Ash gourd curry (chalkumro ghonto) recipe.
I have mentioned my connection with Bengal and how it has influenced my cooking so beautifully. Onion and garlic are not used in Bengali vegetarian food. Bengali vegetarian dishes use basic spices and heroes the vegetable in it, which is so similar to the simple south Indian palya (stir-fry).
Ash gourd is also called winter gourd, wax gourd, or ash pumpkin. Ash gourd is a rich dietary fiber and aids in digestion. Ash gourd's low calorie, high fiber, and high water contents help improve digestion and promote a healthy body weight. It is also beneficial for improving skin and easing gut discomfort.
Ash gourd is paired with moong dal (split green gram) in the dish. I peel and cut the ash gourd into thin strips. I dry roast moong dal and wash it thoroughly. I make a tempering in ghee with panch phoron (which is Bengal five-spice), ginger, bay leaf, and dry red chilli. I add roasted moong dal, ash gourd, salt, and a pinch of sugar to this. I let everything cook through completely and finish it with coriander leaves.
This simple ash gourd curry is an everyday dish and is amazingly flavourful, and very easy to make. Serve with hot rice for a healthy weekday meal.
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Ash gourd curry
- Peel and cut the ash gourd into long thin strips
- Dry roast the mung dal, wash it and set aside
- Heat a kadhai/frying pan, add ghee. Add the panchforon and let it splutter
- Add the ginger, bay leaf, dry red chilli, green chilli and fry for a minute
- Add the mung dal, ash gourd, turmeric powder, salt, sugar and ¼ cup water and bring to boil. Cover and simmer until the ash gourd is soft and pulpy
- Increase the flame to dry up any excess water
- Turn off the heat, and mix well
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot
- Paanchforon is a mix of fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, black mustard seeds, cumin, and fennel seeds. Mix these in equal proportions to make panchforon
- Don’t over roast the moong dal as this may take more time to soften
Read more about ash gourd here.