June 9, 2008

Ridge Gourd Kootu, Chicken Masala with fresh Turmeric rice

Ridge Gourd Kootu goes to Sig of "Live to Eat" blog , who is guest hosting JFI event this month. Sig has chosen a tangy fruit "Tamarind" as her choice for JFI, widely used in dishes everyday in most south Indian dishes. JFI event is created by Indira of Mahanandi. Thanks for choosing Tamarind Sig!:)

Tamarind is native to tropical Africa and grows wild throughout the Sudan. It was introduced into India long ago. It is extensively cultivated in tropical areas of the world. Sometime during the sixteenth century, it was introduced into America and today is widely grown in Mexico.
Every part of Tamarind tree is usable ie fruits, flowers, bark, it's leaves in various forms in cooking and for medicinal purposes. Tamarind mixed with other things like honey is used as digestive, for sour throat, bile and as laxatives. For more info about Tamarind , click here.

Ridge Gourd Kootu:
Kootu is any dish made with gravy along with spices, a dish commonly made in South India.
Here is my Kootu with Ridge gourd, which are like gold to me since I don't get these veggie often unless I drive to to Indian store miles away! I have already made Puliyogarai with Tamarind before. Kootu is the next best thing I can think of for Tamarind event!:))

To make the ridge Gourd bhaji:

You need:
2 medium Ridge Gourds,
1 Tomato,chopped,(optional)
1-2 tbsp Tamarind juice,
To season:
1 tbsp oil+ghee,
1/2 tsp mustard seeds,
few curry leaves,
1 tbsp Chana dal,
1 medium onion, chopped,
1/2 tsp turmeric,
1 dry red chilli,
pinch of hing.

To roast lightly and powder:
3 tbsp dry coconut,
1 tbsp Coriander seeds,
1 tsp Cumin seeds,
1/2" cinnamon(Dalchini),
2-3 Kashmiri red chillies or paprika for color,
1 tsp or 10 pepper corns.
Roast all the above and powder in a grinder.
Or use 1-2 tbsp of your favorite home made masala powder.

How to:
1. Peel the outer ridges of the gourd slightly, wash and chop the gourd to small pieces. Remove the seeds if they are not tender, otherwise you can leave them as they are.
2. Heat oil in a pan, add all the seasoning ingredients one by one and fry until onion is reddish.
3. Add in the gourd pieces, stir fry for 2 minutes and add 1-2 cups of water, tomato, tamarind and cook until gourd is soft and cooked.
4. Add in the masala powder, mix well and simmer. Add Cilantro and turn off the heat.
5. Serve with Chapatis. Tastes better the next day!

Delicious for lunch or dinner:

Wasn't that yummy? :)

Finally, here is an event with "Chicken" as a choice!! YAY!! Vandana Rajesh of "cooking up something nice" blog has started one this month. She asks us to cook any chicken dish we like. Here is mine which often make on some Sundays for lunch, "Chicken masala with Turmeric rice". Thanks for hosting Vandana, enjoy your first event!:)

Chicken Masala with fresh Turmeric rice:
This is my favorite and the easiest chicken gravy I make at home when I don't have time for all the fancy masalas. What do I do to make the thali fanciful? I cook rice with some salt and fresh turmeric pieces to make it colorful!:D

Here is how I make it:

You need:
2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts and 2 Chicken thighs cut into bite sized cubes, salt, 1/8 tsp turmeric, Cilantro, 1 tbsp Tamarind juice.
For the gravy: 2 onions, sliced thin, 1" Ginger grated, 1/2 cup Tomato sauce, 1 tsp chilli pd, 1 tbsp Coriander seeds powder, 1 tsp garam masala.
Season: 1 tbsp oil, 2 tsp ghee, 1 tsp Cumin seeds, few curry leaves.
1 1/2 cup water or chicken sock.

To make it:
1. Heat oil+ghee is a pan, add all the seasoning ingredients, fry for a minute.
2. Add Onions, fry until they are slightly golden on the edges, add ginger. Stir for a minute and pour in the tomato sauce. Fry until oil shows on th sides.
3. Add in the chicken, stir until they are white on the outside. Add all the dry masala ingredients except Garam masala now, mix well.
4 Pour in tamarind, salt, 1 1/2 cups water or chicken stock. (Cut down the salt as it already has salt in the stock). Cover and cook on medium heat for 10mins.
5. Uncover and cook until you see the oil glisten on top. Add garam masala and cilantro, mix well and take off the heat. Serve with turmeric rice and a salad or potato crisps.
Chicken Masala tastes better if you leave the gravy overnight in the fridge.

