Kakode or Teal gourd (called kakrol, kheksa or ghee karela in different Indian languages) is a spiny looking miniature gourd that retains it's texture after cooking. It needs minimal cooking actually, a light stir fry is all you need to do and a mild seasoning works really well. I have posted a stuffed kakode with poppy seeds and a kakode pyaz ki subzi earlier.
You get two varieties of kakode in the markets and both of them differ slightly in flavors. One is a large, oval two inch size kakode which is more suitable for stuffed recipes, and another is the small pointed one inch kakode which suits quick stir fries more.
This time I found nice and fresh small variety of kakode and bough a kilo of it immediately. I had some powdered poppy seeds with almonds and a little cinnamon and nutmeg that I use for my hot milk sometimes and that powder got used up fr making this stir fry three times within a span of a week. Normally I would use just a coarse powder of poppy seeds and some garam masala or cinnamon and nutmeg grated over cooking kakode.
(2 servings as a side dish)
kakode or teal gourd 300 gm
poppy seeds powder 2 tbsp
( I used a powder of almonds, poppy seeds and cinnamon and nutmeg)
pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg powders
salt to taste
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
2 broken dry red chilies
1 tsp nigella seeds (kalonji seeds)
mustard oil 1-2 tbsp
Remove the tip and tail of kakode and quarter them neatly. The seeds may be removed if you abhor it absolutely, I would recommend including them as the seeds are rich in omega 3s and are as good as any nuts in all respects. I like the crunch they provide to the stir fry as well.
Heat the oil in a pan or kadhai and tip in the nigella seeds and broken red chilies. Wait till they get aromatic and then add the chopped kakode. Add salt and turmeric powder and stir fry on medium heat till the kakode yield to pressure. They get cooked fats so take care to not to overcook them.
Add the powdered poppy seeds mixture and mix well. Stir fry for a couple of minutes more and remove form the stove. Squeeze lime juice over it to balance flavors of required, fresh kakode is flavorful on it's own so it was not required by me.
This stir fry tastes great with roti or rice and daal. With parathas it makes a nice lunch box subzi as well. The nutty flavors of the poppy seeds and almond is unmistakable, you wont want to waste even a small bit of this stir fry. So good it is.