Friday, November 07, 2014

Jhinge Posto - Ridge Gourd in White Poppy Seed Sauce

Jhinge Posto
Ridge gourd is a dark green, tough skinned vegetable that is soft and spongy on the inside with a similar texture to zucchini.
Ridge Gourd
Notice the spines on the surface from which it gets its name. The spines are inedible and have to be peeled away prior to cooking. Some people, including me, like to leave the rest of the skin intact, but I peel the ridges and skin because Hubby prefers it that way. 

It takes very little time to cook, so this is one dish I like to include in my weekly meals. Ridge gourd is not commonly found in North American grocery stores. It is available in Indian, Asian and specialty markets. 

White poppy seeds, called posto in Bengal, India and khus khus in other parts of India, are rich in iron and is known to have a calming effect. To soften the seeds in order to get a smooth paste, it is necessary to pour boiling water over the poppy seeds, soak them and allow to cool before blending. Salt and a green chili is added to the soaked seeds to add to the flavor. The blended paste is added a few minutes before taking the dish off the fire and serves to also thicken the sauce.