Heerekai tove/ Ridge gourd lentil curry

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One of my favorite dal often made back home by amma is this Heerekai tove. There is a sweetness imparted to the dal from ridge-gourd and that makes this different and unique from other dals. Being low on spices, it can go really well with rice or roti and a spicy gravy to accompany.

Here's what we need:

1 Ridge Gourd/ Heerekai
1 Cup split pigeon peas/ Toor dal or Moong dal, cooked
A pinch of turmeric
Salt to taste

For tempering, we need,

1 tsp Oil
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds
A sprig of curry leaves
2-3 whole red chillies
A generous pinch of hing/ asafeotida powder
1 Green chilly, finely chopped
1/2 Lemon juice squeezed
3-4 Coriander Leaves

You may use either toor dal (togari beLe) or moong dal (hesaru beLe) for this. I prefer moong dal as it cooks quickly and compliments well with heerekai.

Remove the rough edges on the skin of ridge gourd and chop into bite sized pieces. Do not remove the green skin completely as it contains nutrition. Anyway, this will be pressure cooked in cooker, so removing the skin completely will only result in mushy product after its cooked. So leave the green portion so that the ridge gourd retains some shape. Pressure cook toor dal with ridge gourd, salt and turmeric.

Heat oil in a pan/kadai. Add Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafeotida powder, curry leaves and red chillies. Add the green chilly pieces. Add the cooked dal and stir well. Add water if preferred thin and boil for about 5 minutes. Turn off the stove. Squeeze juice from 1/2 lemon and garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice or rotis.


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