Wonderful news! Continuing on from my previous post on the flowers in our garden we now have our very first harvest of Ridge Gourd. In Tamil we call them peerkangai. The hardy green ribbed exterior protects a lovely soft white flesh that we chop up in to small cubes and lightly fry with mustard seeds, curry leaves, dried red chillies and urad dal (optional) and grated coconut. The other preparation that I make at home is pretty much the above recipe but it is then added to sambar. It makes the sambar wonderfully coconuty too
If you live in Vishakapatnam, then seeds of all sorts of vegetables can be found in a shop called Kisan in Daba Gardens on the left hand side of the road (if approaching from PAGES bookstore) third or fourth shop. We planted our ridge gourd at the end of May and it has taken them 4 months to produce any fruit. At first I had no idea it was a climbing plant and it clung fiercely on to the wobbly mesh fence we had built around our vegetable patch. I then learned (from the Heavy Metal Farmer’s blog) that they should be allowed to climb at least 6 feet and not trail on the ground. Fortunately we found a disused (at least I think it was) round metal cylinder that is used for keeping young plants and trees growing upright. It was all rusty and abandoned behind our house so we rescued it, and our ridge gourd.