Karkumbuda means Ash gourd . Sasam means mustard seeds. This dish is prepared by cooking ash gourd in a coconut based masala containing mustard seeds. Hence it is called Karkumbuda .
Karkumbuda Puli Kodel is traditionally prepared by cooking the ash gourd, adding normal chutney (prepared by grinding coconut, tamarind, green chillies, salt and mustard) containing mustard in it and then seasoning it. This recipe here is my mom’s way of preparing sasam. Both ways kuvale sasam taste good. For the traditional taste follow the same method as described below and use the chutney (prepared by grinding coconut, tamarind, green chillies, salt and mustard) instead of just grated coconut in the following recipe.
1/2 kg ash gourd
1 cup grated coconut
4 tablespoons of sour curds/buttermilk
4-5 green chillies
2 dried red chillies
2 leaflets of curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon oil
salt to taste
Peel the ash gourd and remove off the middle portion containing seeds.
Chop the ash gourd into big cubes and cook them with slit green chillies on flame directly or in a pressure cooker for 1 whistle until done using 1 cup water. You need not add lots of water or until the ash gourd pieces dip whether your cooking on a flame or in a pressure cooker.
P.S: You can add salt while cooking if your cooking ash gourd in a pressure cooker. If your cooking ash gourd on gas then do not add salt until its almost cooked as it doesn’t cook sometimes.
Meanwhile grind grated coconut with a cup of water into a smooth paste.
Add it to the coooked ash gourd in a cooking vessel.
Add salt, curds/buttermilk and bring to boil.
Simmer for few minutes and remove off heat.
Heat oil in a tempering pan, add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Once they start popping, add small pieces of red chillies and curry leaves. Add this seasoning to the curry and mix well.