Padwal, as it is known in Maharashtra, is snake gourd in English, Parwal or Parval in Hindi, Padaley or Podoi in Konkannim.
It is a light green snake-like vegetable with a grey-white bloom on the skin. It is ethnic to India, especially to North India. It belongs to the cucumber family & is an elongated gourd which grows from creepers. Padwal is slender, cylindrical & tapering at the ends.
While selecting padwal for cooking, avoid padwal which is yellow, puffy, have sunken water-soaked sections or are wrinkled at their tips. For stuffing padwals, select slightly thick ones & thinner ones for preparing curries or chopped dry vegetables. You can cook padwal in various ways & in innumerable combinations.
It has immense health benefits, is low in calories, very light to digest, rich in minerals, vitamins & dietary fibre. It consists of substancial amount of moisture & cools the body. It is excellent for weight watchers & diabetics. It is a popular home remedy for jaundice & considered as a best household remedy for heart problems, fever & also a laxative.
Today’s recipe, is simple & quick to prepare. Besides, it is very tasty with the wonderful mince stuffing. You may even stuff with vegetables or sea food. It is an excellent starter & a side dish. Do try out this delicious preparation & enjoy it! J
½ kg/ 12 pieces Snake Gourd
¼ kg. Mutton Kheema
2 med. Onions (peeled & finely minced)
2 fresh red Tomatoes (pureed)/ 3 tbsps. Tomato puree
1 tbsp. fresh Ginger paste
2 tbsps. Fresh Garlic paste
3 cloves Garlic (finely minced)
2 tbsps. Coriander pwd.
½ tsp. Turmeric pwd.
½ tsp. Red Chilli pwd.
2 tbsps. Kheema Masala pwd./ Garam Masala pwd.
½ tsp. roasted Jeera pwd.
1/3 tsp. Black Pepper pwd.
A dash of Vinegar (optional)
A pinch of Sugar or to taste
Salt to taste
1/3 cup of Water
4 tbsps. Vegetable Oil
Olive oil for drizzling
A handful fresh Coriander (roughly chopped)
Procedure for the Kheema Stuffing :
Wash the kheema lightly & marinate the mutton mince with ginger-garlic paste & a little salt for about 25 mins.
Heat a pan/wok with vegetable oil till hot.
Add the chopped onions & sauté till soft.
Then add the finely chopped garlic & sauté lightly till rawness disappears.
Add turmeric pwd., red chilli pwd., jeera pwd., coriander pwd., kheema masala pwd. & sauté on low heat for a few seconds.
Add the fresh tomato puree & sauté till the tomatoes are well cooked.
Add in the marinated mutton mince & stir well. Make sure there are no lumps. Keep sautéing for about 10 mins.
Add pepper pwd., a dash of vinegar, sugar, salt to taste & stir to combine.
Add 1/3 cup water, stir & cover to cook for another 10 mins. Check in between. The mince should be quite dry.
Add freshly chopped coriander leaves & stir once.
Take it off the heat & let the mince stuffing cool down completely.
Your stuffing is ready to be filled in the snake gourd tubes.
Preparation of Snake Gourd :
Wash & dry the snake gourd.
Cut off the ends & scrape off the white waxy surface lightly with the edge of a knife. (Do not use a peeler).
Chop the snake gourd into about 11/2 inch pieces & gently scrape out the pith & seeds from the tubes. Make sure the tubes are intact.
Boil water in a sufficiently large pan with a pinch or two of salt.
Drop in the tubes of snake gourd when the water comes to a rolling boil.
Let it boil for 2-3 minutes or till the tubes are tender but firm. Do not over boil.
Switch off the heat & transfer the snake gourd tubes to a bowl with a slotted spoon or alternatively you may drain out the water by pouring the contents in a sieve or strainer.
Let the snake gourd cool down completely.
Fill firmly the prepared kheema stuffing in each snake gourd tube & arrange on a plate/tray.
Now heat a grill pan/non stick frying pan with a little olive oil or vegetable oil.
Arrange or gently slide in the stuffed snake gourd.
Grill on each side for about 5 to 7 mins or pan fry. You may bake in the oven if you so wish.
Drizzle olive oil if required while grilling or pan frying.
Transfer to a platter & serve hot as a starter or on the side with rice & dal, pulao or with chapattis, rotis phulkas or any Indian bread.