Fresh Turmeric rice:
1. Add 2 cups of extra long grain rice, 3 1/2 cups water, few pieces of crushed fresh Turmeric or 1/4 good quality Turmeric pd, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp ghee or butter. Give it a stir.
2. Cook in the Microwave for 13 mins on high, uncovered. After 13 mins, cover with a plate and cook for 6mons at 50%.
3. Take it out and fluff the rice with flat spatula, take out all the cooked turmeric pieces out, cover again until you need it. You can sprinkle some water on the rice and reheat in the MW for 2-3 mins on high to serve.

Note: I have given you how I make rice at home. Every MW and rice is different, so use your judgment for how much water to add and how long to cook.

(There will be posts coming out of my ears this month here at Aroma, watch out for those! Once I am done posting for most events, I will be off for a month from July, will try and catch up with events until then! :D)


ranji said...

simply awesome asha..both dishes are my absolute fav:)..ridgegourd has a sweetness that i absolutely love....but i never tried it with chapathis...chicken masala and turmeric rice is simply superb!!:)

Finla said...

Yeah this Ridge gourd kootu is indeed delicious. But the chicke is super fast and looks really delicious.
I have never made rice in MW. I will try the way you have explained.The colour of the rice is superb

FH said...

Thank you Ranji. I always make Ridge gourd chapatis. Never tried to eat with rice, which is I know very strange for a South Indian!:D
Chicken masala is a simple one, no fancy sauce for this!:)

F, this chicken masala is the easiest.When I don't have time, I just add add all those and cook in the pressure cooker on low, it will be done in a jiffy!:)

EC said...

I just made a draft for a kootu variety and here u are with another...Wonderful colour of the turmeric rice

Suganya said...

hi Asha...
Ridge gourd kootu looks good. Nice combo with chapathis. Will try it soon.

Turmeric rice sounds new to me. Looks so good. Chicken masala looks so YUM!. Love chicken with rice.

vandana rajesh said...

Thanks asha for the entry...looks yummy.

FH said...

EC, we are all think alike! I made a post to go at FH on Wednesday, I see many like that in other blogs today!:D
But recipes are different, so post your's too. I love Kootu, more recipes are always welcome!:)

Sukanya, make the Kootu gravy a bit thicker for chapatis.I always reheat in the MW,so gravy gets thicker after sometime. Enjoy!:)
Fresh Turmeric smells so good in rice, have to take out the pieces, doesn't taste good at all!:D

You are welcome Vandana, glad you liked it. Enjoy your first event!:)

Cham said...

Ah Asha, lovely kootu, i just bought ridge gourd Satur :) Delicious looking... Now i know what to do with fresh turmeric, lovely rice color and chicken Yummo!

FH said...

Cham, I had planted Ridge Gourd seeds, they has sprouted so well. Hopefully, I get many many Gourd in Aug, can't wait!
Enjoy the kootu. You can add more coconut to make the gravy thicker.
I have frozen the fresh Turmeric in pieces, I add it here and there with dishes, makes it look pretty!:)

Priya said...

Hven't tried that Kootu Asha. I am gonno try ur chicken recipe next week coz I am tired of my own recipe.

notyet100 said...

looks delicious,..specially with the yellow colour..rice looks too tempting,.nice presentation too,..nd the curry looks yummy...reminds meof the traditional style of chicken curry..

FH said...

Priya, this chicken dish is simple to make, you can add Kootu pd to it too, tastes great!:))

Hi N, yeah! The easiest dish to make too. Hope you try. Turmeric rice to give some color. If the turmeric is fresh, it smells good too!:)

Beyond Curries said...

I also make this kootu, but dry roast channa daal and freshly grated coconut with the coriander and red chili, instead of cumin and cinnamon. That's a nice twist.

Even ridge gourd chapathi is new to me. I make bottle gourd chapathis.

