Also known as Chinese cucumber, the snake gourd is a pretty popular vegetable in the Indian household especially in the south. It is a standard ingredient for the popular 'Avial' and 'Sambhar'. And that is all that I used it for until one of my colleagues told me that she makes a stir fry as well. Intrigued, I tried it later and it tasted pretty good with rice. Snake gourd probably gets its name from the length - you can find some really long ones at times. It has a lot of water content and so it is important to cook it long enough so that the water is evaporated. Otherwise the stir fry will be quite mushy.
Snake gourds are best consumed in the hot summers as due to the high water content they cool down our body. It is also low in calories, free from fat, high in fibre and a good source of minerals like magnesium, calcium and phosphorus (I seriously had no idea it could be this nutritious!). I am sure there are more ways of cooking this veggie. But for now this is one of the staple stir fries we have for lunch with rice as it is also very simple to make :D
Snakegourd Stir Fry: Recipe
- Snake gourd - 1 large
- Onion - 2 medium, finely chopped
- Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
- Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
- Cumin powder - 1 tsp
- Green chilli - 3 slit lengthwise
- Freshly grated coconut - as required
- Salt to taste
- Oil - 2 tbsp
- Lightly peel the skin of the snake gourd. Cut it into big chunks along its length and then cut it into halves. Scoop out (using a spoon) the white spongy mass at the centre along with the seeds. Then finely chop the snake gourd.
- Heat oil and add the mustard seeds. When it splutters add the curry leaves, green chillies, chopped snake gourd and onion.
- Add salt and stir well for few minutes. Then cover and cook on a medium flame. Keep stirring from time to time so that it doesnt stick to the bottom.
- You will see the water coming out. Add the cumin powder and give it a mix and cook it open till it begins to dry out.
- Add the grated coconut and stir for few seconds. Serve it hot with rice.