Anapakaya or sorakaya which is commonly known as bottle gourd is technically known as calabash, is a vine grown for its fruit, tender young bottle gourd fruits of certain varieties are eaten as a boiled vegetable. The fresh fruit has a light green smooth skin and a white flesh. The fruit are often cooked with lentils, curries and also used in making desert. Bottle gourd is popular summer squashes in India. The best are slightly sweet, tender, and free of bitterness. Gourds are high in fiber and low in fat and cholesterol also contains good amount of Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Zinc, Thiamin, Iron, Magnesium and Manganese. Bottle gourd in India is also known as Lauki and Dudhi.
I use Anapakaya a lot in my house; it is a must to buy vegetable in my weekly veggies shopping. I make sambar, pappu kura (cooked with lentils), curries, pachadi (chutney) and stews with this lovely squash. Anapakya palu kura is a light and creamy curry, mildly spiced with ginger is from Andhra Pradesh most commonly cook by vegetarians. This sweet summer squash goes really well with cream/ milk just melts in mouth. Even though I don’t like this particular dish a lot but it’s my son’s favorite. This dish is really easy to prepare and also a good side dish for quick meals. Both my mom & MIL prepares this curry same way .
1 medium tender Anapakaya
1 ½ -2 tbsp half & half or whole milk
Salt to taste
Peel and cut anapaya into cubes, remove the seeds if needed and keep aside.
1 tsp oil
1 dried whole red chilli (broken)
½ tsp urad dal
½ tsp cumin seeds
Small pinch of hing
½ inch ginger piece (peel & minced)
Few curry leaves
Heat oil in small frying pan add urad dal, red chillies and fry until the urad dal starts to turn light brown. Now add cumin seeds, hing and ginger, allow the cumin seeds to crackle. Add curry leaves and turn of the heat and keep aside.
In a heavy bottom shallow pan add anapayaka pieces, salt and cook on low medium heat covered. Anapakaya itself contains lots of moisture so you don’t need to add any extra water. Keep stirring in between. If needed sprinkle some water to avoid burning. It takes 10-15 minutes to cook. Add fried seasoning and cream mix well, cook for 1-2 minutes and turn of the heat.
This goes really well with rice and roties.
Notes and Tips
Do not cook for long after adding cream it will curdle. You can use ghee to fry seasoning instead of oil to add extra flavor. Also you can add onions (chopped) along with seasoning, fry and then add to the cooked squash.