Monday, January 19, 2015

Pomegranate peel and ridge-gourd peel chutney, Meatless Monday

Sometimes the best dishes are those that we come up with at the spur of the moment. This is one such dish, which is the result of my impulsive action. Whenever I bring home ridge-gourd and make something out of it( this time it was the ridge-gourd stir-fry0, I save the peel and make chutney out of it. No, I am not being cheap. This is a very traditional dish and is used as a dip as well as a side-dish. Not only is it a rich source of fiber, it is great for digestive health. This time when I was in the process of making this chutney, my eyes fell on some pomegranate peel that I had dried and had to put away. See, traditionally, we also make pomegranate peel chutney. In fact, my mother regularly made it by grinding together pomegranate peel with cumin seeds and pepper corn along with coconut, red chillies and tamarind. All three primary ingredients : pomegranate peel, pepper corn and cumin seeds are soothing for the GI system. So, as I was making the ridge gourd peel chutney , I threw in half of the pomegranate peel that had been dried. I also added extra cumin seeds and black pepper corns. The result was truly, utterly delicious! I would make this over and over again.

Servings: 8-10


Dried Pomegranate peel: from 1/2 medium sized pomegranate.
Ghosale sheera (ridge gourd peel): from 2 ridge-gourd.
Coconut Oil/ghee: 1 tsp
Mustard: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Jeera ( cumin): 1 tbsp
Black pepper corns: 1 tbsp
Green chillies : 2
Tamarind : marble size ( if using pulp, use 1/4 tsp)
Asofoetida: pinch
Freshly grated coconut: 1/2 cup ( you could put upto one cup if you wish)
Salt: 1tsp ( adjust according to your taste)
Water: 1/2+1/2 cup


With your fingers, break the ridge gourd peel and check for thread like fibers. Remove and discard them. Wash and Clean the tender peel and keep aside.

In a sauté pan, heat oil/ghee, splutter  mustard seeds.

Then add curry leaves,jeera and pepper corns.Sauté for two minutes.

Now add the dried pomegranate peel and sauté for 4-5 minutes.

Then, add in the cleaned and washed ridge gourd peel and fry it for 4-5 mins on low flame.

Add 1/2 cup water and let it cook for 5-8 mins. 

Turn the flame off and let it cool down.

Now add freshly grated coconut, green chillies, asofoetida, tamarind& salt and grind in a blender to a smooth paste. Add the other 1/2 cup water while grinding as needed.

Serve with rice/ dosa/idlis or even in a sandwich.

Can be stored in an airtight container for upto 1 week in the refrigerator.

Cooking made easy:

While making the above chutney, I sometimes add the green chillies and coconut while sautéing the ridge gourd peel . Then I let it cool down and grind it with other ingredients. This increases the shelf-life of the chutney.

Keeping a chutney  handy makes breakfast and dinner easy.

Tip for healthy living:

Both Jeera ( Cumin) and pepper aid in digestion and is helpful in counteracting nausea and morning sickness.Cumin is also purported to have anti-diabetic, anti-epileptic, anti-tumor, anti-microbial and immunologic activities in the human body. Cumin is also a source of magnesium & iron.

Food for thought:

A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination! Nelson Mandela