Recipe: Snake Gourd Dal

IMG_5918Indian vegetables are a staple in my house, especially when we have done shopping in the Little India district. And Snake Gourd somehow makes it home every time this happens. Normally I make a stir-fry with this vegetable and honestly, even I was bored with that every single time. I decided to search and see if anything else can be made and found people had experimented with dal with this vegetable. So I also decided to make a dal and did a very simple dal with hardly any seasoning. The result was a delicious dal which would go  very well with both rice as well as rotis and flatbreads.

trichosanthes_cucumerina_aka_snake_gourdThis is a common vegetable in India and because it’s long and slim (like a snake, it is called Snake Gourd). The vegetable has many health benefits too, including  its ability to improve the strength of the immune system, reduce fevers, detoxify the body, improve the digestive processes of the body, increase hydration in the body, treat diabetes, boost the strength and quality of the hair, and aid in weight loss. More information on this vegetable on Wikipedia and this site.

Snake Gourd Dal


  • 2 snake gourds, peeled and chopped into pieces
  • 1 cup chana dal (yellow split chick peas)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida powder
  • 1 tsp jaggery (or sugar, brown sugar)

For the seasoning:

  • 1 tsp ghee or oil
  • 1.5 tsps cumin seed powder
  • 2 whole red chillies,
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 inch stick cinnamon
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • coriander leaves to garnish


  • Wash the dal and let it soak in warm water for 15-20 minutes. Wash the snake
  • In a pressure cooker, add the dal, snake gourd, turmeric powder, a safoetida powder and 2 cups of water and cooker for 3 whistles.
  • If you do not have a pressure cooker, cook this in a large bottom pan on the stove and keep an eye on the water. Keep adding water when it evaporates. The end result should be a mushy dal with the snake gourd completely cooked.
  • Let the pressure subside and when the pressure is fully released, open the cooker and mash the mixture well.
  • In a separate, smaller pan, heat the ghee or oil and add the cumin seeds.
  • When the cumin seeds pop, add in the cloves, cinnamon and red chillies and let it pop. When the red chillies start to brown, remove from the flame and pour over the dal.
  • Close the lid of the dal tightly for 10 minutes to let the dal get infused with the seasoning.
  • Open the lid and check for salt. Add lemon juice, jaggary and garnish with coriander leaves.




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