Jun 28, 2011

Podalangai (Snakegourd) Besan Curry

The recipe I have here is what my mom makes quite often with podalangai. Instead of a plain poriyal, this version has a powder besan curry similar to that of a parupusili but with a much shorter and easier way to cook.

Snakegourd (Podalangai) always reminds me of this joke in a tamil movie. The comedian goes to the market to pick up vegetables and picks up a snake and puts in on his shoulder thinking it is a podalangai and walks home. Everyone around him screams and runs away and he looks at people like they are crazy. Remember that scene? I even tried to look for a video online but can't find it. Anyways, what would a snake be doing in a crowded market pretending to be a podalangai..Hmm.
Anyways, this vegetable is not as commonly available here as in India. The Indian stores carry them every now and then and they are short and stout and not very tender – and can be classified as one of the more expensive vegetables in the US. I’d have to spend 5-6 dollars to just pick up a couple of pieces of this vegetable. And you can get a 10lb bag of potatoes for less than a dollar! Go figure! But I still do end up spending my 2 coffees at Starbucks on this coz I do love this vegetable.  It just makes me feel ..well..south Indian!

Wash and chop the vegetable into little bits. Cut them out first, scoop out all the seeds and the flesh inside and discard. It is basically the skin that is eaten. Cut that into thin strips and then further cut into little bits along the sides.

In a pan, dry roast about 1 cup of besan. Add salt to taste and about ½ tsp of red chilli powder.  Heat the besan in low-medium heat and make sure you don’t burn them. Heat up till a nice aroma starts floating up. Remove from heat and move to a mixing bowl.

In the same pan, add a tsp of oil and add some mustard seeds and let splutter. Then, add a couple of red chillies and then add the chopped vegetable pieces. Add salt to taste and let this cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add about ½ cup of water to the besan powder and blend it to a smooth paste. Don’t add too much water and make this too thin.

Pour the besan mixture on top of the veggies.  You’ll see that they start to thicken up almost immediately. Bring down the heat to medium and let this cook for about 5-10 minutes or until the besan starts to brown and become crisp.

That’s it – you’re done. Serve hot with rice and rasam or sambar. Or like me, just scoop up in a cup, grab a spoon and start eating!

Enjoy. Peace Out!


  1. I make the same way for capsicum,but wid snake gourd sounds nice...:)

  2. Wow adding besan is a nice twist...nice clicks

  3. Curry looks stunning,delicious and quite interesting..

  4. Delicious Curry,lovely clicks...

  5. This makes a delish & tempting meal!!!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

  6. wow, that looks simple and delicious, very new recipe. Would love to give it a try :)

  7. This looks fantastic and I am sure it tastes equally wonderful :)
    US Masala

  8. Fantastic fry, seriously am drooling over that platter..

  9. Always love your recipes. I have a request though, can you suggest what all vegetables can be used for this recipe besides snake gourd. Many of your recipes are awesome but I always wanted to know with the gravy or the base of the curry you use that day, what type of other vegetables can also be used...if you could make that part of your blog it would be so useful.

  10. Thank you all!

    @ Anonymous - sure - I'll try to add that info. Thanks for being a regular follower!

  11. That makes me feel Indian :) Thanks


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