Peerkangai (Ridge Gourd, Jhinga Tori) Chutney

Chutneys are a regular feature in my home. That’s because I invariably have a probiotic breakfast like idli, dosa or oothappam. Even with other dishes such as adai or pesarattu, I have a freshly prepared chutney unless there is sambar, morkootan or vathal kuzhambu left over from the previous day. I have tried growing ridge gourd several times in my little kitchen garden, but with singular failure. Thankfully, I do get this vegetable from my organic suppliers. Most people peel the ridge gourd. The peels can also be used to make a chutney (more of that in another post). I prefer not to peel any of my vegetables, unless strictly necessary. Most of the nutrients lie in the skin. Therefore, it is a no-brainer to throw away the best part of any vegetable!

1 large ridge gourd
1 onion
A small marble sized ball of tamarind
2 green chillies (adjust according to tolerance level)
A pinch of asafoetida (hing, perunkayam)
Salt to taste
For The Seasoning
3/4 tsp mustard seeds (sarson, kadugu)
1 tsp split black gram (urad dal, ulutham parupu)
1 sprig curry leaves
Wash and chop the ridge gourd into small pieces
Chop the onion into chunks
Slit the green chillies
Heat a wok and add onion, green chillies and asafoetida
Saute till onion is translucent (sprinkle a little water, if necessary)
Add the chopped ridge gourd and cook till soft
Cool and grind adding tamarind (add a little water, if necessary)
Set aside
Heat a small wok and add mustard seeds
When they begin to splutter, add split black gram and curry leaves
Remove from flame when the gram turns golden brown
Add to the ground ridge gourd
Transfer to a serving bowl and serve at room temperature
This chutney pairs well with idli, dosa…

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