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

Ridgegourd~Moongdal (Beerakaya Pesara Pappu)

Precious things in nature often have some protective mechanisms to guard themselves. A pineapple or a rose, by the looks or touch, they strongly give signals to not to touch. But remove those sharp things and you know there will be a sensory explosion awaiting you. Same thing with the vegetable, ‘ridge gourd’ (beerakaya, turai). Just at the first look a person with any veg sense or nature sense would immediately know that this vegetable has something special going on.

Nature has showed a special interest on this veggie. Unlike any other gourds, ridge gourd has some sharp vertical ridges along its body. The younger the vegetable the sharper the ridges are. Once you peel the ridges and cut it open, sweet tender taste awaits you. Mature, old ones have ridges like far end of knife, dulled and raised – signaling that they are not good for consumption. Like dried rose petal potpourri, they are also destined for bathrooms as loofas. But young ones, they taste tenderly sweet and here in this traditional Bharath recipe they are paired with moong dal. Lightly roasted moong dal and tender ridge gourd cooked together with green chillies. And tadka is added at the end to bring life to the dish. Easy comfort food that tastes good, particularly on a cold day like today.

Ridge Gourd and Roasted Yellow Moong Dal


Yellow Moong dal: Roast 1 cup of yellow moong dal in an iron skillet to light golden-brown color. I prefer moong dal always roasted, this is a habit I got from my mother. It takes few minutes to do the roasting but I do think they taste so much better as a result.

Ride gourd and green chillies: Peel the ridges of one medium sized young ridge gourd and scrape the skin lightly. Cut the vegetable to small pieces. Comes about 3 cups. Also finely chop 8 green chillies.

Cook: Take roasted moong dal, ridge gourd pieces and green chillies. Add a tablespoon of tamarind juice, half teaspoon of turmeric and one glass of water. Pressure-cook or cook covered until they are tender. Remove the lid, add about half teaspoon of salt and mash the dal to smooth consistency.

Do the popu or tadka: Heat a teaspoon of peanut oil in a vessel. Add and toast few curry leaves, a tablespoon of minced garlic and one teaspoon of cumin and mustard seeds, in that order. When seeds start to dance, immediately add the mashed dal to the popu.

Serve warm. Tastes good with rice and with chapatis.

Ridge Gourd~Moong Dal with Rosematta Rice

Turai curry with fresh dill – recipe

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Beera kaaya(Ridge Gourd),Indian Vegetables,Moong Dal (Washed) (Thursday November 2, 2006 at 2:34 pm- permalink)
Comments (26)

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26 comments for Ridgegourd~Moongdal (Beerakaya Pesara Pappu) »

  1. Looks wonderfully delicious, Indira! Indian dal and rice simply rocks,comfort and security!!:))

    Comment by Asha — November 2, 2006 @ 2:52 pm

  2. We love our dal and rice, don’t we?:) thanks Asha.

    Comment by Indira — November 2, 2006 @ 3:07 pm

  3. Hi Indira,

    I simply love the way you present even simple food like rice and dal in such beautiful/exotic way! I have not had lunch yet and this recipe has made me very hungry:)

    Did you get a chance to visit Mayuri?

    Take care,

    Comment by Nisha — November 2, 2006 @ 3:33 pm

  4. Hi Indira

    I love your site and love the way you present food. I have just posted Turai/Ridgegourd and Dill shaak/curry with plain khichdi recipe. Please pass-by and visit. I have also added your blog to my list.

    I will try out this recipe for sure.


    Comment by Dilip — November 2, 2006 @ 4:28 pm

  5. nice recipe with pesara pappu Indira. I usually prepare this dal using kandi pappu.

    Comment by lakshmi — November 2, 2006 @ 4:37 pm

  6. Indira,

    I came to the US a little more than a year ago and had never cooked in my life!! But I stumbles upon your blog and the recipes and techniques you have laid out have helped me be a decently creative cook. Although, I must say, whenever we have company over, rather than my Gujju fare, I immediately refer to your blog for ideas.

