Heerekayi Palya /Ridge gourd curry is a tasty side dish, A typical North Karnataka curry/side dish that goes great as a side dish for chapati/Jowar (Sorghum) roti. Niger seeds in English – that is Uchellu/Gurellu in Kannada. These seeds are used in masalas by the people of North Karnataka. They resemble the black cumin seeds but are soft and slippery. It is an essential ingredient in most curries and especially in the masalas for Yengai.
Ridge gourd – 1 or 2 peeled and chopped
Mustard – 1/2 tsp
Onion – 1 or 2 chopped
Green chilly – 1 or 2
Tomato – 1 or 2 chopped
Curry leaves – 1 spring
Sambar powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric – 1 pinch
Salt to taste
Oil to fry – 2 tbs
To dry roast –
Uchhellu/ Gurellu/Niger seeds – 1 1/2 tbs
Peanut – 1 1/2 tbs
Peel the ridge gourd immerse in water and keep ready.
Dry roast Niger seeds until it begin to splutter (same as sesame), once it is done remove and set aside on a plate. next dry roast peanuts until golden and crisp. Allow it to cool, then make a coarse powder in a mixer jar and keep ready.
Heat a pan with oil in it, when it is hot add mustard seeds, allow it to splutter, then add chopped onion, slit green chilly and curry leaves, fry until onion turns translucent.
Now add chopped tomatoes, saute until tomatoes become soft,
Add chopped Ridge gourd, saute for few mins
Add sambar powder, turmeric, and salt to taste.
Toss it well, add 1/2 cup of water, cook covered on a medium flame.
Cook until the veggies are cooked,
Bring the curry to boil until the gravy becomes thick.
Bring the curry to a gravy consistency, ensure the veggies are cooked, then add pounded powder, stir
Remove from the flame.
Enjoy as a side dish for Chapati/Jowar roti.
You can add only roasted and powdered Niger seeds and skip peanuts which also taste good. You can add jaggery powder in preparation to enhance the taste which is optional.