Like in most south indian families, my mother is at a complete loss of ideas if she doesnt have the omnipresent coconut in her kitchen...I think there are a very few recipes in her repertoire that do not call for coconut in some form or the other...She maintains that all recipes can be made with little or no coconut, but then they wouldnt be authentic havyaka recipes !
I adore my mom's cooking( this, I guess is a universal phenomenon...almost everyone praises their mom's cooking and I am no exception)..My efforts at cooking began in her kitchen where I was just the sous-chef, helping in the cooking preparations (peeling, cutting, chopping,slicing, etc.) and never actually cooking myself..It wasnt until I got married and had a kitchen of my own, per se..that I started cooking in earnest and began enjoying it too :D
Although I have learnt different dishes through friends and the internet (!!), my main source of recipes for traditional havyaka recipes is still my mom..This is one such recipe that I relish and would like to share with my online readers.
Hirekaayi Sippe Gojju (Ridgegourd Peel Gojju)
1 medium sized ridge gourd (Heerekaayi / Beerakaya / तुरई )
4 tbsp freshly grated coconut
2 green chillies
1 marble sized ball of tamarind
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp canola / vegetable oil
(traditionally, my mother would probably have used coconut oil for this,
but I havent graduated to that....yet )
2-3 curry leaves
generous pinch of asafoetida
1 tsp urad dal
1. Peel the ridge gourd, making sure that the peels are thick.
Boil the peels in water along with the green chillies, tamarind and pinch of salt.
The number of chillies can be adjusted according to taste. The water should just cover the peels.
2. Meanwhile, fry all of the coriander seeds and 1 tsp of mustard in 1 tsp of oil until the mustard seeds pop. Add the curry leaves and the asafoetida. Let this cool for a little bit.
3. Grind the peels along with the coriander-mustard seeds. Also add the coconut to this mixture and grind to a thick consistency.
4. Transfer to a serving bowl and adjust the salt according to taste.
5. Add a seasoning of urad dal and mustard seeds and a pinch of asafoetida to the gojju.
6. This can be served as a side dish and can also be savoured with rice.
The gojju is a slightly tangy and spicy preparation and makes good use of the peels which would otherwise have been thrown away !
For those who like it spicy, this dish is a must try !