Calabash/Bottle Gourd Lentils, AKA Gardudhi Ambat

I have loved this Konkani dish since I was probably 13 or 14. My grandmother and then my mother would lovingly make it for me any time I asked. I would hoard it in my freezer when I moved away from home, and savor every bite with some rice, yogurt, and my favorite garlic pickle. It also tastes best eaten with your hand!

Gardudhi is just another type of gourd, and is available at many Asian or Indian grocery stores.

If you like lentils in any form, this is worth trying! It's unique with its coconut masala and the gourd adds a nice soft bite and texture.

Gardudhi Ambat 
Serves 2-4 with rice

1 cup toor (or tur) dal
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek (or methi) seeds
1 yellow or white onion, finely chopped
2-4 dried red chillies (depending on spice level)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (you can buy this frozen at most Indian/Asian grocery stores)
2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee
1 small gardudhi (bottle gourd) or half of a large one, about 1 cup full.

In an instant pot, combine the dal, water and salt and cook on manual high pressure for 10 minutes. When done, don't move the vent and let it slow release on its own.

In the meantime, toast the fenugreek seeds in a tablespoon of oil over low to medium until it crackles and smells fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add the coconut, turmeric, toasted fenugreek, and red chillies to a food processor or small blender and blend into a fine paste.

Add remaining tablespoon of oil to the same pan and cook the onions until soft and slightly brown.

Place all ingredients into the dal in the instant pot.

Chop the gourd into half inch cubes and boil for 5 minutes and then add into the dal.
Alternatively you can add the gourd in directly to the instant pot after the dal is cooked and press the saute button to let it get hot for a few minutes.

Adjust salt to taste.

Serve over Basmati rice with garlic pickle and Desi yogurt.


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