I for some reason assumed that you were a North Indian. I don't know why? Strange right, only a couple of days back Bhags had written, how people think her as a south Indian!

kamala said...

I make RG kootu with moon dal.This one is looking yummy.Never made parathas with Ridge gourd.Love the color of chicken and rice!!

FH said...

Madhu, did you read my comment there at Bha's at that post, you will see what I mean!:D
I know most people do think I am North Indian but my family is 100% Kannadigas and Lingayats to boot.(We, here in US,has given up vegetarianism but not my family in India!)
Your version of Kootu sounds great too, Mysore style, will try.
I make thick gravy for Chapatis, my mother never made it with rice,so I never tried! Got to try to make Sambhar with Ridge gourd when I get it next time!:)

Kamala, RG with Moong dal sounds delicious, I will try it with rice next time. Hopefully, I will get some of those from my backyard veggie patch, then I can try every RG dish out there!:D

Mansi said...

hmm..that turmeric rice sure looks tempting:) nice spread Asha, and thanks for the tamarind info:)

bee said...

i love ridge gourd. even after cooking, it looks so bright green and yummy in your pics.

FH said...

You are welcome Mansi. Tamarind originated for Africa, didn't know that myself, I learn a lot because of these events!:))

They always remain relatively firm Bee. They are tough cookies to mash up like other veggies. Wish I would get them often, I love RG chutney mixed with raw onions! Slurp!:))

Sagari said...

color of turmuric rice looks sooo bright,it would have tasted great with that chicken curry ,yummy kootuu tooo

FH said...

Fresh turmeric really smells so good Sagari, unlike that powder we all have in the pantry!:)

Sum Raj said...

Chicken curry and turmerci rice is a colourful dinner..i must say..indeed this ridgegourd is fabolous...it seems u have interest in gardening too ...nearly how many veggies have u planted?...

Anonymous said...

Hello Asha,
Ridge gourd kootu looks yummy.i just add coconut,greenchillies and cumin while making this and have with rice.


TBC said...

I don't remember using ridge gourd in any dish at all. I don't think I've seen the fresh/frozen ones here...

Unknown said...

Adding fresh turmeric must have given a natural and lovely flavor to the rice..loved the kootu too...

Susan from Food Blogga said...

You always manage to educate me and make me hungry at the same time. :)

Uma said...

yummy kootu and turmeric rice is just awesome. Such a nice color.

Unknown said...

Asha,I was salaivating when i saw ur chicken curry in the pan. Wow I guess it must be tasting awesome with turmeric rice.
dear I have never made kootu. But I should try that with those amazing ingredients.

Unknown said...

Loved both the dishes..I love ridge gourd.When mom was here , she used by it every week to make a bajji.Loved the chicken masala, very simple and delicious.Loved u'r kadai girl!!!

Meera said...

Awesome spread, Asha!! Love it. hey, fresh turmeric rice is something new to me. i had planted fresh turmeric in the soil last year and got the plants out of it. I didnt plan to harvest turmeric roots but turmeric leaves are used in konkani cuisine. and they are never available in the indian stores. I make achar with fresh turmeric.
Hey, u know what? I thought ur rice is a perfect entry for Easy Crafts Rice event.

jayasree said...

ridge gourd kootu looks delicious. Ashakka, ridge gourd is always for chutney. Should try this kootu. We prepare turmeric rice for some spl days. With fresh turmeric, I can imagine the flavor.

SMN said...

Ashakka.. lovely rigdgegourd curry luks yum.. nice recipe for the event

Srivalli said...

Kootu and chicken looks yum! Asha...thats wonderful you are able to come with so many varieties for all the events..too good!..:)..

Jayashree said...

Fresh turmeric cooked with rice??? Sounds interesting.....koottu looks good too....

Rachel said...

Lovely chicken recipe..lovelier looking chicken and rice.

Purnima said...

The Ghosale looks great so does ur chicken look absolutely delicious n u hv simplified it...I have now stopped making mw rice since past one year. 3 years knew to make only rice in mw other than re-heating! Tks for sharing!

FH said...

Suma, you haven't seen my posts on veggie patch yet, have you?
I always link everything at FH. Look at sidebar here, click on "Life, as it happens!", you will see everything!:)

Shalini, that sounds like Avial, which I LOVE! Yes, I must try Avial with RG too, sounds great:)

tbc, I get a few from the Indian store, they don't have them always but when they do I grab a few!:)
I have planted some seeds, will see if I get some this August.

