Fish Curry With Ridge Gourd & Potatoes

Most backyard gardens and our markets are full of different varieties of gourds at this time of the year. These are either cooked on their own, mixed in dal, or added to fresh/dried fish. Gourds must be consumed when they are still tender. Ridge gourd is fibrous so mature gourds are best left to be used as loofahs later. Ridge gourd is low in saturated fat and calories. It is rich in dietary fiber, vitamin C, riboflavin, zinc, thiamine, iron, and magnesium. More on the health benefits of other gourds can be seen here.

This fish curry is something that you rustle up in a jiffy. You only need a few ingredients for this curry.
6 pieces of fish
4 ridge gourds
2 medium boiled potatoes, peeled and cut
2 onions, grated
1 level tsp ginger and garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
A quarter tsp cumin powder
2 tomatoes, finely sliced
A quarter tsp of turmeric + a little extra to rub on the fish
Salt to taste
3-4 Indian bay leaves
Chopped herbs for the garnish
Oil for frying the fish and for the curry

Scrape off the dark skin of the gourd and wash.
Cut them lengthwise or into circles. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan.
Rub some salt and turmeric on the fish and when the oil reaches smoking point, fry the fish till golden brown on both sides. Keep aside.
In the same oil add the bay leaves and the onions.
Fry till the onions change colour. Add the rest of the spices and the chopped gourd.
When the gourds are half-done, add the tomatoes. Season with salt.
Continue cooking and then add the potatoes. Check to see that it doesn’t burn. In that case a bit of water can be sprinkled in the pan to prevent it.
When the curry starts to look done, add about a cup of hot water. The quantity of water will depend on the kind of gravy that you like.
Gently add the fried fish pieces and cook for another five minutes or so.
Take the pan off the heat. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the chopped herbs.

This dish goes best with steaming hot rice. Coriander is the most favourite herb used as a garnish but I also like using serrated coriander. But here I used some chives since I find them visually appealing.:)

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