This is a beautiful and unique curry, using an equally unique vegetable that is surprisingly easy to grow. In Sri Lanka, this is one of the curries you would have in your rice and curry selection. On a recent trip there I tasted this curry after many years, and it took me straight back to my grandmother’s smoky black kitchen, where one of the house girls would meticulously clean the gourd, ensuring that the skin on the hard outer ridges was removed, but the skin within the concave dips retained.
If the gourd is in perfect condition, the seeds will still be white and edible; otherwise, it’s best to remove the seeds if the gourd is a bit old. There is no real replacement for ridged gourd in terms of flavour and texture, but any member of the gourd family will work in this curry.
Vegans and pure vegetarians can omit the Maldive fish.
Take the gourds and peel the skin from the ridges, leaving the skin on the concave inner dips of the gourds. Cut each gourd in half, and then on an angle into 4 cm (1½ inch) pieces.
Place all the ingredients, except the coconut cream, lime juice and roasted curry powder, in a heavy-based saucepan, stirring until well combined.
Bring to the boil over medium–high heat and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the skin of the gourd is tender.
Stir in the coconut cream and bring to the boil, then immediately turn off the heat.
Stir in the lime juice and serve garnished with a sprinkling of roasted curry powder.
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