Kaddu ka Dalcha ~ Spicy Toor Dal and Bottle Gourd Gravy
Kaddu ka Dalcha is a vegetarian curry made with kaddu (sorakaya/lauki/bottle gourd). It can also be cooked as non-vegetarian curry adding mutton. Kaddu is cooked with Toor dal and other spices in gravy consistency. This is usually eaten in combination with Bagara Rice (plain pulao rice is called so in Telangana Region).
Even though Telangana is a Telugu state, as Nijams ruled Hyderabad and Telangana region we see Nijam culture more dominating in their food, language (Urdu words are often used in their language). Nijami food will be rich, flavorful and scrumptious. My maternal grandmother hails from Telangana region, hence I have roots in this region.
Hyderabadis Muslims usually cook Kaddu/Bottle Gourd along with mutton in toor dal gravy. This is called Dalcha Gosht. But if you are a vegetarian, you can skip mutton and add only kaddu (which I usually do, as I am a pure vegetarian).
Bottle Gourd is a cooling vegetable which has more water substance in it. It is easily digestible. It doesn’t have a strong flavour, it takes the flavour of the dish along with which it is cooked.
Kaddu Ka Dalcha Recipe:
- 1 cup Toor Dal
- 1 cup sliced Kaddu/Sorakaya/Bottle Gourd
- 2 tsp Oil
- 1/2 inch Cinnamon
- 3-4 Cloves
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 medium Onion
- 3-4 Green Chilli
- 2 medium Tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric
- 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
- 1/2 tsp Coriander Powder
- 1/4 tsp Garam Masala
- 1 small lemon size tamarind pulp
- Curry Leaves
- Coriander Leaves
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- Wash Toor Dal 2-3 times and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. Mash it into a fine paste in a mixer jar or using traditional Pappu gutthi/Dal Ghotni.
- Wash vegetables neatly and chop onions, green chilli, tomato, kaddu and coriander.
- Keep a pressure cooker on the gas stove, add 2 tsp oil, now add cinnamon, cloves and bay leaf, fry for a minute.
- Add onions, green chilli and saute until onions become translucent.
- Add ginger-garlic paste, saute until nice aroma comes.
- Add kaddu, tomato and saute for a minute.
- Add little water, close cooker lid and pressure cook for 2 whistles.
- Remove the lid when the pressure goes. Now Kaddu and tomato will be cooked.
- Add coriander-curry leaves, turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala.
- Add mashed toor dal, tamarind pulp and cook on medium flame for 10-15 minutes until the raw smell of tamarind goes and all the spices and toor dal blend with each other.
- Now, transfer it to a container and garnish with coriander.
- You can adjust spice level according to your taste i.e you can either add more green chilli or red chilli to increase the spice level.
- If you don’t like sourness in dalcha, you can skip adding tamarind pulp.
- Try to buy fresh, young and tender bottle gourds. No need to deseed the young and tender kaddu.
- You can even replace toor dal with chana dal.
- You can cut kaddu either diagonally or into small cubes.
- Try to make Chilli Powder, Coriander powder, Garam Masala powder at home in small quantities, but if you don’t have time buy certified organic products.
This tastes very good with Bagara Rice.
Kaddu Ka Dalcha Preperation in Pictures: