This is a Bengali recipe that traditionally uses bottle gourd, which I often replace with chayote squash because it's more readily available. Zucchini also works well in this recipe.
2 bottle gourd or 3 Chayote Squash, peeled & cut in strips
1 russet potato, peeled and cut in strips
1 lb. medium size shrimp, shelled and deveined
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. nigella seeds (a.k.a. kalo jeera/kalonji)
Salt to taste
1 tsp. ghee
- Peel gourd/squash & potato. To cut gourd in strips, cut in half lengthwise, slice crosswise into crescents, stack crescents and cut into strips. To cut squash, remove tops, cut in half and soak in water. Place one half cut side down on chopping block and slice crosswise into crescents, then cut into strips. Cut potato in the same way. Set all aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together 2 Tbsp. water, ginger paste, cumin powder, tomato paste, sugar and salt. and set aside.
- Toss shrimp with salt, saute lightly in oil until pink and set aside.
- Sputter nigella seeds and diced chillies in hot oil.
- Add ginger paste mixture, stir and simmer over medium heat until oil resurfaces.
- Add gourd/squash, potatoes and salt to taste.
- Stir well, cover and simmer over medium heat until cooked.
- Add shrimp, stir and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Garnish with garam masala, green chilies, cilantro and ghee.
- Remove from heat and serve as a side dish with hot rice or naan.