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**Ridge Gourd and Bengal Gram Curry Recipe**

**Preparation Time:** 15 minutes 

**Cooking Time:** 25 minutes 

**Total Time:** 40 minutes  

**Servings:** 4

 **Introduction:**

Ridge gourd and Bengal gram curry, known for its wholesome blend of Bengal gram (Channa Dal) and ridge gourd, offers a comforting and nutritious addition to any Indian meal. This dish combines the protein-rich Bengal gram with the mild sweetness of ridge gourd, enhanced by a fragrant tempering of spices. It is a popular dish in Indian households due to its simplicity, nutritional value, and delightful taste. Ridge gourd and Bengal gram curry, also known as Turai Chana Dal in some regions, is a comforting and nutritious dish from Indian cuisine. It’s a perfect accompaniment to steamed rice or chapati, ideal for a satisfying meal any time of the day.

 **Importance of Ingredients:**

- **Bengal Gram (Channa Dal):** A staple in Indian cooking, Bengal gram is rich in protein, fiber, and essential minerals like iron and potassium. It provides a hearty base to the curry, contributing to its nutritional profile and satiety factor.

 - **Ridge Gourd:** Also known as Turai or Luffa, ridge gourd is low in calories and rich in dietary fiber, vitamins (such as vitamin C and A), and minerals (like magnesium and calcium). Its mild flavor and tender texture complement the dal perfectly, making it a versatile vegetable in Indian cuisine.

**Occasions and Who Can Enjoy It:**

This curry is suitable for various occasions:

- **Daily Meals:** Perfect for everyday cooking as it's easy to prepare and pairs well with rice or bread.

- **Festive Feasts:** Its nutritious profile and comforting flavors make it a popular choice during festivals and gatherings.

- **Health-Conscious Individuals:** Ideal for those looking to incorporate fiber-rich and protein-packed meals into their diet without compromising on taste.

 **Benefits and Uses of Having This Recipe:**

- **Nutritional Benefits:** Provides a good balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fiber, essential for sustained energy and digestive health.

 - **Versatile Dish:** Can be enjoyed as a main dish with rice or as a side dish with roti (Indian flatbread).

 - **Budget-Friendly:** Uses simple ingredients that are readily available and affordable, making it accessible to many households.

**Ingredients:**

  • 150gm Bengal Gram (Channa Dal)
  • 250gm Ridge Gourd (Peel and cut into small pieces)
  • 1 Onion (Chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt (adjust to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons Chilli Powder (adjust to spice preference)
  • 2 tablespoons Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • A few Curry Leaves
  • A few Coriander Leaves (chopped)
  • 5 cups Water
  • Pressure Cooker

 **Detailed Cooking Instructions:**

 1. **Prepare the Ingredients:**

   - Rinse 2 cups of Bengal gram thoroughly under running water until the water runs clear. Drain and set aside.

   - Peel the ridge gourd and cut it into small, uniform pieces. Taste a small piece to ensure it isn't bitter, as bitter ridge gourds should not be used.

   - Chop the onion into small pieces.

 2. **Cooking the Dal and Ridge Gourd:**

   - In a pressure cooker, combine the washed Bengal gram, chopped ridge gourd pieces, and chopped onion.

   - Add 4 cups of water to the pressure cooker. Close the lid securely.

  - Cook on high heat and wait for 3 whistles. Once done, turn off the heat and allow the pressure cooker to cool down naturally.

 3. **Preparing the Tempering (Tadka):**

   - Heat a pan over medium heat and add oil.

   - Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Allow them to splutter and release their aroma.

   - Add minced garlic and sauté until golden brown and fragrant.

   - Stir in turmeric powder and curry leaves, quickly mixing everything together.

   - Transfer this tempering (tadka) to a small bowl and set aside.

 4. **Combining the Dal and Tempering:**

   - Once the pressure cooker has cooled down, carefully open it.

  - Add salt and chili powder (adjust to your spice preference) to the cooked dal and ridge gourd mixture.

   - Place the pressure cooker back on low heat and stir in the prepared tempering (tadka) from the pan.

   - Pour 1 cup of water into the pan used for tempering to collect any remaining spices and add this to the cooker as well.

 5. **Final Cooking and Garnishing:**

   - Mix everything well and bring the curry to a gentle boil over low heat. Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes until the flavors meld together and the curry thickens slightly.

   - Stir in chopped coriander leaves, reserving some for garnish if desired.

  - Let the curry simmer for an additional 2 minutes, ensuring all ingredients are well combined and heated through.

6. **Serving the Ridge Gourd and Bengal Gram Curry:**

   - Once the curry reaches your desired consistency and flavors have melded, remove it from heat.

   - Transfer the curry to a serving dish and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

   - Serve hot with steamed rice or chapatti for wholesome and satisfying meal.

**Storage:**

Leftover ridge gourd and Bengal gram curry can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave before serving.

 **Health Benefits and Uses:**

- **High in Protein:** Bengal gram provides essential amino acids, making it a good vegetarian source of protein.

 - **Rich in Fiber:** Ridge gourd adds dietary fiber, which aids digestion and promotes a feeling of fullness.

 - **Low in Calories:** Suitable for those watching their calorie intake without compromising on nutritional value.

 **Cooking Tips and Variations:**

- **Adjust Spice Level:** Increase or decrease the amount of chili powder according to your preference for spiciness.

 - **Add Coconut Milk:** For a creamy texture, stir in a splash of coconut milk towards the end of cooking.

 - **Garnish Options:** Besides coriander leaves, garnish with freshly grated coconut or a squeeze of lemon for added freshness.

- **Choosing Ridge Gourd:** Select ridge gourds that are firm and free from any soft spots or blemishes. Taste a small piece before cooking to ensure it is not bitter.

- **Cooking Time:** Cooking times can vary depending on the pressure cooker and stove heat. Adjust accordingly if you prefer a thicker or thinner consistency for the curry.

- ** Variations:** For a richer curry, you can add a splash of coconut milk towards the end of cooking. This adds a creamy texture and enhances the flavor profile.

By following these detailed steps and tips, you can prepare a delicious ridge gourd and Bengal gram curry that is sure to impress your family and friends. Enjoy the delightful combination of flavors and textures in this comforting Indian dish!

 **Nutritional Information (per serving):**

- **Calories:** 250 kcal

- **Protein:** 12g

- **Carbohydrates:** 35g

- **Fat:** 7g

- **Fiber:** 10g

- **Vitamin C:** 30% DV

- **Iron:** 15% DV

**Presentation and Servings:**

Serve the ridge gourd and Bengal gram curry hot, garnished with fresh coriander leaves, alongside steamed rice or chapati. This dish can be presented in a traditional serving bowl or on a platter for family-style dining.

 **Conclusion:**

Ridge gourd and Bengal gram curry is a nutritious and flavorful dish that highlights the simplicity and versatility of Indian cooking. Whether enjoyed as a comforting weekday meal or served during festive gatherings, its blend of protein-rich Bengal gram and fiber-packed ridge gourd makes it a wholesome addition to any menu. By following these detailed instructions and tips, you can create a delicious curry that will satisfy both your taste buds and your nutritional needs.

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