    Thanks so much!!


    Comment by Mansi — November 2, 2006 @ 4:54 pm

  7. This is one of my favorite dals. Ma amma ginger kuda esthundi..ikkada rendu sarlu beerakaya konnanu kaani muduru undesariki malli eppudu konaledu 🙁 I hope I get good ones next time..missing the taste ever more after seeing the pic 😛

    Comment by Priya — November 2, 2006 @ 5:08 pm

  8. Hi Indira, I love your recipes. I very much enjoy reading your posts.

    Comment by krista — November 2, 2006 @ 6:01 pm

  9. Looks delicious Indira! My variant does not include garlic, but I end the cooking of this comforting dal by adding a dash of lime/lemon juice & chopped cilantro. I will give your version a shot; I think I have a large ridge gourd peering at me thru the fridge 🙂

    Comment by RD — November 2, 2006 @ 6:02 pm

  10. Hi Indira, wow the dal looks delicious. I am waiting to prepare this as my hubby says he used to visit the andhra mess only to have beerakaya pesarapappu..

    Comment by Suja — November 2, 2006 @ 6:40 pm

  11. Hi Indira, thanks for visiting my blog and leaving nice comment. Now I have published a few more. And hope to continue doing it. Keep visiting 🙂

    Comment by Tweety — November 2, 2006 @ 8:38 pm

  12. A simple and lovely dish Indira..Well presented too

    Comment by Annita — November 3, 2006 @ 12:03 am

  13. Hi Indra,
    Wah! no words to describe the job you are doing.Simply superb,I wish to meet you Indra.Fine,I have decided tomorrow`s menu for lunch(Beerakaya pessara pappu). you know if I am in confussion about the menu of the day i open u`r website and will decide atonce.keep going.

    Comment by rahila — November 3, 2006 @ 4:08 am

  14. I make this with Chana dal. More like a koottu. I agree roasting moong dal gives a nice flavour. Thanks for sharing

    Comment by Krithika — November 3, 2006 @ 5:13 am

  15. Indira,

    I have been your blog regualar visitor for quite some time. These are the suggestions that comes into my mind when ever I see your beautiful site. Please make plans to put all this valuable information into a book. I know it takes lot of effort to write a book and publish it, but at least start now. Also, think of copy righting your pictures and work. You are taking lot of effort and time to put this together, don’t let somebody steal it. Good Luck and all the best!!

    Comment by Ramalakshmi — November 3, 2006 @ 10:02 am

  16. Hi Nisha: Thanks and belated shubha Deepavali greetings.
    Yep, for Deepavali we shopped at Mayuri grocery and also bought sweets at the sweet shop. I forgot my camera so didn’t take any photos otherwise I’d have posted about my shopping here.:)

    Hi Dilip: Turai with dill, that’s a nice recipe. I’ll definitely try it. Thanks.

    Welcome back Lakshmi. Nice to see your posts again. Yep, me too, I like kandi pappu version as well and already blogged about it.

    Hi Mansi: You are most welcome and thanks!:)

    Hi Priya: Muduruga vunte beerakaya anta bagundadu kada. Maaku kuda alantive dorikevu, memu Ohio lo unnappudu. Seattle lo manchi lethaga unnavi doruku tunnayi.:)

    Thanks Krista.

    Hi RD: Turai, moong dal plus lime juice/cilantro. Sounds good to me. I should try your version.

    Hi Suja: Yep, popular item in hostel messes in Andhra.

    Tweety: Wow, you are on a posting spree. 🙂 Went through all your posts, loved them all, particularly the carrot-gasa gasa sweet. Adding gasagasalu makes it extra special, I think.

    Annita, Rahila, Krithika and Ramalakshmi : thanks for your nice comments.

