An effective weight-loss preparation with ash gourd

Ash gourd is also a rich source of nutrients and has a high water content. Photo: Manorama

Ash gourd is used in the traditional cuisine of Kerala to prepare dishes such as ‘pulissery’ and ‘olan’. It is also served along with buttermilk. Even though it was not a very popular vegetable in the past, ash gourd has attracted attention in recent years as a slimming agent. Low on calories, ash gourd can help people reduce weight. It is also a rich source of nutrients and has high water content.

The nutrients in ash gourd include fibres, starch, proteins, calcium, magnesium and iron. Apart from traditional dishes, ash gourd is now relished as a juice by weight-conscious people. Here is the recipe for ‘ash gourd parippu’, another improvised preparation with the vegetable.

½ cup split pigeon peas (parippu - toor dal)
4 cups sliced ash gourd
Salt to taste
2 numbers of green chillies
A few shallots
A little cumin seeds
A little grated coconut
Curry leaves

Wash the pigeon peas thoroughly and transfer them to a pressure cooker along with ash gourd pieces
Add sufficient water, salt and the green chillies and cook till the second whistle
Switch off the flame
Open the cooker when the steam settles
Mash the ash gourd and pigeon peas thoroughly with a ladle
Grind the coconut, cumin seeds and shallots in a mixer and add them to the ash gourd-pigeon peas mixture in the cooker
Heat the content till it boils
Heat a pan with a little oil, splutter the mustard in it and add red chillies and curry leaves
Sauté for some time and add it to the curry in the cooker
Mix well
The tasty as well as healthy ash gourd curry could be served

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