A delicious stir-fried dish with snake gourd
Snake gourd is a tropical creeper belonging to the cucurbit or cucumber family. It is also known as Chinese cucumber and is widely grown in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, Australia and Africa. Snake gourd is believed to have several medicinal properties. It has a high water content and, is therefore, believed to have a cooling effect on the body. It is low in calories but has substantial amounts of iron, calcium, phosphorus, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin. Due to its high fibre content, it helps keep the digestive system healthy and aids in weight management. The juice from the leaves when applied on the scalp is found to be useful in the treatment of dandruff. The rather bland taste of snake gourd makes it ideal for cooking with different spices and flavourings.
Now, for a recipe.
Stir-fried Snake Gourd
Snake gourd (cut into half and sliced into 3-inch pieces): 400 gm
Coloured bell peppers (cut into thin slices): 90 gm
Fresh red chillies (cut into thin slices): 15 gm
Garlic (fine slices): 10 gm
Ginger (thinly sliced): 10 gm
Spring onion (green and white part, finely sliced): 60 gm
Cooking oil: 15 ml
Soy sauce: 10 ml
Oyster sauce (vegetarian): 15 ml
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Castor sugar: 5 gm
Corn flour (dissolved in 15 ml of water): 5 gm
Sesame oil: 5 ml
Cashew nut (roasted or fried): 50 gm
Method: Heat oil in a wok (over high heat). Add the garlic, followed by the ginger, spring onion and the bell peppers and then the snake gourd slices. Stir over high heat and then add the sliced red chillies. Now add soy sauce and oyster sauce. Let it cook for a while. Add salt, pepper and sugar. Stir for a few seconds and then add the corn flour solution, stirring constantly. Drizzle sesame oil on top, stir once, add the cashew nuts and serve hot.
Executive Chef, Taj Coromandel