Waste Not Want Not
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You waste life when you waste good food.
-Katherine Anne Porter
We used to make Ridge Gourd upkari or stir fry almost 2-3 times a week when I was a kid. One of the reasons for using ridge gourd so much in our diet was because of it's easy availability in the local shops. And my parents needed some thing easy and quick to make a stir fry to go with rice porridge (Pej/Kanji). Having had ridge gourd so many times in child hood, it is one of my favorite vegetables.
To make the ridge gourd upkari/stir fry, you first wash and remove the ridges on the gourd.
Cut beautiful circular discs out of the ridge gourd and quarter each of the disc.
Stir fry with a little oil, mustard seeds and green chillies/ground black pepper and voila!! you have a simple yet tasty Ridge Gourd Stir fry.
Now, it is time to clean up your kitchen. You see lots of delicate peels lying around on chopping board. Throw them in trash, correct? Wrong!
I do not remember a time when we threw the peels away. We collected them and when we had sufficient quantity we would make the ridge gourd chutney.
These days, whenever I make ridge gourd chutney, it reminds me of my child hood. I start recollecting those carefree days and how I took for granted these simple pleasures of life. Thinking of those good old days makes me want to make the ridge gourd chutney even more than ever - to make up for those days long gone.
One of the main reasons I love making this in our daily meal is because of it's simplicity. Add to it the fact that it is rich in nutrients and fiber is just the icing on the cake. And the fact that this dish takes me down my memory lane - has nothing to do with it. 😉 .
Ridge gourd is easily available in Indian stores or south east Asian stores across US. Whenever I make this ridge gourd chutney, I feel happy and proud that I have not wasted any food.
Color of the chutney depends on the color of the ridge gourd used. Darker the color of the ridge gourd, darker the color of the chutney.
Did You Know?
Apart from being a nutritious vegetable, ridge gourd (called peechinga (in Malayalam) and Gosale (in Konkani))has cosmetic uses. The dried vegetable is used as a natural loofah in many parts in south India.
[Source: Health benefit Times]
Do let me know if you use peels of the ridge gourd in any of your recipes 🙂 .
- 1 cup (approximately) Ridge Gourd Peels
- ½ cup Fresh/Frozen Grated Coconut
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Ghee
- 1 Serrano Pepper (adjust to taste)
- Salt to taste
- Small Saute Pan
- Saute Spatula
- Food Processor/Indian Style Mixer Grinder
- Serving Bowl
- Heat ghee in the saute pan over medium heat.
- Add cumin seeds.
- When they splutter, add the ridge gourd peels and saute for 2-3 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes.
- Once cool, add the sauteed peels along with cumin, coconut, Serrano pepper (See Recipe Notes) and salt and grind to a smooth paste.
- Transfer to the serving bowl. This can be served with rice, or as dip for Idli/dosa.
1. The heat of the green chillies vary considerably. When I made this dip, I found that ½ of Serrano Pepper gave me enough heat.
2. You can also add a little tamarind paste or pulp to make it tangy. I have not used tamarind in my preparation.