sumitha — July 20, 2006 @ 9:11 am

  22. Oh, She added cumin in her tadka…
    sorry..sorry.. 🙂

    Indira replies:
    I didn’t add it to the green chilli-coconut paste, I will remember that next time. Thanks L.G. 🙂

    Comment by L.G — July 20, 2006 @ 11:06 am

  23. I made this recipe y’day only. Can’t wait. Had to stop by on the way from work to get bottle gourd. It’s really yummy. THanks for sharing this simple yet very tasty recipe. I am gonna try another recipe with left over bottle gourd today.

    Indira replies:
    Wow, Sonal. You are most welcome.
    Simple to prepare and tastes superb, right? I am glad to hear that you too liked this curry. All thanks to LG’s recipe.:)
    Do let me know how you like the second recipe with bottle gourd. Thanks.

    Comment by Sonal — July 20, 2006 @ 11:54 am

  24. Nice looking dish Indira! I cook the same way except, i’ve never tried it with coconut. So let me give it a try next time. You know what, its my wish too to visit Kerala sometime.You see every picture with Kerala backdrop gives a different sensation.I love the greenary, the way they build their houses, those nice looking boats in the streams…. mmmm seems like it really is a god’s own country, isn’t it.

    Indira replies:
    It tasted great, Bhargavi and I have added fresh grated coconut.
    We should go together sometime to visit Kerala. What do you say? 🙂
    I hope it’s stays that way always and forever.

    Comment by Bharghavi — July 20, 2006 @ 1:51 pm

  25. hi indira,
    looks delicious. is kalaan the same as aviyal?

    Indira replies:
    Thanks Lulu.
    I guess so, except that for aviyal, I think, we have to add lots of different vegetables and also little bit of masala like ginger-garlic, cloves etc.

    Comment by lulu — July 20, 2006 @ 4:36 pm

  26. There’s nothing soothing than kaalan on a hot summer day like the one we are having now…you have done it in all its authenticity…and shall always be more than welcome in the Kerala fraternity!!It seems u’r blog is already a hit among the many office goers there!!

    Indira replies:
    Same kind of weather here also. This curry was really refreshing on a hot summer day.
    Thanks Shynee.:)

    Comment by shynee — July 20, 2006 @ 5:25 pm

  27. Hi indira,
    This kalan tasted so good that my hubby just licked his fingers clean!! I made it with zucchini instead but the taste was gr8!! Thanks.

    Indira replies:
    you are welcome Suma.:)

    Comment by Suma — July 20, 2006 @ 10:06 pm

  28. dear indira,
    great trial !!! but, try with some small variations, (which we in central kerala believes to give the authentic taste). no cumin for seasoning, but add fenugreek. add cumin to the coconut paste. black pepper paste added to the vegetables give also gives a great flavour.

    the original ‘kurukku kalan’ has only black pepper, not a smattering of green chillies, which gave it the name ‘karimkalan,’ meaning ‘black kalan.’

    i’ve never tried this with bottle gourd. looks yummy. we usually use ash gourd, or elephant yam (chena, raw banana, arvi (either each one alone, or in combo). kalan with chembu (arvi) is simply heavenly. i can never have it enough. only that it will have a slightly gooey consistency.

    this is one dish i’ll never, never grow tired of. the kaalan that is served at professional sadya-s in thrissur and ernakulam taste quite great, with an added tanginess of souress and no gravy at all. i could never reproduce the taste at home. they use lots and lots of coconut and buttermilk, with very little water.

    but in south of kerala, kaalan at sadya-s become a watery curry that is poured following the courses of parippu and sambar. i’m not much of a fan of that kaalan ! regional prejudices !!

    Indira replies:
    Thanks for taking time to write this detailed and informative comment. I greatly appreciate it. I will make this curry once again following your suggestions, next time with Chembu (chema dumpa, arvi). Thanks!

    Comment by Anonymous — July 21, 2006 @ 4:50 am

  29. Hi Indira,
    Yummy Kalan !!! I like to have kalan with fried poppadams.

    Indira replies:
    Poppadams makes even a simple dinner extraordinary, don’t they?:)

    Comment by menutoday — July 21, 2006 @ 6:24 am

  30. The gate to Kerala is always open for you Indira. We will be proud to have a great person like you, and we are never going to let you go back! You belong here. You are ours. 🙂

    Indira replies:
    Wow, I am honored! 🙂
    Thanks RP!

