“Maa, Shreenidhi got her classic sabzi again today for lunch and guess what?!” hollers my older one.
“WHAT?!” apprehensive me, hollering a notch above her, gearing up to dodge a googly that might come next.
“It is Sorrakkai (tamil word for Bottle gourd) curry!” she exclaims.
“DON’T TELL ME!” A relieved me also exclaiming with disbelief, albeit on a note higher but clearly, she had me all ears.
The credits for this Bengali cuisine style recipe go to Shreenidhi’s mother, who not only shared her recipe but also a sample of Nigella seeds, as we do not use these commonly in our day to day cooking – a sweet and thoughtful gesture on her part.
Our way of saying a ‘Big Thank You’ in appreciation of both Shreenidhi and her mother was naming this lip smacking dish ‘Shreenidhi Sabzi’ in our home. Forever!
A great way to introduce any vegetable!Prep time : 15 mins; Cooking time : 25 mins; Serves : 4
- 1 large Bottlegourd/Dhoodhi/Sorrakkai
- 2 -3 onions (optional)
- 1 -2 tomatoes
- 1 – 2 green chilies
- 1/2 inch ginger
- 1 tsp Panch phoran made of the following 5 ingredients ( 1/4 tsp mustard seeds + 1/4 tsp cumin seeds+1/4 tsp fennel seeds+1/4 nigella seeds + 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds /methi seeds)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp red chilly powder
- 1 tsp corn flour (optional)
- 1 – 1 1/2 tsp Kitchen king masala or garam masala
- salt to taste
- 1 – 1 1/2 tb.sp Mustard oil | any cooking oil of choice
- 3 sprigs of coriander leaves
- Peel and chop the bottle gourd in 1 inch square pieces and finely chop onions, tomatoes, green chilies. Grate the ginger. Keep them ready.
- Heat oil in the frying pan. Temper with ‘Panch phoran’ till the mustard seeds splutter and rest of the seeds are aromatic and well roasted. Now add the grated ginger, finely chopped green chilies and onions. Saute till cooked. Now add the tomatoes. Scald some more and then add the chopped bottle gourd.
- Throw in the seasoning powders – turmeric powder, red chilly powder, kitchen king masala or garam masala and salt. Mix the corn flour well, in 1/4 glass of water and add it if required, to thicken the gravy. Close with a lid for 5 – 10 mins. Cook till vegetables are well done and check the seasoning. Switch off heat. Garnish with coriander leaves.
- Serve hot with Rotis, Parathas or steamed rice.
- This gravy can be made with a medley of vegetables like potatoes, carrots, peas – to name a few.
- Instead of corn flour, 1 boiled and mashed potato can be added to thicken the gravy.
- A paste of ginger, garlic and green chilies can be added instead of finely chopping them.
- Juice of half a lemon can be added at the very end, if a tangy version of the gravy is desired.
Larger quantities of ‘Panch phoran’ can be prepared by taking equal propotions of the 5 ingredients i.e equal quantities of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, nigella seeds, fenugreek seeds and fennel seeds.