Ridge gourd curry - Turai ki sabzi - Beerakaya curry - is a simple and delicious Indian curry with Ridge gourd. Learn how to make this easy and delightful ridge gourd recipe and serve it for lunch or dinner. This naturally vegan and gluten-free recipe is nourishing yet tasty enough to please everyone.
Ridge gourd, bottle gourd, and bitter gourd were the most hated veggies when I was a kid. And I am sure all kids do that, and even my kids do it now. But after I started cooking for myself, I started liking this veggie. And once you taste my version of curry, I am sure everyone will like it.
What is Ridge Gourd
Ridge gourd is a vegetable belonging to the gourd family with a mild and slightly sweet taste. The scientific name of ridge gourd is Luffa acutangula, also called Chinese okra.
In the Hindi language, we call it Turai. Hence, the recipe name is Turai ki Sabzi (Turai means ridge gourd, and Sabzi means curry). In Telugu, we call it "Beerakaya," and it is "Peerkangaai" in Tamil.
You can have this ridge gourd vegetable in raw form, which is usually sweet. Always taste the gourd before making the curry, as some gourds might be bitter. And we should avoid bitter-tasting ridge gourds.
Usually, there will be two types of ridge gourd. One type is short, almost palm-sized. And another one is nearly hand-sized, as shown in the below pic. This veggie tastes best when it is harvested at an early stage.
Benefits of Ridge Gourd
- Ridge gourd is mildly sweet and takes up flavors very well.
- It's versatile, and you can use it in various recipes, from curries to stir-fries and even chutneys.
- This veggie is an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- It is low in calories and high in water content.
Ingredients for Ridge Gourd Curry
We only need a handful of pantry staple ingredients to make this delicious and simple curry. So let's get cooking!
- Ridge gourd: This is the star ingredient of this recipe. The tender and fresh ridge gourd makes the delicious curry. So use the ridge gourd within 2 to 3 days after you buy it.
- Aromatics: Finely chopped onions and garlic will flavor the curry. If you have ginger and garlic paste, you can use it. You can use ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder or skip it if you do not have fresh garlic.
- Powder Spices: This simple curry uses traditional Indian spices - turmeric powder, red chili powder, and ground coriander. These three spices are essentials of all Indian curries.
- Tempering ingredients: I used cumin, mustard, and curry leaves for tempering this curry. Curry leaves impart a unique taste and fragrance to the curry. And if you do not have fresh curry leaves, you can use dried leaves or skip them.
- Oil: I used coconut oil to make this curry. You can use any cooking oil that suits you. You can also use avocado, peanut, mustard, or ghee to make this curry.
Preparing Ridge Gourd
- Wash and peel the tender ridge gourd using a vegetable peeler. Though ridge gourd skin is edible, it is slightly tough and will give a hard texture to the curry. So I prefer peeling the ridge gourd before making this curry.
- Use a vegetable peeler to peel the ridge gourd. You can also peel it using a knife, but the peeler is easy to handle and removes the ridge gourd skin completely.
- Now cut the peeled ridge gourd into half-inch cubes. You can chop them into smaller or large cubes; cooking time varies accordingly.
Tempering and Sauteing
- Heat a saute pan. Once it is hot, add oil, cumin, and mustard seeds.
- Once these seeds start spluttering, add chopped curry leaves and grated garlic.
- Now add finely chopped onions and saute them for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add chopped ridge gourd and saute them for around 5 minutes. Close the pan with a lid so the steam inside will cook the gourd.
- Once the ridge gourd is almost cooked, add turmeric powder, red chili powder, ground coriander, and salt.
- Mix it well and cook the curry further for 4 to 5 minutes.
- All the water is released from the gourd and cooked thoroughly by this time. If your ridge gourd is not tender, add a couple of tablespoon of water and cook them until they are done.
Garnishing and Serving
- At our home, like other South Indian curries, we usually add desiccated coconut powder at the end. And sometimes, we add roughly crushed roasted peanuts. This step is optional, and you can skip it.
- For a tangy flavor, add a teaspoon of lemon juice and garnish the curry with fresh cilantro leaves. Easy and tasty ridge gourd curry is ready to serve with rice or Indian flatbread like chapati, paratha, or naan bread.
How to make Ridge Gourd Curry in Instant Pot
- Start the Instant Pot in saute mode.
- Once it is hot, add oil and tempering ingredients - cumin, mustard, and chopped curry leaves.