FH said...

Sowmya, it does give beautiful color and aroma too, nothing like that powder we all have!:)

I am glad I do that to ya Susan! Somethings are education for me as well, like other Indian regional cooking , strange veggies like Buddha's hand etc! That's the beauty of blogging, get to learn new things:)

Thank you Uma, fresh Turmeric was new to me too!:)

ST said...

Hi Asha,
There is a treat for u at my blog.Enjoy:)

FH said...

Pearl, this is a very simple everyday chicken curry,tastes great, hope you try.
Kootu pd, you can add it to any vegetable of your choice. RG is optional, not many like it!:)

Thank you Mahesh. You must miss your mom so much. I know it feels good to have traditional food we ate as kids!:)
Hugs girl, hope you try these.

Meera, I have Amba Hladi pickle I bougt in a Gujju store, I love the taste. That's when I bought fresh turmeric too. I never thought of planting it, I should have! I bet leaves have some color too!:)
I am making simple one for EC. She is a vegetarian, don't want to send her the chicken since I didn't take separate photo of rice!:D

FH said...

Jaya, I love RG chutney with akki rotti, my fave meal!:)
Fresh turmeric has a earthy aroma, love it.It tastes bitter, so got to take it out of the dish, unless it's ground.

Thanks smn, making your Moong Idlis, will link next week at FH!:)

Sri, I try me best. Sometimes, I just want to stop everything but then my mind gets rolling again with all the "great" ideas, can't stop cooking!:D

FH said...

Jaya, just throw in some tiny fresh pieces in rice when cooking, it will do it's job! I have never seen fresh turmeric before, I love it!:))

Thanks Rachel. Simple dishes are always yummy!:))

Purnima, it's so very easy for me. I have even taught Trisha how to make rice in MW, ONLY thing she has learnt so far, so she can eat ready made SWAD Palak Paneer with it! Hahaha!!
Adjust the time and water according to your type of rice and MW, that's all. I use (Extra)long grain rice usually!:)

FH said...

Sireesha, coming!!:))

J said...

I've wondered what to do with fresh turmeric. Have you used the rice cooker? I've tried mine, but it gets dry and sticky -never got it right. I like MW for rice, turns out perfect. So you are set for vacations?:)

Pravs said...

What a lovley color for the turmeric rice. Must have been so yum with chicken masala, slurp !

FH said...

J, you can add to fresh turmeric to any ground masala as long as you don't find the pieces which are bitter.
Nope. Never bought Rice cooker, thought of buying one but don't see much use. MW is better for me too!:)
Kids are off school from tomorrow, got to take them somewhere,mountain this time, will post at FH next month. No school until Aug 25th! AHH..!!:D

Pravs, it was yummy. Sometimes I get tired all the nuts, cream and butter sauces, simple food is the best like Rasam and rice!:D

Sia said...

i am spoiled for choices when it comes to tamarind and still wondering what to cook for sig:) kootu looks delicious ashakka. are u growing ridge gourd this summer? cant wait to see ur summer bounty :)

Dee said...

awesome asakka . lovely kootu !! i cant get enough of this!

Jaya M said...

Mouth -watering stuff .
Chicken looks so delicious and with Ghee it will taste evn better .
Turmeric rice loks gorgeuos ,thanks for the tip of taking the Turmeric pieces out when serving LOL..
Hugs and smiles

Ramya's Mane Adige said...

Tamarind is the native of Arfica?!?! didnt know that.. I always thought it ws from somewhere in southern asia!! :D
Kootu looks yummy!

FH said...

Sia, I use bit of Tamarind almost everyday in dishes but exclusively Tamarind like Hulianna, Puliyogarai is more appropriate for this event, I feel!:)
Yes, I have been updating the other blog with plants etc, will link tomorrow. It's 100+F today, still typing in the recipes for tomorrow's post, don't feel like it. Kids school is over tomorrow!:)

Dee, good to see you. Hope you try, good recipe for Kootu, use more coconut if you like thicker gravy!:)

FH said...