    Comment by Indira — November 3, 2006 @ 3:14 pm

  17. Your food pictures are GREAT..Very nice and am learning a few south indian type of food from you as well ..Thanks

    Comment by Baljeet — November 6, 2006 @ 7:56 pm

  18. Hi Indira

    My Mom used to make Sorakaya (Indian Bottle Gourd) also similarly. It tastes grt with vadiyalu and majjiga merapakayalu.


    Comment by Sirisha — November 9, 2006 @ 12:16 am

  19. Hi Indira,
    Your site is wonderful. The recipes are great and the photos are fantastic. When I was in India last time I bought a couple of very good cookbooks, but I keep coming back to your site.

    Can I ask a beginners question? When you mash the dal do you also mash the gourd into the dal?


    Hi Dale,
    Many thanks for your nice words about Mahanandi. I appreciate it.
    Yes, but not too much. We do not want the vegetable pieces completely mashed and disappear into dal. Usually even after pressure cooking and mashing, most of the vegetable pieces (except for onions), still maintain atleast their shape. And we want that in dal. Hope that helps.
    — Indira

    Comment by Dale — November 28, 2006 @ 6:06 pm

  20. Hi Indira – I guess this is the third recipe that I made at home ( in 3 days ! ), from your website . Absolutely fantastic!

    I have a question – Whenever I cook daal in plain water , in just 3 whistles it is usually done , but when I tried both the methi keera pappu and this one – it took a lot of time.. I had to open the cooker after 3 whistles and then again cook it for another 3 whistles – why does this happen ?

    Hoping to hear from you!


    Hi Soumya,
    Glad to hear that you tried and liked this recipe. Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it.
    About your question – I am not sure why, sometimes tamarind would slow down the cooking process. Are you maintaining the same tamarind quantity to all these recipes? If it is a big problem, I can suggest – cook the dal first and in another vessel, cook the vegetables and mix them two together, like they used to do in old days. This method also makes a good, tasty dal in short time. Hope this helps.

    Comment by Soumya — December 4, 2006 @ 10:45 pm

  21. Thanks for your response , Indira . I use the same tamarind Qty always. I will try again , as you have suggested .

    Also, my husband says you guys make a ” Tomato Pappu ” and he loves it , of all Andhra recipes. Is it done the same way as the Toor dal Pappu with lot of tomatoes or do you have any secret ingredients ? 😉 Please let me know if you have posted this recipe elsewhere .. ( Didn’t find it on the tomatoes section )

    Iam going to try your Methi Chole today . ( I love your recipes.. so simple .. healthy and tasty! )

    Thanks and regards from this new fan..


    Comment by Soumya — December 6, 2006 @ 1:42 pm

  22. Dear Indira Garu,

    Inspired by this recipe, I created a dry version. Please try the recipe at . My pics are not as good, so please forgive me. This one is dedicated to you. I hope to add more recipes as i experiment.


    Comment by Balu — April 3, 2007 @ 10:10 pm

  23. Hello Indragaru..
    i tried this koora.. it was a new combination for me.. it tasted awsome.. we both enjoyed it and felt like a new kind of home food on our plates … thanks for sharing…
    Priya Dilip

    Indira replies:
    Hi Priya,
    That is really great. I am glad that you two liked it, Priya. Thanks for letting me know.
    Happy cooking!

    Comment by Priya Dilip — April 18, 2007 @ 12:55 pm

  24. Hi im new to this website.i’ve never done the roasting of dal……..should do from nowonwards .
    Thanks …..

    Comment by Pavani — January 26, 2009 @ 10:19 am

  25. Hai Indira
    I am deepthi n I am from Kurnool.
    I really liked your site for the varietes and also great simplicity.Thank you for sharing such a great information.

    Comment by Deepthi — April 8, 2009 @ 1:32 pm

  26. Hello Indira Garu,

    Inspired by your recepies my husband has cooked for the first time on 2 consecutive days & they tasted awesome.

    Thanks a lot & keep them coming….


    Comment by Pallavi — January 26, 2010 @ 7:27 pm

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