- Then add garlic, chopped onion and cook it for 2 to 3 minutes.
- If using tomatoes, add them now and mix them well.
- Add spice powders - turmeric powder, red chili powder, ground coriander, and salt.
- Then goes the chopped ridge gourd and ¼ cup water. And mix the curry very well. If required, deglaze the pot to avoid the burn signal.
- The ridge gourd will release much of its water, so we use only ¼ cup of water to help build up pressure.
- Stop the Instant Pot saute mode and close it with its lid. Seal the vent and pressure cook for 1 minute at high pressure.
- Once the Instant Pot finishes cooking, wait 5 minutes and carefully release the pressure.
- Mix the curry and garnish the curry with fresh cilantro leaves. And the quick and easy ridge gourd curry is ready to enjoy.
Recipe Notes and Variations
- Choosing a ridge gourd is key for this curry. Always use fresh and tender ridge gourd.
- This dish is naturally gluten-free and vegan. Some people add milk to cook the ridge gourd. But if the gourd is tender, it will have a lot of water content and is easy to cook without adding milk or water.
- I skipped tomatoes in this recipe, but usually, tomato is used while making ridge gourd curry. You can add half a cup of chopped tomatoes while making this curry.
- If you do not like this veggie or are looking for a different taste, add other veggies like zucchini, bell peppers, peas, and sweet corn while making this curry.
- If you get fresh fenugreek leaves, add a handful of fresh fenugreek leaves and cook them along with ridge gourd. These fenugreek leaves go very well in this curry.
- I sometimes add teaspoon of dried fenugreek leaves (Kasuri methi) to flavor the curry.
- Other leafy greens like spinach, kale, sorrel, and dill leaves also taste good with ridge gourd. So add the leafy greens after adding the spices and cook the curry for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add one or two slitted green chilies to the tempering to make the curry spicy. You can even add red chili flakes at the end.
- As this is everyday curry, I do not use garam masala. But if you want to flavor the curry and make it spicy, add ½ teaspoon of garam masala powder.
- I like to add cooked beans like kidney beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, or chickpeas to this curry to make it wholesome and filling.
- Coconut goes well in this curry. As an optional garnishing, I used 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut. You can use fresh grated coconut if it is available to you.
- I sometimes slightly crush the roasted peanuts and add them to this turai curry.
As with other Indian curries, this turai curry also goes well with rice. Instead of rice, you can serve this curry with cooked millet or cooked quinoa.
This tasty curry is the perfect side dish for all Indian flatbreads like chapati, paratha, puri, and naan bread. You can even use this as a sandwich filling along with hummus or cooked beans.
Add a cup of cooked beans for a light meal and enjoy it as a salad.
This turai sabzi keeps well for about 8 hours or so at room temperature. You can refrigerate and use this curry within two days. If freezing the curry, it keeps well for about 2 to 3 months.
Portion the curry into individual servings and freeze them in freezer-safe containers. And thaw only the required amount of curry, reheat it, and use it immediately.
Do not eat the curry if the color, taste, or smell changes.
Check out other vegetable curry recipes that I have shared on my blog.
Yes, you can use frozen gourd. Frozen veggies cook faster, so reduce the cooking time accordingly.
Yes, you can make this without onions and garlic. You can use grated ginger to flavor the curry.
Yes, Zucchini, bell peppers, peas, sweetcorn goes well with ridge gourd. You can also use leafy greens in this curry.
Though peel is edible, it will be tough. So I suggest peeling the ridge gourd before making this curry.
Ridge gourd curry - Turai sabzi - Beerakaya kura
- Wash, peel, and chop the ridge gourd into cubes.
- Heat a saute pan on medium heat. Once it is hot, add oil, mustard, and cumin seeds.
- Add curry leaves, garlic, and chopped onion once cumin seeds start spluttering.
- Saute the onion on a medium flame for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add ridge gourd, mix it well, and cook it for 5 to 6 minutes. Close the pan with a lid so the steam inside will cook the ridge gourd.
- Once the ridge gourd is almost cooked, add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, and salt.
- Mix it well and cook it for 4 to 5 minutes on low to medium heat.
- Once the ridge gourd is cooked as you like, take the pan out f heat.
- If using coconut powder, add it now and mix it well. Garnish the curry with coriander leaves. Serve the hot and delicious curry with rice or flatbread.