Stuffed snake gourd (pudalangaay)

I had almost forgotten about this recipe until my friend Lalitha Srinivasan reminded me of it when we were chatting last week. My friend is an amazing cook, but even more amazing was her mother’s cooking. During over four decades of friendship I have picked up many recipes from her and her mother. This is one such recipe and certainly should not be forgotten. 

Snake gourd cut into pieces for stuffing

Ingredients 
Snake gourd – 1-2 (the long variety that literally looks like a snake)
Tuvar dal – 1/2 cup
Chana dal – 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Green chillies – 2
Dried red chillies – to taste 
Curry leaves – 15
Asafoetida – a pinch
Salt – to taste
Oil – 1-2 tbsp

To garnish
Oil 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp

Soak the dals for two hours. Grind into smooth thick paste with chillies and curry leaves using water as needed. Add turmeric powder, asafoetida and salt and set aside.

Cut the snake gourd into 1.5” sized pieces so it looks like small cylinders. Carefully clean out the inside so it is hollow and you can fill the stuffing in it. Carefully fill the lentil paste into each piece making sure it is fully stuffed. Now, after this it needs to be steamed so that the vegetable and paste cook well. However, I prefer to cook it (covered) in the microwave for 6-7 mins. I also add a little bit of salt to the snake gourd before cooking it. Don’t allow it to get soft and soggy. Now remove them and tsauté or pan fry it. I usually line them up on an oven tray which has been oiled. Put a drop on oil on top of each cylinder and roast in the oven at 190C for 10-15 minutes till fully done. In a kadai prepare the garnish by popping the mustard seeds and frying the urad till brown. Add the roasted snake gourd and gently stir. Serve with any South Indian meal. In my house, this gets finished even before it reaches the table because it is so tasty. Serves 4.

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