Friday, June 20, 2008

Lunch Box Series : LBS#36

Its been quite sometime since I have been to a vegetable market. I remember going to those a decade back. There were times when I used to take Amma in the bike and we both will check out, all the fresh vegetables and bring back a load. I even remembered how much a kilo of tomatoes costed the previous time and that even used to be a topic for discussion for a while. And those times when we decided to make Cauliflower Manchurian, we scour the market for Spring Onions and full bloomed Cauliflowers. During the Cauliflower season, you will find every nook and corner selling these in push carts.

Then came the concept of vegetable supermarkets. All fresh and neatly packed in covers, these shops used to charge you more in the initial period. Now they sell at almost the same cost as the local market. Dad has always taught us to think quality is the best in whatever we buy. He never approves of getting things in sales. So he was one happy person who he saw these shops emerging. Vegetables washed and neatly packed, all ready to use. When he makes a visit to these, he comes back with too many things and Amma used to complain. He used to tell her, cook 4 vegetabls for a meal. Then it used to be a big task for Amma to come out with dishes using four different vegetables.

These days, in most of these vegetable supermarkets, they even sell packets with freshly chopped vegetables. Its packed based on the type of curry you want to make. I am yet to try those, though I have heard my friends saying its good. I really wonder how much time will it take them to chop few vegetables!

Anyway coming to the visits to vegetable shop, these days its hubby who does it. And I told him to get some different vegetable on this visit. Every other day, its the same veggie for Sambar or for Puloa. I was really getting bored. We make Kootu with Snake gourd, Chow chow. And of course, anything can go into Sambar. So I was wondering what different veggie he is going to bring. Well he got the same ones, but asked me to try something different! He said why don't you try something different from the same old Pottalakaya or Pudalankaai Kootu!! Well what do you expect, I made a poriyal out of Snake gourd, I guess its different! Of course with moong dal to make it healthy!

Today's Lunch Box had

Mulakaya Sambar ~ Drumstick Sambar
Pottalakaya or Pudalankaai Poriyal - Snake Gourd with Moong Dal
Cumin Pepper Rasam
Curd Rice

Pottalakaya or Pudalankaai Poriyal - Snake Gourd with Moong Dal

Cooking with Snake Gourd is quite interesting. You can do bajjis, Kootu and not to mention this Poriyal. This actually tasted great!

Ingredients Needed:

Snake Gourd - 100 gms
Yellow Moong Dal - 50 gms


Mustard Seeds + urad dal - 1/2 tsp
Red chillies - 4 broken.
Curry leaves
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tsp

Method to prepare:

Scrap the outer skin and chop into fine pieces of 1 inch size. Soak them in Salt water for 10 mins. And squeeze them well.

Meanwhile, par boil the moong dal to half done. If you like your poriyal to be well mixed, you can fully cook it.

Heat a kadai with oil. Temper it with Mustard Seeds and Urad dal. Then add the curry leaves and broken dry chilies. Fry for 1 min.

Then add the squeezed snake gourd and add salt. Simmer for 10 mins. It should be cooked. Once its done, add the cooked moong dal and mix well.

Taste great as a side for Sambar!

Reminder: Entries for Roti Mela can keep coming on!!!

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Anonymous said...

Hi srivalli,
Im the anonymous one in the previous post, anu is my name. Im wondering if you can give me tips on how you manage work life and family life. Im amazed how you can get up in the morning and cook a full meal to take for lunch. You must be doing a lot of planning, i suppose..I am a working mum too and have a 3 year old little boy. I manage ok, but if you can share your routine and your way of managing all this, it would be nice

Srivalli said...

Anu, its nice to know that it was you! can you drop me a mail at

Asha said...

Sri, I got 2 snake gourd from Indian store, I was so happy. I made Sambhar too. Lunch box menu looks yummy. Too late to try SG now. Loved the Coconut Sevai too!:))

indosungod said...

Valli, that is an amazing lunch box. Drumstick sambhar never gets boring! The snake gourd we cook with it once or twice a year. I used to not like the vegetable now that I don't see it that much I actually like it :)

Divya said...

hey sri..thats an innovative dish-moong dal and snake gourd..!!great..i dont eat it except for snake gourd rings fried..i know- not healthy,shall try this some time!! waiting eagerly for roti mela round up!!

kamala said...

I too make exactly the same way Valli...Looks yummy

JZ @ Tasty treats said...

can i share your lunch!!? ;-) i too am amazed by how you manage work and home! kudos to u sri!

Siri said...

Love ur lunch box Valli. I am not a big fan of Snake gourd though!.. love the drumstick sambhar!..


Sukanya Ramkumar said...

Lovely lunch box recipes. Looks so good. YUM! Loved all the recipes.

Laavanya said...

My mom makes poriyal with snake gourd too... but without mung dhal - I like that. I have a stuffed snake gourd recipe which is really yum but I don't get to try it often since we hardly find this vegetable and even when we do they are too tough and cost a ton! Will send you the recipe so you have something new to try with this veggie.. if you are interested... that is :)

karuna said...

nice recipe. never made snake gourd.the drumstick sambhar looks yum

ranji said...

oh sri..i love love love snake gourd..this is a very nice way of cooking it and it is simply irresistable....i am going to get hold of it this week when i go shopping..will make it soon :)

Divya Vikram said...

I like ur lunch box series a lot Valli..And the sambar looks really good..

Swati Raman Garg said...

heyy i have a small something for you in my blog.. come over and check it :)

Shankari said...

I dont get snakegourd too often and when I get it, I make simple poriyal or kootu.Now I am craving for it:(

Dee said...

Hi Srivalli, I love the blog and the recipes. But this post with the Murungakai has me hooked! My mum's not an amazing cook but her mutton curry with Murungakai (from my neighbour's tree) was amazing. I think she may have used the leaves in crab curry, too.

I hope you don't mind that I've linked with you.

sra said...

Valli, of course it takes time to chop veggies! I'm one of those who buys them quite often, they are real time-savers, esp if you want to make vegetables like ladies' finger and like them cut into small pieces. Or greens - the only disadvantage is that you're not supposed to wash greens after chopping them, but I do it anyway, because I'm not comfy with using them straight from the shop.
And back home, potlakaya is quite a favourite, even for a simple stir-fry. Here, I buy it only when I get it pre-cut ;)

sra said...

Oh, btw, do you know of the belief that one will die if they've eaten snake gourd and eggs in the same meal/same day? :)

Simran said...

I also buy my veggies from supermarket and tell you what, I really miss the vegetable stall days. Some days I go far out just to buy my veggies from Bombay's bhaji wallas and not a mall :)

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