Dudhi Chi Bhaji ~ Bottle Gourd Curry with Goda Masala

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Dudhi chi bhaji is a curry from Indian state of Maharashtra. Dudhi or bottle gourd is cooked with goda masala, a popular and common spice mix in Maharashtrian kitchens. Bottle gourd curry or dudhi chi bhaji is served with rice or poli (roti/Indian flat bread).

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I made dudhi chi bhaji as part of Maharashtrian thali. This is a simple curry cooked with a common Maharashtrian spice powder, goda masala or kala masala. I still have some goda masala Pradnya gave us during the BM meet in Chennai, almost couple of years ago and used it in this bhaji.

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There are many dudhi (doodhi) chi bhaji recipes online. I referred to them and came up with a version that suited our palate. This bhaji is a sweet and spicy curry and I cut down a lot on the sweet as we don’t like sweet in curries. Some recipe used chana dal and some called for moong dal and I left out both the dals. However, I feel chana dal would be a nice addition to this curry.

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I made the curry twice. The first time was for the thali and I was not happy with the photo and made it again few days ago, just for the sake of photo. The irony is, though I made the curry just for photos, I still have not resolved the Lightroom (LR) issue on my MacBook and could not edit the RAW images. Though the photos look fine, after using LR and processing RAW images, using JPEG from the camera are not very appealing to me. However, I can’t differentiated between processed RAW images and camera processed JPEG images of other people.

Anyway, the second time I made the bhaji, bottle gourd was not as tender as it was the first time. I had to cook the bhaji a little longer and add more water as well. As you can see, the texture and the consistency of the curry is different in the thali and liked the drier curry better than the semi dry curry.

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Total Time: 20 – 25 minutes
Preparation: 5 – 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 3

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups diced Bottle Gourd
  • 2 tbsp of Chana Dal, soaked for at least ½ hour (I didn’t use it)
  • 2 tbsp. Oil
  • ½ tsp. Mustard Seeds
  • ¼ tsp. Hing ~ Asafoetida
  • ¼ tsp. Turmeric Powder
  • ¾ tsp. Chili Powder (adjust to heat tolerance level)
  • 1 tbsp. Goda / Kala Masala (adjust to heat tolerance level)
  • ½ cup Water
  • ¾ – 1 tsp. Salt (adjust to taste)
  • ½ tsp. Sugar (can use jaggery and add more depending on taste)

Preparation:

  • Peel, wash and trim the ends of the bottle gourd. Cut bottle gourd into ½” thick and 1” cubes.
  • Heat oil, add mustard seeds and let the seeds pop.
  • Add hing and turmeric powder and give good stir.
  • Add bottle gourd pieces and stir fry for couple of minutes until spices blend into the vegetable and pieces are lightly toasted in oil. If using chana dal, add it with bottle gourd pieces.
  • Add goda masala, chili powder and mix well.
  • Add water, stir, cover and cook on medium high flame until vegetable is tender, about 4-6 minutes. By now water will evaporate and the vegetable will be almost cooked.
  • Add salt, sugar stir and cook for few minutes on low flame until the vegetable is tender. I turned off the flame, covered and let the vegetable cook in the steam.
  • Serve with rice or roti.

Note:

  • Cooking times vary on how tender the bottle gourd is. Cooking times mentioned above are when I made the curry for the thali. When I made the curry again few days ago, for better pictures, I had to cook a little longer as the gourd was hard and not as tender it was the first time I made it for the thali.
  • Sugar/Jaggery – Jaggery is usually used in this bhaji (curry). I substituted it with sugar and since we do not like sweet in curries, I used only ½ tsp of sugar. For this quantity of bhaji, one can add up to 2 tbsp of sugar or jaggery. Add less or more sweetener depending on your liking.

This day in 2013: Choco Flan
This day in 2014: Salted Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies

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