sponge gourd curry with Moringa/Drumstick powder
The sponge gourd curry with drumstick powder was such a surprise that I decided to write the recipe details as soon as I finished my meal. It happens rarely that I am motivated to compile the recipes so quickly although I note down the ingredients while I cook always.
The nenua (sponge gourd) ki subzi that is cooked in Banaras homes is already a favourite of many I know, with its subtle flavours and creamy texture, hence I was a bit hesitant about disturbing the flavours but I felt it will be a good way to supplement an everyday curry rather than creating something new with the Moringa powder. New recipes rarely become as comforting as the time tested recipes and foods.
The old recipe of nenua ki subzi is supplemented with Moringa powder in such a way that it helps the absorption of nutrients well. The use of sour yogurt also helped the curry become pleasantly tart and refreshing, the taste of Moringa is not so evident, although the colour shines through.
(2 large servings)
400 gm sponge gourd peeled and cubed
60 gm or a dozen baby onions peeled and quartered (use 1/2 cup diced red onions alternately)
1 or 2 green chilies slit
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp mustard oil
1/2 cup sour yougurt or buttermilk
2 tsp Moringa powder
Salt to taste
Heat the oil and tip in the cumin seeds. Let the cumin crackle and get aromatic before you add the green chilies and the onions. Fry them till they get translucent for a minute or so.
Add the cubed pieces of sponge gourd, add salt and turmeric powder, mix well and cover to cook. It takes about 5-6 minutes to cook, without added water at low flame.
Now whisk the yogurt with Moringa powder and pour into the curry keeping the flame very low. Let it simmer for 2 minutes and the curry is ready.
Serve this curry with plain boiled rice or with chapatis or a crisp paratha, it has a tangy and herby taste that feels quite refreshing.
The nenua ki subzi is a great base for many of my experimental recipes. I sometimes add paneer cubes to make the subzi more wholesome, something that can be done with this subzi as well. Addition of soaked black chickpeas and chana dal is common in this recipe traditionally as well, tells a lot about how popular nenua is in the places it grows.