Paduvalakai Sihi

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Paduvalakai Sihi (Paduvalakai means Snake gourd) is a traditional South Canara cuisine. It is sweet and mildly spiced coconut based curry.
This curry is very simple to make and does not have the usual masala that goes into a coastal region curry.

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Freshly grated coconut is finely ground and added to the cooked vegetable. this curry kind-of resembles a vegetable stew, but tastes very different. Jaggery and green chillies are the sole contributor to sweetness and spiciness in the curry. Some variants even use little cumin seeds, which changes the taste of the dish.

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The curry is usually served with rice and mostly in small portion in a traditional spread. I would suggest a simple dry vegetable to go with this curry, if you re not fond of sweetness in a meal. Do check out Potato fry, Bhindi fry, Dahi paneer that will accompany this curry well.

So, here is a quick traditional Udupi recipe, do try and let me know how did it work for you.

Ingredients

  • Paduvalakai/snake gourd 1 medium sized
  • Grated coconut 1/2 cup
  • Rice 1 tsp (optional)
  • Green chillies 2-3 medium
  • Curry leaves 1 strand
  • Jaggery 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder (optional)
  • Oil/ghee 1 tsp
  • Salt

Tempering

  • Oil/ghee 2-3 tsp
  • Urad daal 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves 1 strand

Method

  • Wash and cut snake gourd into small pieces.
  • Grind coconut and rice with little water to a fine paste.
  • In a kadai, heat 1/2 cup of water.
  • When the water is hot enough, add salt, a pinch of turmeric powder(optional), ghee/oil, curry leaves and add powdered jaggery, slit chillies and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer the flame, add snake gourd and let it cook till the vegetable is soft.
  • When cooked, add coconut paste and mix well. Adjust salt.
  • Bring it a boil and switch off the flame.
  • Finish with aromatic tadka.

Note

1. Turmeric powder is optional and can be skipped if you want to keep the curry its colour. Adding turmeric can slightly change the colour to pale yellow, either ways there is no harm and will not change the taste.

2. Jaggery can be adjusted to suit you taste. The curry is usually a sweet and spicy one. So you can control jaggery and chilli as per your needs.