Bottle gourd and Toor Dhal Curry

Bottle gourd has become one of my favorite vegetables – it’s easy to cook and quite tasty as well that goes well with different main dishes.  I have cooked different types of bottle gourd curries and posted on this blog.  My favorite bottle gourd recipe is the one with tomatoes and coconut paste which you can find here.  This time I made a bottle gourd curry with the well known toor dhal (called thuvaram paruppu in Tamil, or yellow split lentil).

Bottle gourd can be found in Indian stores or any asian stores and some farmers market.  Here are some picures of how bottle gourd looks.

This picture was taken from one of my friends backyard vegetable garden.  I have never seen such big bottle gourd in stores or market.  These were amazingly about 4 feet long.  Probably he has good soil.

The normal ones you get at any stores are mostly about a foot long or a little more than that – a maximum one and a half feet or so like the one shown below.

This curry goes very well with cooked white Basmati rice, Chappati or puris.


  • ¾ cup cooked Toor dhal
  • 2 cups peeled and cubed bottle gourd
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seed
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seed
  • ½ inch piece ginger
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • Few curry leaves
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • Salt to taste


  • Dry roast cumin seed and crush with a rolling pin or back of a heavy spoon
  • Crush garlic and ginger or alternately chop them into very fine pieces.
  • Add oil to a saucepan and once hot add mustard seed. Once mustard seed start spluttering add minced garlic, ginger, crushed cumin and curry leaves and sauté for about 2 minutes

  • Peel bottle gourd (the skin is a bit thick.  So you don’t have to peel very deep, just peel off the exterior green part) and cut them into cubes.  Add bottle gourd, cooked toor dhal, water, coconut milk, chili powder and salt and cover and cook for about 10 minutes stirring occassionally.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until bottle gourd is cooked and tender. If needed add a little water to ensure the gravy does not go too thick or dry.
  • Serve immediately with cooked rice, chappati or puris

Note: Prior to cooking Toor dhal, soak it in room temperature water for about an hour or two.  Cook Toor dhal until it soft, but not too mushy.

Yields: 2 servings as a side dish

5 thoughts on “Bottle gourd and Toor Dhal Curry

  1. Have not heard of bottle gourd before. Where do you buy it? How does it taste? I love that even after studying foods in college and working in the industry for 20+ years I am still learning 🙂 Your dish sounds amazing, Chelvi!

    1. Thanks Liz. I should have posted the picture of this vegetable. I posted the picture in another recipe a while ago. I have updated this recipe with pictures so you can see how bottle gourd looks like. Hope these pictures help.

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