Ven poosani or Ash gourd is my favorite vegetable. During childhood my grandmother used to forbid this wonderful veggie as she was afraid we might get cold when we eat this coolant veggie. But its a mandatory thing during the festival of Pongal. A mild sambar is cooked to mix with the pongal.
But Amma used to make these whenever we find it in the market. Yesterday I bought a small one home and today it turned to be a wonderful fragrant sambar. Since the heat in Chennai is scorching Amma is more keen on the dishes she makes and the veggies we take. So I shall post all of them under a category “Summer cooking” which would be helpful to people who choose their dishes according to the season.
This would be first in the series. This sambar does not use Sambar podit (Do u here it Bee ?) and thus very mild tasting. I should say there is much more ash gour pieces than the dal and onions in this. Let me come to the recipe now.
Ash gourd – 3 cups (Skin peeled, inside seeds and flesh along with the seeds removed and cut into bite sized pieces)
Toor dal cooked – 1 cup
Green chillies – 3 (vertically slit half way)
Salt – 1 tea spoon
Tamarind – 1 gooseberry sized (soaked in 1/2 cup of water)
Onion – 1 (medium sized chopped)
Tomato – 1 (medium sized chopped)
Peanut oil – 2 T spoon
Peanut oil – 1 tea spoon
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tea spoon
Asfoetida – a pinch
Curry and Coriander leaves for garnishing
How to make it ?
In the thick bottomed wide skillet heat the peanut oil. Once hot add the onions and saute till they turn pink. Now add the toamtoes and saute till the skins come off. Add the ash gourd pieces and saute till they turn translucent. Now add the split green chillies and the cooked toor dal. Mix well and add 1/2 cup of water. No more water will be required as the ash gourd cooks will give out more liquid to dilute the sambar. Cook covered for 10 minutes in low flame or until the ash gourd is cooked. Add salt at this stage and adjust the salt if required. Switch off the stove. In another small skillet heat the oil for Taalipu and once hot add the mustard seeds and asafoetida. Once the seeds splutter add the curry leaves and pour this in to the sambar. Now add the coriander leaves to the samabr and cover the vessel. Let the flavors blend in for 15 minutes.
Serve hot with rice or Idlis.