Thursday, August 11, 2011

#142 A Squeaky Clean Bath Loofah

Do you know how a Loofah is born? Yes, that's right the loofah that is used as a bath brush. Loofah is the dried version of a delicious vegetable that is a powerhouse of nutrition!! Orginating from the deserts of Arabia this vegetable is called  loofah, luffa, turai, turiya, tori and so on and has spread around the world now. Although I have never seen it being used across Kerala, it is very popular in Maharashtra and other parts of India.  The ridgegourd as it is known in English is loaded with nutrients such as dietary fiber(loofah sponge is proof of the fibrous nature of the vegetable), Vitamin C, riboflavin, zinc, thiamin, iron and magnesium. It is low in calories and fat and and the ideal choice for those on a weight loss plan with its power to strengthen the immune system. It has insulin-like properties that aid in purifying blood and lowering blood sugar levels because of its high water content. A bland vegetable and a good combo with dals or just plain old tomato-onion gravy. This time I combined a simple almond paste with green chillies and ginger to make the gravy for fresh ridgegourd pieces to absorb and created a healthy curry for phulkas/dry puffed rotis. The vegetable does not look creepy like the Loofah....instead it is green with sharp ridges and appears to be like any other squash inside with white flesh and seeds in the middle.




Ingredients:
Ridgegourd - 1
Almonds- 1/2 cup
Green Chillies- 2
Haldi or turmeric powder- 1/4 tspn
Ginger paste- 1/2 tspn
Asafoetida- 1 pinch
Tempering: Cumin seeds, Red chillies
Salt and Oil to taste.



Directions:
1. Wash and clean the ridgegourd to make sure all the soil is removed.
2. Scrape the sharp edges with a sharp knife until the surface is smooth.
3. Slice the ridgegourd into half and quarters and then cross cut it into 1/2 inch pieces.
4. In  a blender, grind to a smooth paste the almonds, Green chillies and ginger.
5. Place a pan on heat and add a tablespoon of oil.
6. Add Cumin seeds and split red chillies and let them crackle and add the asafoetida.
7.Toss in the vegetable and salt to taste and haldi.
8. Add 1/2 cup water to allow the vegetable to cook, along with the ground paste,
9. Cook until the ridgegourd is cooked and the gravy has thickened.
10. Serve with homemade Phulkas.

8 comments:

  1. Hi Malli, of course we know this vegetable as Pirkangai in Tamilnadu. I'm not sure if it is well known in Kerala. And you have got here a very nice curry with them. Goes well with rice too. Thanks for the info :)

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  2. Very interesting post on loofah, Thank You.

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  3. Malli, this is really interesting - I will have to try and find these ingredients to create the loofah experience!

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  4. lovely recipe...do visit the ongoing event and send us some beautiful recipes of yours :)
    A Girl's Diary
    Event:
    What's On Your Kebab Platter

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  5. What an unusual discovery! I would have never guessed loofah can be eaten. I am even more surprised that such a seducing dish can be produced with it! Thanks for this informative post and original recipe.

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  6. Love the information you give on your posts and this recipe sounds and looks great. Not only healthy but delicious

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  7. Hi Malli, thanks for this really fascinating post. I'd never even imagined, or thought about, the origin of the loofah. Strange to think that you can both scrub your back with it as well as serve it as a delicious looking dish! Lovely looking recipe!

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