Ridge Gourd is also called Loofah or Luffa. It is really a dark green ridge vegetable on the exterior with white seeds embedded in the white spongy flesh. It is the fruit of a fast growing warm climate vine plant (See picture below). It tastes rather mild thus it absorbs any spices it is cooked in. This gourd must be eaten before it turns mature otherwise, the flesh will turn woodsy and fibrous to consume. The mature ones are the source of the Luffa scrubbing sponge used widely for polishing our skin (See picture below).
Ridge Gourd has a number of health benefits as in it helps to purify our blood, alleviate constipation, fortifies our immune system among others. Ridge Gourd Lentil Curry or Luffah Dal Curry is an easy curry using only a few ingredients.
Ingredients (serves 4)
1/2 cup Toor Dal (Pigeon Peas)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp. canola oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 red chilli (seeds removed), sliced thin
3 stalks of coriander leaves, chopped
1 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 small ridge gourd (around 10 inch), peeled and sliced thin
1 cup water
Boil the pigeon peas or toordal in pressure cooker for 10 mins till soft and slightly mushy. Don't overcook the lentils. Set aside.
Take a medium sized pot and heat the oil.
Fry the mustard seeds and when it starts to splutter, add in the onion and the red chilli.
When the onion has browned add in the turmeric powder and salt.
After a few minutes, add in the sliced ridge gourd and pour 1 cup water. Let the ridge gourd simmer and cook for a few minutes.
After 5-10 minutes, add in the cooked toor dal and chopped coriander leaves and mix well.
Switch off the fire after 3 minutes of simmering and your Ridge Gourd Lentil Curry is now ready for your savoring. Serve garnished with more coriander leaves with a side vegetable dish and pickle.