Ashgourd/ Bhopla/ Budakumbalkayi or Kuvvale as it is called in my mother tongue Konkani is widely used in the South of India in a variety of dishes. Posting a Kuvvale Sasam today which is very popular with the GSB community. This is a medium spicy preparation as Ashgourd on it’s own has no flavour. A tap of raw mustard is added while grinding the masala to impart flavour.
300 gms Ashgourd de skinned and cut into cubes
1/2 of a small coconut grated
7 Byadgi chillies roasted in a little oil
1/2 tsp tamarind paste
3/4 tsp mustard while grinding
1 level tsp rice flour
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard
2 sprigs curry leaves
Cook the ashgourd pieces in two glasses of water with salt. Grind the coconut, roasted red chillies, tamarind, rice flour and mustard to a smooth paste with enough water. Pour the ground masala into the cooked ashgourd. Adjust consistency by adding enough water. It should be neither thick nor runny. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. After they crackle add the curry leaves. Toss and pour the seasoning into the boiling Ashgourd Sasam. Switch off, cover and keep aside for about fifteen minutes for the flavours to infuse.
Note: you may skip the rice flour on auspicious days when rice is avoided. It is basically added to lend texture to the dish. Instead, increase the quantity of coconut used.
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