Blog Hopping & a Bharta

Far from biryanis and koftas, when I am blog hopping (really, who coined this term? It makes us all sound like rabbits!), I am actually always on the lookout for recipes I can cook on weekdays. It is when I am staring at the crisper in the fridge without an inkling of how to use up the zucchini or ridge gourd that I need inspiration from my friends. Here are a few recipes that came to my rescue.

Before you shake your heads in disbelief that we eat nothing but gourds let me add that these recipes have been tried over the last several weeks and I couldn't help but devote an entire post to them!

Ridge gourd with Pathrode (patra) - I'd never have thought of combining the two. But Richa did. All I can say is go ahead and make this rightaway - it's just the most delicious way to eat ridge gourd.

Another day, another unique combination - Musical's equally tasty Zucchini Paneer Subji.

Nupur's recipes are so precise I follow them blindly. And they never fail me. This Maharashtrian style preparation of ridge gourd with peanut powder has joined our favorites list (along with her Chavli amti and Paneer pulao).

Everytime I read an authentic Coorgi recipe on Asha's blog it transports me to a coffee plantation or coconut farm. I had been meaning to try several recipes from her blog but it was the Bottle gourd & Chana dal curry that tempted me the most. We loved the dish - it tasted familiar to our palate because of the coconut, yet different because of the poppy seeds.

And finally here is a bharta from my own kitty. Unlike eggplant, gourd or pumpkin is not roasted but steamed lightly. I faintly remember my grandmother making a hole in the centre of the pan and placing embers from the stove (chulha) to infuse the dish with a smoky flavor. I make do with browning the gourd a little. This changes the taste of the otherwise bland veggie.


GARDUDHE BHART (Bottle Gourd Bharta)
(serves 2-3)
1 bottle gourd (or pumpkin, squash etc)
1-2 green chillies
2-3 tbsp coconut
about 1/2 cup yogurt, beaten
1 shallot, finely chopped
Seasoning -
nustard seeds
curry leaves
Garnish -
finely chopped cilantro

Peel and dice gourd into large cubes (scoop out seeds if tough). Combine with 1/4 cup of water in a non stick saucepan and cook till soft and lightly browned at the bottom. Mash cubes lightly with a fork.

Grind coconut and green chillies to a coarse paste (don't add water). Add to gourd along with chopped onion and yogurt. Mix well. Season to taste.

Prepare a tadka with seasoning ingredients and pour over bharta. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.



Blogger Manasi said...

FINALLY!! a bharta that does not have eggplant in it!!!!
I too am a fan of Nupur's Chavli Aamti, infact I have started eating chavli beans because of it!!!

5:02 PM  
Blogger Nupur said...

Thanks for trying those recipes, Ashwini, and I am so thrilled (and relieved!) that they worked.
I love the others you tried, and I so agree, blog-gazing (is that a better term? :D) gives me ideas for combinations that I would never dream up myself.
Your bharta sounds delicious...I think I will try it with butternut squash.

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Bhart took me down the memory lane. I have never tasted the bootlegourd bhart, but my Mom cooked dudhi bhart(minus onions) frequently. Loved your recipe though!

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like this kind of dishes, so simple and tasty. Lovely presentation.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Nabeela said...

Where have you been hiding? Get those recipes out right now!! ;)
Love the bharta...the browning must indeed add a slight smoky flavor to it. I remember my grandma using coal embers to flavor dishes too...*sigh* they made everything taste goooood...

10:48 PM  
Blogger amna said...

that's a very elegant looking dish :)

3:18 AM  
Blogger Sia said...

finally!!! i am so glad to see ur post after long time and that to come up with something unusal as bharta made from gourd!!! its perfect for my HD who is allergic to brinjals. one tip ashwini. if u want to get the smoky flavour to veggie place a small bowl in a deep kadai containing steamed veggies. then place burning 1-2 pieces of coal in that bowl and pour a tbsp of ghee/oil. cover the kadai for 3-4 minutes. i usually get nice smoky flavour to my baingan barta this way. hope it helps u too.

5:14 AM  
Blogger Saju said...

yum! I love dhudi! To get a smoky flavour, I usually make a bowl out of foil, and place a burning charcoal in it and place it in the pan, then add a drop of oil and Close the pan. The result is really smoky.
You can buy small tablets of charcoal for insense burners.

6:45 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Manasi - I get it you don't like eggplant then?! This one tastes a little like baigan bharta but not too much :-)

Nupur - Blog gazing it is!!! I think the two of us should strongly advocate its use :-) I loooove your recipes. In fact my bookmarked list probably has the most from your blog

RC - ohh dudhi bhart is so tasty isnt it? The onion-less one is always on the naivadya menu.

Madhu, Nags - thanks

Nabby - sigh indeed, but Sia & Saju have good tips below if you want to recreate the experience

Sia - wow I didnt know there were so many people around who didnt like eggplants! Thanks so much for the tip - I also love smoky fish dishes and your idea sounds practical.

Saju - thanks, I am definitely going to try this. I remember in India we had a mini tandoor for a while and my mom used to do the same.

9:47 AM  
Blogger FH said...

A Rabbit here!!;D
Thanks for trying! Glad you enjoyed it. Usually I can go only two ways traditionally, coffee plantation and coconut farm! Hahaha!!
Love the unusual Bharta. I have frozen some gourd too, will try. Sounds great, new recipe ideas are always welcome! Happy Diwali!:)

11:07 AM  
Blogger sra said...

This is totally new to me! It really looks cool and inviting.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Anupama said...

Hapy Diwali Ash. Where are your Diwali Treats?

8:19 AM  
Blogger Sagari said...

thats a nice simple and new recipe

12:31 AM  
Blogger Richa said...

glad u enjoyed turia patra.
this bharta is new to me.

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mmm pumpkin bharta! I would have never thought of this. I'm on a mission to get my parents to eat pumpkin, so I might try out this recipe the next time I go home. Have you ever eaten Sri Lankan pumpkin curry? it's made with coconut and amaaazing.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

TJ - Honestly the only way I love pumpkin is in a raita. I havent had the Sri Lankan curry but it sounds pretty similar to the Maharashtrian & Konkani versions. See here -

1:27 PM  

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