Smoked Venison & Ash Gourd Curry With Green Peppercorns

Smoked venison & ash gourd curry

The other day my mother sent some smoked venison and various goodies that we (my sisters and I) divided between us. It’s so convenient that my sisters also stay in the same city and fruits, either pickled or fresh, still come from the garden of our childhood. Coming back to the meat I decided to make a simple curry with ash gourd. Usually ash gourds weigh more than a couple of kilograms. They are usually halved or quartered and the rest, either shared or stored. The prospect of having the same vegetable for more than 2-3 meals isn’t the most appealing thought.:)

This is also the season when green peppercorns are available. There might be several ways to use them but apart from adding them to bhajis and curries, I haven’t really used them much. But I do love the zing that the green ones have as they are slightly different from the heat of chillies. 
With smoked meat I usually use the minimum of spices as I want to retain the smoked taste and flavour.
400 grams smoked venison 
About 500 grams ash gourd
3 medium onions, grated
8 cloves of garlic, ground
Thumb-size ginger, ground
1 tbs ground green peppercorns
2-3 green chillies, chopped fine
A quarter tsp turmeric powder
1 tbs toasted and ground coriander powder
Salt to taste
3 tbs mustard oil
A bunch of serrated coriander, chopped

Smoked venison and ash gourd curry

Cut the meat into bite-size pieces and soak it in hot water for 3-4 minutes.
Remove and drain in a colander. 
Cut the ash gourd and remove the innards. Peel and cut into similar square sizes.
Heat the oil in a pan. When it comes to smoking point, add the onions.
Fry till they turn paler in colour then add the meat.
Add the ginger, garlic, chillies, ground pepper and turmeric powder.
Cook for abour ten minutes before adding the gourd.
Continue to cook till both the ingredients soften. Season with salt and add the coriander powder.
Sprinkle some water in the pan if it threatens to catch at the bottom.
Cook till the curry is almost homogeneous. Add about 250ml of hot water and let the curry thicken and cook further.
Remove from the stove and transfer to a serving dish.
Scatter the chopped serrated coriander on top. 
This curry goes best with steaming hot rice.

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