Jhinger Jhal/Spicy ridge gourd
Jhal in Bengali cuisine often means sorse bata or mustard paste. But this jhal from my grandmother’s kitchen is fiery owing to a lot of green chilies added to it. With the whiff of kalojeere/nigella seeds and the sweetness of coconut, this jhal hits the correct strings on the palate.
Jhinge/ridge gourd can also be replaced with chalkumro/ash gourd or lau/bottle gourd to prepare this jhal.
One point to remember while preparing this jhal
Do not add a lot of kalojeere/nigella seeds while making a paste with coconut and green chilies. Adding a lot of it will make the jhal bitter.
Other jhinge/ridge gourd recipes on the blog
Niramish Jhinger Dolma
- 3-4 (500g) jhinge/ridge gourd cut to medium sized pieces
- ¾ teaspoon of kalojeera/nigella seeds
- 6-8 green chilies or as per taste
- Salt according to tatse
- 2 tablespoons of mustard oil
- ⅓ cup of freshly grated coconut
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 2-3 dry red chilies
- ¼ cup of cream
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- Steam the ridge gourd with a pinch of salt and 1 cup of water. Do not discard the water.
- Blitz the coconut, ½ teaspoon of kalojeera and 2 whole green chilies to a fine paste.
- Heat the mustard oil in a kadhai. Temper the oil with bay leaves, whole red chilies and ¼ teaspoon of kalojeera.
- As the spices release the aroma, add the steamed ridge gourd along with the water.
- As the water begins to simmer, add the coconut paste to the kadai, followed by sugar and salt.
- Continue cooking on medium flame till the water is almost evaporated.
- Add the fresh cream to the kadai, along with 4-6 green chilies slit. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes on low medium flame.
- Turn off the flame and serve.
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