Friday, 23 November 2012

Ladka and Dodka

Ridged Gourd (Turai or Dodka)Chutney

As kids, we knew instinctively our elders meant business when they coaxed, cajoled and then warned us about finishing our vegetables. This ‘dandaniti’ was used to reinforce the underlying rule that everything on the plate should be polished off.  The explicit threat, which has been made good at least once in my lifetime, was that leftovers in the plate would be plastered onto the disobedient ingrate’s head.

No kid in our gene pool at the time dared kick up a fuss when asked to finish up the veggies on their plates, nor did we have an outer of “Here you can have the alu fry or jam with your chapati instead…”

Times change, as they have to. But with the changing times we saw this rule losing its inevitability. Thankfully, child psychology has replaced good old Chanakya's dandaniti.

I would like to think I have been a good mum, going by the fact that at 8-9 months my first-born wouldn’t eat din-dins without a subji, or that there are very few vegetables that my kids are reluctant to eat.

One of their pariah vegetables I can concede is the karela (bitter gourd), and it helps that the girls also come half way by happily eating only the spicy gravy of a karela subji. The other two that have needed more work are ridged gourd and chow chow (Banglore Baingan).

Both these vegetables have a very special ‘back to basics’ significance for hubby and me, but the girls wriggle their way out by pleading queasy. Now, there is nothing one can do to overrule this ruse. Especially when they wax eloquent about how the translucent and almost fluorescent green flesh of the two reminds them of extraterrestrial beings (it’s actually more graphic and gory than this, but I am sparing my food blog readers these details).

Suffice to say, the Marathi word for ridged gourd is ‘dodka’ and funnily, this word is also used as the opposite of ‘ladka’ as in favourite (masculine).

But I take heart from the fact -while teasing them mercilessly about it- that the girls love chutney made out of peel of ridged gourd and hog ridged gourd pakoras.

So the other day, when I set out to make two subjis as one of them was ridged gourd, a spirit not unlike Puck the knavish sprite, got the better of me. I metamorphed the gourd and the girls loved it. 

Why hadn’t I thought of this before? It was only a matter of texture, not taste. How many years of a gourd-less life they had led in vain?!

From now on, the dodka will be made only in this way. Which way?

Read on to find out more.

I know, I know… the chow chow still remains to be charmed, but another time.

Ridged Gourd Chutney

3 cups roughly cut (peeled) ridged gourd (check for bitterness)
1 tbsp oil
3 tbsp peanuts (roasted just enough to peel the skins or use ready blanched peanuts
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp dessicated or fresh coconut (optional)
3-4 green chillies (or more)
¾ cup coriander (or more)
1 tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp hing
1 tsp lemon juice (or more)
½ tsp sugar or sweetner (optional)
Salt to taste

1 tbsp tadka made with oil and mustard seeds (optional)


Heat the oil in a pan and drop the chopped ridged gourd into it. After sauteing it for a while on low heat, add the rest of the ingredients except the lemon juice, sugar and salt. Turn up the heat if the gourd lets out excessive water and let it dry up, while constantly stirring the mixture.

The test of readiness is when the coriander starts emanating its characteristic  ‘fried’ coriander aroma, which signals that the gourd has let out all water to evaporate and has now been cooked. Turn the heat off. Add the salt, sugar and lemon juice to taste. Allow the mixture to cool. 

Blitz it in the mixer to get a grainy chutney. Add some water only of you want the chutney runny and thin. Temper it with the oil and mustard seeds tadka if you like.

Serve with roti, chapati or rice or even with snacks. It is very becoming in a sandwich too! 

This is one chutney you can serve warm or even hot!

For variation- you can add a bit of raw garlic to the mixture just before grinding.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Welcome weary web wanderer!
I hope you have found whatever you were looking for!
I would love to know what you thought of my recipes and posts- so why don't you drop a line?!