Thaalippu is a simple seasoning mix that is available in most traditional Tamil cooking supplies stores. My home in Chennai is quite close to the famous Ambica Apalam Depot. That shop has some really good stuff and I miss them sorely in my current city.
- A teaspoon of Thaalippu.
- A tablespoon of Ghee.
- 300 grams of bottle gourd. Peel. Seeds removed. Then cut into small pieces.
- An inch of finely chopped coconut. Grated coconut is better.
- A few coriander and cumin seeds.
- A fistful of curry leaves.
- A green chilly.
- An inch of ginger, chopped into small pieces.
- A pinch of two of turmeric.
Heat ghee. Saute the curry leaves. Use low to medium heat. When fragrant, add the ginger, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric and thaalippu. Saute at low heat. Add in the bottle gourd. Continue cooking on low heat. Mix well. Stir occasionally. Bottle gourd does not release a lot of water. So once in a while, drizzle a teaspoon or two of water. Add in the coconut. Its done when the bottle gourd has softened.
This is an excellent vegetable and my healthy tip is to mix it in an equal quantity of rice mixed in either sambhar, rasam or my favorite mor kolumbu (Dahi ki Kaadi).