Spicy Potlakaya kura with sesame seeds powder. This is an easy to make recipe that is delicious to serve with both rice and roti.
This Snake gourd curry is a staple in my kitchen. This post was published in 2009 and I have finally got around to update it in 2020. I used to buy frozen snake gourd at the time. But things have changed for the good in these years and we now get fresh snake gourd in Indian grocery stores.
Pudalangai | Snake Gourd:
Snake gourd aka Potlakaya aka Pudalangai belongs to the gourd family and is native to southeast Asia, some parts of Africa and Australia. It is called ‘snake’ gourd because of it’s long snake like shape. Interesting part is the ones we get in US are much shorter than the ones in India (see step by step photo #4).
It has a mild, crisp taste almost like cucumber. I love simple veggies like that don’t need too much oil or too many spices to cook with. Other examples of veggies that I like are bottle gourd (sorakaya), ridge gourd (beerakaya) etc.
Traditionally snake gourd is cooked as a simple stir fry with fresh grated coconut. It is generally kept as a dry curry that is not too spicy. Sometimes milk is added to the curry to make a little gravy that is great to serve with both rice and roti.
But my husband prefers some spice in his curries, so I made this spicy snake gourd curry for him. It is a basic curry with onion-tomato base with roasted sesame seed powder (nuvvula podi). I also add some rice flour whisked in milk to add thickness to the curry.
This potlakaya koora is great to serve with both rice and roti. The same curry can be made with zucchini, pumpkin, bottle gourd or ridge gourd.
- 1 tbsp Oil
- ½ tsp Mustard seeds
- ½ tsp Cumin seeds
- 6 Curry leaves
- 1 Medium Red onion, chopped
- 2 Green chilies
- 1 Small Snake gourd, chopped (thaw, if frozen)*
- 2 Tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tbsps Roasted Sesame seed powder*
- ½ tsp Red chili powder (or more to taste)
- To taste Salt
- 1 tbsp Rice flour
- ¼ cup Milk
- Heat oil in a sauté pan; add mustard seeds and cumin seeds; once the seeds start to splutter; add curry leaves, onion and green chilies; sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Now add snake gourd and ½ cup water; cover and cook till it turns tender, about 8-10 minutes. Season with salt.
- Then add tomatoes; cover and cook till they turn mushy, takes another 5 minutes.
- Add the roasted sesame powder, red chili powder and salt; cook for a minute.
- Whisk rice flour into milk and add it to the curry; mix well and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Enjoy with rice or roti.
- Generally frozen Snake gourd comes in big circular pieces. I usually chop them up into bite size pieces.
- To make roasted sesame seed powder: Dry roast the sesame seeds in a pan on medium-low flame. Stir frequently until the seeds start to turn light brown. Keep an eye on it, they tend to burn very quickly. Once they are golden brown, remove from the pan into a bowl to cool. Grind the cooled sesame seeds in a spice blender in short pulses. If they are ground too much, then become sesame paste due to the oils in the seeds – so use caution and grind until smooth powder.
- Roasted sesame seed powder keeps well in the fridge for up to 2 months. So make extra and store it to use in curry recipes like this.