Jaya, you better take out those pieces quickly, orelse you can't eat the rest of the food for the whole day!;D

Ramya, that's what I thought too! We have so many Tamarind trees in India, been using these for so long!! You learn new things all the time, blogging is very cool!:D

Madhavi said...

Awesome entry Asha di...Ridge gourd kootu looks great, very nice recipe!!!!

TheCooker said...

The turmeric rice looks wonderful.
Any other ideas for using fresh turmeric?

FH said...

Hope you try Madhavi, it's spice powder is traditional south Indian style!:))

TC, let me tell you first that I made your Greens Paratha today, it was fabulous.I did use Red chard and Rosemary, taste was yummy.Thanks,will link next Wednesday!:)
Turmeric can be pickled, you must know that ie Amba Haldi pickle. Other than that, you can grind a piece in the masala whenever you make it for flavor and aroma. That's all I know! Beautiful color though!:)

KonkaniBlogger said...

Kootu with Ridge-gourd looks great Asha, have never had something like this with it. Also, the rice n chicken masala looks like a perfect combo. Fresh haldi in rice, tht must have been so fragrant. Yummmmm...

Arundathi said...

love ridge gourd kootu - must be so good with the turmeric rice!

Laavanya said...

The ridgegourd kootu looks so different and delicious Asha... I'm all for the tangy taste! :)
Love the turmeric rice too.

FH said...

Maya, fresh turmeric has such a earthy flavor, it's yummy!:)

A, RG dish is my favorite, goes well with rice or Chapatis!:))

Sailaja said...

Hi Asha
Kootu is delicious.
There is something waiting for you in my blog.

Sum Raj said...

hey asha..visited ur garden site...u have maintained very well, i must say...spinach looks fresh green and all r amazing ....i too showed to my hubby.....i just loved it...it refresh our mind too engaged in these activities like gradening minely

FH said...

What would we do without the Tamarind, Laavanya? Specially South Indians!:))

Thanks you Sailaja, will be there ASAP!:)

Suma, they are Red Chards. They look like Spinach but have red, yellow and green stems and leaves are lot thicker than Spinach. They did grow very well this year because of the heat, nice to have fresh veggies form your garden. Did you plant anything? Tomatoes grow very well in the pots too!:)

Sig said...

Thanks for the entry Asha... The kootu looks great... And there is an event with Chicken?? Wow, I didn't know about that :) Chicken masala looks fab!

Sum Raj said...

An award waiting for u on my blog..check it out

FH said...

Sig, you are welcome!
Yeah, Chicken is choice, isn't that great? I was happy too, made a simple and delicious one.I am you have plenty of dishes with chicken!:)

Suma, thank you.I will be there shortly!:))

Mansi said...

man, I am drooling over than coconut burfi! and paired with pineapple its the best combo!! I loved your paratha-pancakes..a neat idea indeed, thanks for sharing!:)

have a great father's day weekend!:D

FH said...

Hi Mansi, glad you liked them both. Bit away from the traditional sweet but a good combo!:)
Enjoy your weekend too,see you Monday.

Raaga said...

So your garden gave you ridge gourds so fast? I have to try this... so many summer vegetables around and I have my recipe limitations... oh the perils of being a newly married girl :-)

FH said...

Not these Raaga, I bought these but RG plants are growing fast!:)
Lucky to get every veggies you want there!

Anonymous said...

lovely recipes, this is going to be my friday menu :)

FH said...

Enjoy M, Kootu and chicken curry are both simple and tasty dishes!:))

Purnima said...

A very Happy 2nd Blogversary! Without your blog and posts most of us wd hv been left high n dry! And yes, for a moment I thought u were a member of daring bakers, when I saw Eclairs! But u hv posted this a month b4 the challenge! Tks for sharing so many goodies n being super blogger, inspiring all of us to cook~different cusines! Thanks again!!

FH said...

HeHe!! As if we all have telepathy about Eclairs,right? Yeah, I thought I will bake a dessert before I go,I see Eclairs everywhere now!;D
Thanks, it's hard to believe it's been 2 yrs! It is fun though. Good to see you btw. Enjoy blogging.
We have been working for few hrs everyday on painting etc. Kitchen is scheduled to be done in Nov but you know how these things are! God knows when they finish. I might restart blogging in 2009!!:)
See you when I can, hugs.