Saturday, October 24, 2009

SNAKE GOURD CURRY புடலங்காய் பயிர் பரப்பு கூடு


SNAKE GOURD CURRY புடலங்காய் பயிர் பரப்பு கூடு

No ancient culture has done so much research on medicinal value of vegetables and plants than Indians. Ayurveda which is the best possible treties on natural remedies and nutrition, has done research on almost every plant available in India.

Similarly, vegetables have thoroughly studied for their curative and nitritive value too.
One such vegetable in focus is "SNAKE GOURD". It is a very popular gourd native to India having a promise to act on HIV virus apart from other common infections and illnesses.
A report on Snake gourd which appeared in "The Hindu" has been quoted as under.

"Snake gourd belongs to cucumber family and is native to India. Not surprising, because very few countries and cultures know what to make of this snake-like vegetable that can grow up to two metres long and 10 cm thick. The plant's history in India goes back thousands of years, and there are frequent mentions of it in Sanskrit texts relating to Ayurveda.

The gourd was first domesticated in India from wild species still found in South East Asia and parts of Australia. India, Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia, Nigeria and parts of China are among the few places where this gourd is popular.

Food uses: The snake gourd is also called tomato gourd in some parts of the world because the bright red pulp around the mature seeds is used much like tomato pulp in cooking. In India, the gourd is used as a curry vegetableCooking methods include the addition of milk to the simmering stew. In Nigeria, the mature fruit pulp is used in soups, and the fruit are harvested when they are about to turn orange-red. Snake gourd can also be pickled. The stem tips and leaves are edible, but boiling is essential to remove the unpleasant odour.

Hundred gms of snake gourd contains only 20 calorie. The snake gourd is rich in minerals like magnesium, calcium and phosphorous. The fruit is rich in dietary fibre and contains many medicinal compounds. Some derivatives have been used as asbortifacients in China since the early 1920s. Trichosanthin, a compound derived from snake gourd, has ribosome-inhibiting properties that are effective in inhibiting the replication of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in infected lymphocyte and phagocyte cells. This makes the snake gourd an exciting focus of research in the pharmaceutical industry.

In Ayurveda, the snake gourd is a folk cure for intestinal infestations. It is also used to induce vomiting after poisoning.


Tamil cuisine gives a fantastic recipe of PODULANKKAI KOOTU"
which is a Lentil mixed curry of snake gourd. I bring that recipe to you .

SNAKE GOURD CURRY போடுலங்கை பயிர் பரப்பு கூடு

snake gourd


For a family of four 2 servings

snake gourd (Podulangai) 500 gms .
Green Gram dal (Moong Dal) 1 cup
Jeera Powder 1/2 spoon
Tamarind Juice 1 tbsp
Salt to taste


split Chick pea /channa dhall 1 tbsp
Red Chillies 2 to 3 nos.
Curry leaves 1 sprig
Cumin seeds 1/2 spoon
Coconut grated 1/4 cup.
Peanut oil....1 tsp


Black Gram Dal (Urid Dal) 1 spoon
Mustard seeds 1/4 spoon
Asafoetida....1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds 1/4 tsp
Red Chillies 2 nos. (broken)
Peanut Oil 1 ladle

snake gourd cut


Soak Green gram dal for about 2 hours before the kootu preparation. After soaking is over, cook it directly on stove after adding water twice the volume of dal and Turmeric powder. The dal should take about 20 minutes to get cooked well. Please ensure that the cooked dal is not mushy.
Keep it aside.

Prepare Kootu powder. This powder is different from the ones you might have used so far. Fry chickpea dal(channa dal) in a little oil till it starts changing colour. Under no circumstances, it should be even light brown or give off frying smell. Fry green curry leaves ,red chillies and cumin (jeera) along with Dal. Powder them after they are cold along with coconut( grated).

Select green and not very tender Snake gourd.If you select very tender, then it will become mushy when cooked. Further , it has no fibres. Cut the gourd lengthwise in long half pieces . Remove seeds and pith. Further cut in semi circular rings of 1/2 cm thickness. Soak in water for ten to fifteen minutes.

Take oil in a pan/wok , add the temperings. Set on medium flame. When the mustard seeds start popping, add black gram dal which should turn slightly brown.Add asafoetida,cumin seeds and curry leaves and immediately add Snake gourd first and saute for four minutes at the most. This would release the water. Cover the vessel and let the gourd cook till 3/4 th done. This should hardly take further five minutes. This is because snake gourd cooks very fast. Add salt and add cooked green gram dal. Stir well and check for salt again.
Let it simmer for another five to eight minutes till gourd gets cooked well.

Garnish with cilantro and serve with steaming rice or Rotis.

snake gourd lentil curry



  1. Dear Hemant Ji
    It is wonderful to go through so many yummy recipes.I actually never liked snake gourd but this recipe seems to be yum. Hope to try out as many recipes as possible
    Thanks a million

  2. Geetanjali,

    welcome to the blog.
    Yes, please try and let me know.

    Hemant Trivedi

  3. Greetings Hemantji,

    I am all set to make this today, but I notice the kootu powder has not entered the recipe above. Kindly post soon, at what stage is the kootu powder to be added? This is a very interesting take on podalanga! Love it already.


    1. Tridalam Trigunakaaram,
      Tri Netram Trivargadam.
      Tri Janma Paap Samhaaram,
      Ek Bilvam Shivarpanam....

      Welcome to the blog Bilvapatra. I am sure you would not be disappointed.


  4. Thank you very much for such warmth!
    Second time I am all set to make this podalanga... but don;t know when the kootu powder is to be added... :)

  5. I have come back hoping you will have updated this recipe. Can you tell me at what stage the kootu powder is to be added? Pls Hemant ji.... pleeeeease update...