Ridge Gourd (Peechinga) is one vegetable which grows abundantly in India. It is also known as Luffa/Loofah and belongs to the Cucumber family. The mature fruit of Ridge Gourd is used as a household scrub since it’s very fibrous. Only tender Ridge Gourd is used for cooking. There are two different varieties of Ridge Gourd – the first has hard, ridged outer skin whereas the other one has smooth outer skin. There are many different recipes for Ridge Gourd (popularly known as Dodka) in Indian Cuisine.
Here is a recipe for a Kerala style stir fry or thoran using Ridge Gourd/Peechinga. Since this vegetable is high in water-content, the quantity will reduce significantly after cooking. Peechinga thoran is slightly on the sweeter side and is sure to please the kids. Peechinga tastes somewhat similar to Padavalanga (Snake Gourd).
- Tender Ridge Gourd – 4 large
- Diced Onions – 1 medium
- Grated Coconut – 1 cup
- Minced Garlic – 3 cloves
- Curry Leaves -a sprig
- Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
- Slit Green Chillies – 3 or 4
- Salt – to taste
- Peel the hard outer ridges and skin off the ridge gourd. Slice it into two halves and remove the seeds if possible. (If the ridge gourd is really tender, you only need to scrape the ridges and outer skin. You don’t need to peel it off completely and you can keep the seeds.)
- Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Thrown in the diced onions and curry leaves. Stir fry until translucent.
- Add the minced garlic and green chillies. Saute for a minute.
- Add the diced ridge gourd to the pan along with salt to taste. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Open the pan and add the grated coconut along with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder. Cover and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- The vegetable would have let out water by now. Stir fry for 5-7 minutes on high heat so that the water evaporates completely.