Kumblanga Moru Curry/ Winter Melon / Ash Gourd with Yoghurt
The summer heat is rising in Dubai…. And as the temperature goes up, so does the consumption of yoghurt in my house… Moru Curry is simply beaten yoghurt that is tempered. It is an integral part of Kerala cuisine and there are as many varieties as the regions in the state of Kerala. The base is always yoghurt or sour curds and then different vegetables maybe added and thus the several varieties are born. This Moru Curry with Kumblanga i.e Winter melon or Ash Gourd (it goes by several names) is something I learnt from my mother-in-law. The combination of Ash Gourd, coconut and yoghurt is simply amazing… a bit tangy and a bit sweet. Always great as a simple, healthy, cooling meal…
The Kumblanga / Ash Gourd is peeled and diced and cooked in a pressure cooker along with onion, tomato, turmeric powder and a bit of salt.
The coconut paste adds a beautiful flavor to this dish and also gives it thicker consistency. Grind coconut, ginger, garlic, green chili and small onion to a smooth paste. Add the yoghurt and grind again. Or you can beat the yoghurt with little water and salt and mix the two together. Traditionally, curds that are a bit sour are used for this curry, but regular yoghurt works just fine.
You have to be careful with the next step. Make sure this mixture is only heated well and does not reach a boil as it tends to curdle. Keep stirring on medium flame and as soon as you see bubbles forming, turn the gas off. Next comes the tempering.
250 gms. Kumblanga / Ash gourd – diced
1 medium Onion – roughly chopped
1 small Tomato – roughly chopped
1/2 tsp. Turmeric powder
2-3 tblsp. Water
Salt to taste
7-8 tblsp grated Coconut
1′ piece Ginger – roughly chopped
2 pods Garlic – roughly chopped
2-3 roughly Green chili – chopped
2-3 roughly Small onion – chopped
2 cups Yoghurt
2 tblsp. Coconut oil
1/2 tsp. Mustard seeds
1 -2 Whole red chili
1/2 tsp. Uluva/Methi / Fenugreek seeds
4- 6 Curry leaves
- In a pressure cooker cook the Kumblanga /Ash Gourd with turmeric powder, tomato, onion and salt with 2-3 tblsp water till one whistle comes and before the next whistle starts coming, switch the gas off. Let it cool.
- Meanwhile, grind the coconut, ginger, garlic, green chili and small onion to a smooth paste. Add the yoghurt and grind again.
- Once the pressure cooker is a cooled, pour the ground mix into this and stir. Heat this on on medium flame till bubbles start forming and turn off the gas. DO NOT let it boil or else the mix will curdle.
- Prepare the tempering – heat the coconut oil and add mustard seeds. When it starts to splutter add whole red chili, methi/fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. Immediately pour onto the cooked yoghurt mix.
Serve hot with steamed rice.