Saturday, June 1, 2013

Peerkkangai Thogaiyal/Ridgegourd Chutney and Simple Tomato Chutney!


Peerkkangai thogaiyal/Ridge gourd chutney

I make this chutney often at home for idly, dosa etc.  Everybody loves it. This vegetable, Peerkkangaai in Tamil, Heerekaai in Kannada and Ridge gourd in English is very good for health. The other name is Luffa! Wikipedia says: 

Its juice is used as a natural remedy for jaundice. The juice is obtained by pounding the bitter luffa and squeezing it through a cloth. Bitter luffa seeds and dry crusts are also available and can be used for the same purpose.

The centre/white spongy portion is a bit bitter sometimes, but mostly it is a bit sweet.  Anyway, taste it first, please.  I used to eat it raw while cutting the vegetable and used to give to my children too! Now, to the recipe:


1 Ridge gourd/peerkkangaai - 1 medium sized
2. Grated Coconut - Half

3. Mustard/Rai/Kadugu - 1 tsp.
4. Black gram/Urad daal/Uluththam paruppu - 1 tbsp.
5. Red chillies - 6-7 (or as per your taste)
6. Curry leaves/Kariveppilai
7. Asafoetida/hing/Perungaayam - 2 peppers' size
8. Coconut oil - 2 tsp.
9. Dry tam - 1/2 tsp.  or a small amount of tamarind/puli
10.Salt - as per taste.
11.Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp.
12.Sugar - a pinch


First wash the vegetable properly.  Remove the top and tail of the vegetable.  Remove the projecting portion like it is shown in the picture with a peeler.  Don't remove the green portion.  Remove it lightly otherwise you will feel it in your tongue like tough threads, which would be irritating! We call it 'naar yedukkaradu'! Then cut the main portion like it is shown in the picture below:

Pour oil in the hot kadai.  First put the hing piece.  Let it get fried.  Then mustard.  Let it flutter/burst.  Add the urad daal, chillies and curry leaves.   Mix them properly.  When the daal is golden brown, add the cut peerkkangai pieces.  Mix it. Add the salt, turmeric powder, sugar and tamarind also.  Let it get cooked with half cup of water..see to it that the veg. doesn't get roasted. Add a bit more water if you want.  Switch off the stove.

Put all the ingredients in a mixer along with the grated or pieces of coconut.  Grind them well.  The chutney is ready.  You can wash the mixer with half more cup of water if you want the chutney to be a bit watery.

Tomato Chutney:

You can roast the ingredients like it is shown in the picture and add chopped tomatoes instead of peerkkangaai and cook.  Tamarind is not needed for this, since the tomato has got a tangy taste and add 1/2 tsp. of sugar to make it tastier. No coconut please for this chutney!

Instead of tomato, you can add cabbage/brinjal etc.  without coconut but with tamarind!

You can make coriander chutney in this method.  You can just fry the ingredients, add chopped green coriander and grind it with or without coconut...add a bit of tamarind...I always use dri-tam powder mostly for chutneys.

I had already written the recipe for Onion Chutney...the roasting ingredients are the same for most of the recipes of chutney. 

If you add 3-4 tbsp. of Tuvar daal/tuvaram paruppu instead of urad daal and grind it with a small amount of coconut, Tuvar chutney is ready! Add tamarind for this.  No tamarind only when you add tomatoes!

All these chutneys will be tasty with hot rice, with idly, dosa or Chapaati!

Enjoy and let me know if you liked them, right?!