In South India, it is believed that every food tells a story. Not a narrative story but a tale of savour to your tongue. A story that can take your taste buds on a culinary adventure. One of such amazing and delectable delicacies is Pudalangai Pithan from Karnataka. A traditional steamed and shallow-fried dish cooked with snake gourd and other nutritious elements.

Also Read: Benefits Of Eating Bottle Gourd

This Pudalangai Pidithan is basically equivalent to pakodas made of snake gourd in North India, which can be served with a simple tomato sauce around tea time. Since this snake gourd is a vegetable with lots of water content, making crispy pakodas out of them would be tricky. Of course, these won’t be as crispy as onion pakoda or cashew pakoda and will be soft inside.

Fried Snake Gourd

This delicacy is not just tasty but also compliments your health because of the greens used in it. As the saying goes- there is nothing more healthier than ‘living a green life’, this dish  made with snake gourd is a way to choose a healthy life. Like most flora of the gourd family, snake gourds are rich in nutrients and have a cooling impact on the body due to their high water content. They are also cholesterol-free, which benefits heart health, and are packed with vitamins and minerals that support the body’s vital metabolic processes.

Snake gourds are native to Asia and were first domesticated in India. The seeds were then transported from China to Europe via traders in the early 18th Century, and Thomas Jefferson is thought to have planted them in the US around 1820. Today, there are several types of snake gourds growing all over the world. You can buy them at local markets and specialised stores in Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia, the Western Pacific, Africa, Madagascar, and the US.

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Servings: 2 

Ingredients:

  • 250 gms of snake gourd (cut in crescents) 
  • 2 tbsps fresh grated coconut 
  • 3 tbsps rice flour 
  • 3 tbsps besan flour 
  • 1 tsp of red chilli powder 
  • 1 tsp of asafoetida 
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder 
  • 1 chopped green chilli 
  • 1 sprig curry leaves 
  • 1 tsp of coconut oil 
  • 1 tsp of mustard seeds

Method:

1.    Roughly mix rice, besan, red chilli, asafoetida, turmeric powder, green chillies, curry leaves, and coconut. 

2.    Add the snake gourd pieces into the dry mix and coat well and sprinkle more water if needed to ensure the vegetables are well coated.

3.    Then, roll them in between your fist into an oval shape in a way that it should hold shape.

4.    Place these oval fistfuls in a steamer/idli plate and cook till done.

5.    To check if they are done, poke a toothpick in the centre of the oval ball and if nothing sticks, then it is cooked.

6.    Remove from steam.

7.    Heat coconut in a wok or pan and temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves. 

8.    Place these fistfuls over the tempering and fry gently to ensure they do not break.