Monday, August 13, 2012

Stuffed Kakode with poppy seed paste...

Kakode or Kakrol as it is called in North India is a gourd family vegetable that grows wild in whatever urban jungles are left around our cities. Many tribesmen living in the outskirts of the cities collect these little gourds (called Teal Gourd in English) and bring them to the urban markets. I have not seen these gourds in the fancier super markets yet. They can only be sourced from the roadside markets or the weekly vegetables market around my locality. I m not complaining as long as this beautiful vegetable is available to me.

A gentleman fro Bombay wrote a comment on my last Kakode post that he buys this vegetables from the tribal people in some suburban area and that was so heartening to know. We should always buy goods from these small road side vendors and tribals so they keep earning some money through local products and such vegetables never go extinct.

This is called Kheksa in Banaras.

This Poppy seeds stuffed Kakode recipe was reminded by a bong friend of mine and then I asked my mother casually over phone about this. She told me how she used to make it as I had very little memory of it. This vegetable was rarely seen even in those days and we all liked the bhujia ( stirfried kakode) more so that was the preferred preparation with Kakode.

You need to halve the little gourds first and then empty the innards well. Just making a sharp incision along the white periphery and then scooping out the pith works well.Do not discard the pith as it will be used for the stuffing masala.

Then the masala is stuffed inside each of these halves and shallow fried on both sides.

Looks easy? It actually is easy as you just have to make a Poppy seeds paste quickly in your trusted mixie (using the chutney jar) or the coffee grinder to make a fine powder of it.

Recipe of the poppy seeds stuffing...

{For 4-6 large Kakode (teal gourds)}
poppy seeds 3 tbsp
finely chopped Onions 1 tbsp
finely chopped Green chillies 1 tbsp or more if you like
finely chopped ginger 2 tsp
Black pepper powder 1 tsp
all the inner pith of the vegetable chopped up in small bits
salt to taste
Mustard oil 1 tsp
Nigella (kalonji) seeds 1/2 tsp
More mustard oil to shallow fry the stuffed vegetable, in my case about 1 tbsp was used


Rub salt over the Kakode halves and let it rest till you prepare the masala paste.

Make a paste of poppy seeds. You would like to powder it dry initially and then adding some water and blend again to make a smooth paste. Adding 2 whole Cashew nuts right before the powdering step helps in making a smooth paste. The paste should be thick like good yogurt

Heat oil in a Kadhai (round bottom pan) and sprinkle the Nigella seeds in it. Wait till they sizzle.

Add in the chopped green chillies, onions and ginger. Fry till everything is softened. Add the chopped up kakode pith, sprinkle salt to taste and stir fry till softened.

Add pepper powder, mix well and then add the poppy paste and mix quickly so it gets homogenised with everything else and a bit thickened.

Take off heat and take out spoonfuls to fill in the Kakode halves. There is no need to cool the masala paste down but there is no problem even if it is cold. Actually this can be made a day in advance and proceeded as and when required. The leftover masala paste can be used to make other dry stir fries interesting too.

Heat a tbsp of mustard oil in  a flat pan. Non stick surface will good so use you Cast iron or whatever pan you use for such purpose.

Lay out the stuffed Kakode masala side up and let it fry till the base gets browned lightly. Keep the lid on for 5 minutes, flame medium.

Turn all the Kakode by flipping them, so the stuffing side gets browned too.

Serve hot as a side dish or a starter.

You would love to pop them in your mouth. The flavors are subtle as there is minimal spicing. The amount of green chillies might look more than you want but poppy seeds paste tastes great with green chillies. So keep them a bit on higher side than you normally do. Black pepper may be avoided if you want a richer Poppy taste. The poppy flavor is preserved well just because of minimal spicing.

Kakode greets Poppy seeds well , as much as it complements the Ridge gourd.

Have you tasted Jhingey Posto?

The leftover Poppy seeds masala paste was added to a simple Okra stir fry.

Just plain stir fried Okra in Ghee and some salt n pepper and then this paste is added to finish and mixed well. Tastes great with chapatis and daal or Rice and daal.

You would like all these kakode, Ridge gourd or even Okra with poppy seeds if you love this miniature nut. It is a tiny seed but is nutty is taste. Fragrant too.

Many other recipes with poppy seeds are waiting in my drafts as I have been quite lazy with posting on this blog of mine. You would get to see some Prawns in poppy seeds gravy very soon. And how a raw paste of Poppy can be had with just plain boiled rice.

Stay tuned.


  1. Replies
    1. Share your mom's recipe ASAP. Will make it again :-)

  2. never seen this vegetable .. or heard of it even

  3. We too get this here from small vendors, ofcourse they have to pay their bosses, it is sold around 80 to 100 rs per kg. I make a stirfry, but since the seeds are tender i dont scoop them out, do v have to?They sell in the name of "aakakarkai" here

    1. We get them at the same cost here as well Nirupama. Sometimes a bit more. No I don't scoop out the seeds for the stir fries, just for this and the seeds and pulp is added to the stuffing mixture. Not discarded.
      Good to know another name of this vegetable.