Teasel gourd/ Phagla is a seasonal vegetable available in the monsoons. Teasel gourds are rich in iron, protein and have antibiotic properties, easy to digest, high in fiber, so try and include it in your diet as much as possible. The skin of teasel gourd is spiny but it has maximum nutrients, hence include it too. They taste delicious when shallow fried in oil. Posting a spicy and tangy coconut curry recipe to which shallow fried teasel gourds are added and this addition results in a flavourful teasel gourd curry.

RECIPE:

Ingredients

  • 8 to 10 tender teasel gourds
  • 1 medium sized onion finely chopped 
  • 4 tbsp freshly scraped coconut
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • Salt to taste

Masala paste 1:

  • Grind 1 tsp coriander seeds, 2 pinches of turmeric, 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder, 3 to 4 black pepper, a piece of tamarind to a smooth paste adding very little water. 

Masala Paste 2 :

  • Grind half the quantity of chopped onion, freshly scraped coconut, a pinch of turmeric, 2 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder(adjust to spice required)to a smooth paste adding little water. To this paste mix 1 tsp rice flour and keep aside. 

METHOD :

  • Soak the teasel gourds in salt water to remove dirt if any from its spines.
  • Rinse the teasel gourds thoroughly as it’s texture is spiny and pat dry with a cloth. There should be no moisture left. Cut off the edges and slit into thin slices vertically. Apply salt and set aside for 15 minutes so that they take up the salt. Heat a frying pan, arrange the teasel gourd slices on it, drizzle oil on the slices and shallow fry the teasel gourds on both sides. Shallow frying keeps the taste and nutrients of teasel gourd intact.As the teasel gourds are being shallow fried, prepare the curry along side.
  • Heat oil in a nonstick/ ceramic pan, add mustard seeds, when they splutter add asafoetida, half the quantity of chopped onion , saute till transluscent. Then add masala paste 1 and a little water and bring it to a boil.
  • Then add masala paste 2,salt and water to get consistency of your choice and bring to a boil. Finally add the shallow fried teasel gourds, stir well and bring to a boil.Serve hot with steaming hot rice.

TIP:

  • Adding 1/2 tsp rice flour to the coconut masala is important if not it may split when heated.
  • The quantity of teasel gourds to be added depends on individual choice, but I love this curry with the flavour of teasel gourd in everybite. Hence have mentioned more. Also its a very healthy vegetable.