During my pregnancy, all I wanted to eat was bland simple food - it was just idlis and pongal / khichdi, every alternate day. Didnt seem to want to even look at anything spicy. Onion, ginger, garlic and masalas, without which I wouldn't begin cooking on most days, were banished from the kitchen. I seemed to get nauseated with just the smell of it.
After months of this idli - khichdi, I was finally tired of it and then my mom made this really simple, but very comforting and total feel-good dal. I seemed to relish the little heat from the chillies and it became a favourite for the next few months.
My little one seems to love this dal too and its made very often now...Seems like the best way to get ridge gourd into our diet !
What you need -
1 long ridge gourd (2 cups of ridge gourd pieces)
1 cup yellow split moong dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
5-6 curry leaves
2 green chillies
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
pinch of asafoetida / hing
1 tsp salt
2.5 - 3 cups water
1 tsp oil
What you do with it -
Scrape the skip off the ridge gourd. You can leave a little on, but be sure to scrape off the ridges, they tend to get a bit sharp
Wash and cut into thick slices
Rinse moong dal in water and then cook the moong dal with the ridge gourd pieces with 2 1/2 cups waterin a pressure cooker till soft (2-3 whistles)
Cut the chillies length-wise
In a pan, add a tsp of oil
Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida and wait till the mustard seeds splutter
Add the green chilles and turmeric powder. Fry till the chillies change colour
The add the dal with the ridge gourd. Add half a cup of water if its too thick
Add salt and bring to a boil
Enjoy with hot rice and a little ghee !