Tuesday 29 May 2018

Ridge Gourd Peels Chutney

Our parents' generation made a much more efficient use of resources than our generation. My Mom and Aunts cooked delicious meals from everyday produce and ingredients. They could make a mean curry using things that we now discard without a second thought.  

Pumpkin skin, raw mango pits, white flesh of watermelon were reinvented into curries. Watermelon, musk melon, and pumpkin seeds were dried in sun and we kids spent a few happy hours in summer-break peeling and eating those seeds.

As I have green leanings, I worry endlessly about the waste I create. One of the best ways to get rid of kitchen waste (or any other waste, for that matter) is to reduce it in the first place. 

If we didn't create as much food waste, we wouldn't just help fight the food crisis, we would also help mitigate global warming. Food waste, when dumped in landfills, rots and creates methane, which is 72 times more potent in trapping heat in our atmosphere, than carbon dioxide. 

In honor of World Environment Day, I decided to do a series of posts, which use ingredients that would have been otherwise dumped. Here's the first one with ridge gourd peels. 

By adding this ridge gourd peels chutney to your repertoire of recipes, you're not only doing a great favor to your taste buds, but you're also fighting global warming. How cool is that! (pun intended)

  Ridge Gourd or Turai, Pic courtesy: Pixabay

Serves: 3-4


Ridge gourd peels - From 1 ridge gourd, chopped 
Onion - 1/2 medium, roughly chopped
Tomato - 1
Garlic - 2 cloves
Ginger - a little
Green chilies - 4-5
Grated coconut (fresh or frozen) - 4-5 tablespoons
Oil Gingelly or any) - 2 teaspoons  
Asafoetida - a pinch
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Urad daal - 1 teaspoon
Peanuts - 10
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Coriander leaves - 8-10 sprigs

Way to go:

1. Wash ridge gourd thoroughly. If a vegetable isn't organic, I usually soak it in vinegar-laced water and then scrub it under running water. If you are using homegrown gourd or are assured of its organic origins, you can skip soaking it in this water.

2. Peel the ridge gourd. Discard peels from the very end which are close to the stalk, as they can be chewy. You can make a delicious ridge gourd-sprouted moong sabzi with the flesh while keeping the peels for this chutney.  

3. Heat oil. Add and sauté ingredients in the following order: asafoetida, mustard seeds, urad daal, peanuts, curry leaves, onion, chopped skin of ridge gourd, salt, tomato, green chillies, garlic, ginger and cilantro, grated coconut.

4. After adding grated coconut, switch off the flame. The thing to be remembered for any coconut based stuff is that coconut should be added towards the very end.

5. Let the mix cool down and grind.


1. Taste the ridge gourd and discard it if it's bitter. 

2. You can also add a couple of slices of ridge gourd to the peels or make the chutney using the whole ridge gourd. Basically, you can play around with the parts and proportions of ridge gourd in any which way.

3. You can add a bit of tamarind to increase the tangy flavor of chutney.

This chutney is so yummy that my daughter has gone gaga over it twice. Once, when she was only 3, a Telugu friend gave a small box of this chutney and my little munchkin gobbled it all! Now, when she is 7.5, she had it at a friend's place with wheat dosa. She loved it so much, I had to call up my friend and ask her the recipe for this magical chutney (thank you Vijitha and Swarnameena for this!) This chutney turned out to be an old acquaintance, whom I now want to turn into a dear friend. 

Do share how it turns out for you. Also, let me know of any interesting ways in which your family cooks vegetable parts, which would have been otherwise discarded.

Happy cooking for a greener world!

1 comment:

  1. Was looking for this recipe for a long time. Now that you have tried yourself, I too will try ne t time I buy ridge gourd. Thanks Anu.