Another widely grown vegetable in parts of Africa, US and a lot more in Southeast Asia, is the snake gourd. It is sweet when eaten raw and tender, and is delicious when cooked with spices. Southern Indian households generally cook this vegetable with coconut and asafetida. I made a salad with the same, tossed for 10 seconds in extra virgin olive oil.
- 2 tender, medium sized snake gourds, washed thoroughly
- 2 medium sized beets, washed and peeled
- 200 g cottage cheese
- 50 g fresh dill leaves
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Handful of pistachios
- ½ a small red onion, finely chopped
- A few leaves like cress, amaranth, fenugreek, or anything available
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh ground black pepper
– Remove seeds and chop the gourd very finely. Marinate the chopped vegetable in salt for about 10 minutes. So, you may want to do this job first while you get on with the rest of the salad. It is believed in Ayurveda that snake gourd has few doshas that are typical, and are unnecessary to the human physiology. Marinated in salt removes these specific doshas. Drain and give a quick wash to the vegetable after the 10 minutes.
– Make a paste from dill leaves, pistachios, olive oil, garlic and water and marinate squares of cottage cheese in this mixture for about 10 minutes.
– Chop the beets into fine full-moons with your knife or a slightly thicker setting on a mandolin
– In a pan with a tspn of olive oil, add the drained and washed gourd; toss for exactly 10 seconds. The greenness will be retained in these 10 seconds. Keep aside.
– In the same pan, toss the beets for another 10 seconds, and keep aside.
– Arrange your salad by first making a bed of the chopped gourd, then the cheese, onion, and beets, and top it off with the leaves. Adjust seasoning, and serve.