Recipe for Peerkangai Thogayal / Peerkangai Thuvayal / Ridge gourd chutney
The ridge gourd was never a part of my veggie-shopping list until I started making this traditional south Indian Chutney called Peerkangai Thuvaiyal. The spiciness from the red chillies, the tanginess from the tamarind and the authentic south Indian taste from the asafoetida make it a delight to eat with steaming hot rice dotted with ghee.
Before I tell you how to go about making this flavorful chutney, I must tell you a little trivia about this gourd.
The botanical name of Ridge Gourd is Luffa Aegyptica. If this sounds similar to the loofah sponge that adorns our baths- it is no co-incidence. Loofahs are indeed made from the dried ridge gourds after removing the seeds and xylems from inside the gourd
What is Thogayal?
Thogayal or Thuvayal made using a variety of vegetables such as chow chow (chayote squash), sorakkai (bottle gourd), pumpkin, ridge gourd and their peels, eggplant etc. is a clear example of the thriftiness of Tamil Brahmins. Putting to use peels of a vegetable so innovatively, such that it becomes a delicious accompaniment for rice in indeed a master stroke. While I hated most of the gourds, the thogayal was always a favourite, even when I was a kid.
It is usually had as the first course of a rice meal, where this thogayal is mixed into rice with a generous serving of melted ghee or preferably raw gingelly oil (sesame oil). The flavour needs to be experienced to be understood. The crunchy urad dal and mustard seeds in the the tempering that goes over the thogayal just adds a whole new level of deliciousness to this chutney made from scraps.
I also LOVE to have the peerkangai thogayal with plain curd rice / thair sadham.
We also make a plain and simple thengai thogayal in which the coconut is roasted along with the other fried ingredients and ground to a chutney.
Also check out: Chow Chow Thogayal, same recipe but uses sliced chayote squash instead of ridge gourd.
- 2 medium ridge gourds choose tender variety
- 2-3 tsp oil
- 1 pinch turmeric
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 3 dried red chillies
- 2 tbsp urad dal
- 1 smidgen asafoetida piece soaked in 1 tbsp warm water (optional)
- 1 small tamarind piece 1" piece soaked in 2-3 tbsp hot water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut unsweetened
- 2 tsp oil gingelly is ideal
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp urad dal
- 1 dried red chilli
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- To prepare peerkangai thogayal, slice off the top and tail end of the ridge gourd and cut into thin slices~1/2 cm thick. Heat 1 tsp oil in a large sized pan and saute the gourd slices with a pinch of turmeric for 4-5 minutes on a high flame. Remove this into a dish and allow to cool.
- In the same pan, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds, red chillies, urad dal and fry on a medium flame until the dal turns golden.
- In a mixer jar, take the sauteed ridge gourd slices and the fried dal-red chilli -mustard seeds mix, coconut, tamarind, asafoetida water, salt and grind to a fine paste. Remove this into a serving bowl
- Heat the 1 tsp oil in the same pan. Add the mustard seeds, red chili, urad dal and curry leaves and fry until the dal is golden and crunchy. Transfer this over the thogayal.
- Serve this with hot rice, ghee / gingelly oil and a dry vegetable curry like cabbage or carrot on the side.