Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dudhi - Chana nu Shaak

When I was new in the US of A, we had a limited access to Indian vegetables since the local Indian stores was quite far away. One Saturday morning, I dragged my husband to the farmers' market to check out the fresh veggies. My joy knew no bounds when I spotted "Bottlegourd" or dudhi. I was really curious to know what could be the American name of "Bottlegourd" as I had discovered then, that all the English names of veggies were different in American English. e.g. Ladies finger was Okra, Brinjal was eggplant, coriander leaves was cilantro, capsicum was bell pepper. So I asked that farmer, pointing to "Dudhi" what's it called? Do you know what he said -
"Dodhi!!! Something we have started growing recently then and is an Asian vegetable!!!":-D I still do not think that "Dodhi" is an American English name for the bottle gourd, but that's how our American farmer referred to it anyway!

Dudhi Chana
Bottlegourd-bengal gram curry
1 medium bottlegourd/dudhi/ghia/lauki, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup chana daal, rinsed and soaked in warm water for 2 hours
salt to taste
1 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garam masala

Grind to paste
1" ginger
2-3 cloves garlic
2 green chilies

2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds

1. Pressure cook dudhi pieces and drained chana daal adding 1/4 cup water for about 3 whistles. Set aside.
2. Heat oil. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida, turmeric powder and fenugreek seeds.
3. As the seeds start to pop, add ground paste. Saute for 2 minutes.
4. Add cooked vegetables and daal mixture. Add 1 cup water. Bring to boil.
5. Add salt, chili powder, coriander-cumin seed powder, garam masala.
6. Simmer till the gravy reaches the desired consistency.

Note -
1. You can cook dudhi and chana in the simmering curry instead of pressure cooking. It will take more time.
2. Do not overcook. Chana daal and dudhi pieces should retain their shapes.


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