- 2 tsp of coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 spring onion chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 tbsp jeera (cumin) powder
- 1 chopped onion
- 2 medium-sized gourds, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 4 seedless green chillies
- 1 tbsp chopped onion
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cardamom pods
- 1 tsp kalonji (black onion seeds - available from most Asian supermarkets)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- chopped fresh coriander
Category : Vegetables|
Rating : 3
Contributor : n/a
Award-winning owner of Wolverhampton's Bilash Restaurant, Sitab Khan, reveals his recipes and some of the tricks of the trade to food writer Simon Penfold.
Asians has a rich tradition of vegetable dishes and this dish of gourd is a popular Bangladeshi lunch - excellent with plain boiled rice or chappatis.
Gourds are similar to pumpkins and squash, and will need peeling and possibly de-seeding before use.
Sitab uses two kind: one is long and white or green, the other is rounder and pear-shaped. Pop into any Indian grocers and ask, and a kindly soul will be able to show you the right vegetable. It is worth asking - this is an excellent dish and is currently forming part of Sitab's new menu at the Bilash.
"I like to offer people the sort of food I ate when I was growing up at home in Bangladesh," he recalled.
"I started to cook very early - I was only about ten. There were no sisters in the family to help my mum, and when she fell ill once she asked me to help make a meal of prawns. She told me what to do and I did it.
"Even today I am still cooking the way my mum taught me. I am still learning, still trying to get better at it - you never stop with cooking, there is always something new to find out, even after more than 30 years."
Although there is an impressive list of ingredients, this is a simple dish to put together.
First off, peel your gourd and cut up into small pieces. How small. How small do you want them? Whatever looks right to you.
Then heat the pot and then add the oil. Then add the onion, garlic and kalonji and stir on a slow heat until the onions begin to brown. Don't try to cook it too fast or at too high a heat or the onions will catch you out and begin to burn.
When the onions are ready, add the cumin powder, coriander powder, chilli powder and turmeric, and cook for a further five minutes.
When the oil is starting to separate it is a sign that the spices have cooked and it is time to add the gourd. Cook for about 25 minutes on a medium heat, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Then add the remaining ingredients and a cup of water and cook at a high temperature for a further ten minutes, stirring all the time to prevent sticking.
Serve up as part of a meal or on its own, as a lunch perhaps, with rice or bread. It is light, healthy, tasty and very good indeed.