    Comment by RP — July 21, 2006 @ 11:09 am

  31. I didnt want to spoil your ‘Kerala’ excitement. But now that you have posted a new post,just wanted to tell you…shh…without those Malayalees reading this..:)

    Actually what you made is a typical Moru Curry.

    For Kaalan usually we boil the semi ripe mango or semi ripe plantains or yam etc with butter milk. Then we add the coconut paste (Grind coconut and cumin and green chilies , no garlic here) and when it boils,we take it off from heat. We do the Tadka only later. But I have read recipes and seen people doing ‘Kaalan’ your way,i.e like Moru Curry…but I think thats not really
    ‘traditional’ since there should be some difference between Moru Curry and Kaalan,
    right? :-).

    See my Kaalan recipe

    Now for Moru Curry (Moru is buttermilk in Malayalam),we boil buttergourd/raw plantains/raw potatoes/ash gourd etc with the coconut paste + garlic + green chili and then stir in the yogurt and take off from heat.For this you can do the tadka first/last.

    Both tastes entirely different,even tho the process looks the same.
    Also,as far as I know no Kerala curries do the cumin in the tadka, Thats very north-Indian to us. We but love to do fenugreek in the tadka.

    Sorry If my earlier posts or comments gave you any such misinformation. Just wanted you to know.

    Also, If you visit India at the same time as us, you have to visit Kerala and should stay at our house in Cochin which is like the middle of Kerala and all the must see places are near Cochin. No excuses! 🙂

    Love you lots n lots!

    Comment by L.G — July 21, 2006 @ 5:59 pm

  32. Ys, that is right. My mom makes some masala for this recipe which has coconut. Here is the recipe in case it interests you.

    Comment by Raghuveer Dhone — July 21, 2006 @ 9:06 pm

  33. Dear L.G: I value your input very much and thanks for taking time to write this detailed comment. I am glad you clarified these fine details to me.
    I am going to try these in true traditional way and will let you know the results. I’ll make sure that you’ll be proud of me when I try next time. 🙂 I really appreciate this kind of input (and you must know that already). Thanks L.G and also for the invitaiton. Valiya upakaaramaayi!:)

    Hello Raghuveer: Thanks for the link.

    Comment by Indira — July 23, 2006 @ 3:27 pm

  34. Hi Indira,

    A few days back when bloging you site, I found this dish which sounded great to me, wanted to give it a try. When went to indian store this time I brought bottle gourd. Just yesterday my hubby told me that his manager and his family r coming to visit us within an hour for dinner, so i wanted to try something quick, guess what tired you dish it was great not just great but just mouth watering delicious, thank you so much for sharing this recipe.
    But I did give u credit for this recipe which everyone liked.

    Comment by Radha — July 27, 2006 @ 8:17 pm

  35. Hi Indira,

    i like all your recipes and the way you present them.very interesting.I too started a new blog , still lot to work on that.I will try to give best recipes one after the other.This weekend in groceries i bought Bottle Gourd, i will try this recipe soon.i visit your site very frequently.thanks for all those.

    Comment by meena kandlakuti — August 6, 2006 @ 3:51 am

  36. hi ,
    like avial recipe.

    Comment by santi — August 8, 2006 @ 1:17 am

  37. hi indira,

    i tried this recipe it was great.I added more mirchi to it.I and my husband liked it a lot.Thanks for this recipe.

    Comment by meena — August 10, 2006 @ 2:12 am

  38. i have just read this amazing!how can u get this time in this fast world.i will keep trying to read ur site
    thank u shaan

    Comment by shaan — August 21, 2006 @ 8:36 am

  39. Hi Indira,
    I am a big fan of your blog!
    Just came across this recipe which I make often.I have also tried this with sweetened mango pulp / mango pieces.
    It tastes amazing with pulaos/biryani and can be served as a raita.

    Comment by J — November 16, 2006 @ 11:17 am

  40. I tried this recipe today Indira garu. Simple recipe yet tasted very good.
    This is very similar to Potlakaaya Perugupacchadi we make. Ginger and a few mustard seeds are added to chillies and fresh coconut while grinding and this paste is added to the fresh yougurt and then the boiled potlakaayalu are added to the yogurt mixture finally and garnished with finely chopped cilantro. This goes well with rice, rotis or poori as well.

    Potlakaaya perugupacchadi sounds very good, dear Kamala. We don’t get to cook potlakaaya that often, but when it happens, will definitely make your yummy recipe.

    Comment by Kamala — October 30, 2010 @ 3:07 pm

  41. i tried your recipe and i dont know why the curd broke when i added at last, can you tell me why?

    Comment by raj — August 5, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

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