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Sri Lankan Ridge Gourd/ Watakolu Curry

Sri Lankan Watakolu Curry/ vegan Ridge Gourd curry

Sri Lankan Ridge Gourd/ Watakolu Curry is a very comforting and healthy, coconut milk-based vegan curry dish that is super easy to make. It doesn’t need any oil or dairy and is very hearty and light. I make this, especially when I’m feeling under the weather or need something comfy that ain’t too spicy. Cause this curry is easy to digest and yet very nutritious. Serve with some hot rice, it’s a hug in a bowl. 

Did I tell you ridge gourd/ Watakolu is a good vegetable for weight loss too?

Ingredients info and where to find them:

Ridge Gourd/ Watakolu:

Well if you’re in Sri Lanka or an Asian country, this vegetable is pretty easy to find in most of the grocery stores. If you live in a country where Asian vegetables are not very popular, pay a visit to a Chinese or an Indian grocery store in your area. You might see them labeled as Chinese okra, Luffa, or Turai (indian) as well. 

Curry leaves and pandan leaves:

These two are a must for this recipe. Curry leaves are available in most Asian grocery stores and is a very popular ingredient in South Indian cuisine. Pandan leaves however are not usually available in Indian stores. You might be able to find them in Thai Vietnamese or other Asian grocery stores. Check the freezer aisle as well. 

Alternatively, you can also order fresh/dry curry leaves and pandan leaves from Amazon as well. Check the “products I use” section below. 

Sri Lankan unroasted curry powder:

This is a very mild curry powder that has no heat. We use this in milder creamier curries. It doesn’t have a very strong flavor so it doesn’t overpower the natural flavor of ridge gourd or the aromatics we use. If you don’t have this ingredient, use a mild generic curry powder you have. Or use ¾ tsp coriander powder and a little touch of cumin. Unroasted curry powder does contain some more ingredients but the main ingredient is coriander.

Garlic:

Do not be tempted to add too much garlic to this curry. I know I love garlic too and I usually add a lot of garlic when I make other dishes. But since ridge gourd is very mild in flavor, you do not need the garlic to overpower the whole dish. 

Green chilies:

I usually add 1 or 2 chilies when I make this ridge gourd/ Watakolu curry. It adds a little bit of heat but we usually use this for flavor. So I highly recommend using some kind of green chili in this curry. You can substitute with a mild green chili if you don’t like heat. 

Fenugreek seeds:

Traditionally considered as a healthy additive to curries. It also adds flavor and helps to thicken up the curry. Do not add too much as they may make the curry taste a little bitter.

Cinnamon:

Make sure you only use true Ceylon cinnamon not Cassia, the knockoff that you find in most grocery stores. True Ceylon cinnamon is not too strong and adds a subtle flavor to the curry. Whereas Cassia is very strong and can make the whole curry taste like it. If you don't have Ceylon cinnamon, use a teeny tiny piece of cassia or I'd say skip cinnamon altogether. You can still make a delicious curry.

Coconut milk:

I use canned coconut milk since that’s what is available to me where I live. Traditionally you’d use freshly squeezed coconut milk which I think is more flavorful. If you happen to use freshly squeezed coconut milk, use the first extract, and make sure to gently stir the curry continuously since the milk can coagulate with the heat. 

Recipe Video

(this may take a few seconds to appear)

https://youtu.be/TlXXgJBuIp4

How to Serve:

This Sri Lankan Ridge gourd / Watakolu Curry goes so well with freshly cooked Rice. You can also add more vegetable, meat, and fish dishes as well. Some of my favorite menus are

Products I use:

Please note that if you purchase through these Amazon affiliate links I would earn a small commission from Amazon (but no extra cost to you) which helps me immensely to run this blog. 

I hope you give this easy Sri Lankan Ridge Gourd/ Watakolu Curry recipe a try! It's one of my favorite curries. Also don't forget to add your feedback at the end of the page as well. Happy cooking!! <3

Cooking Method
Cuisine
Courses ,
Difficulty Beginner
Time
Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 15 min Total Time: 25 mins
Servings 4
Description

Sri Lankan Ridge Gourd/ Watakolu Curry is one of the easiest and most comforting curries you can make. And it's vegan too! 

Ingredients
  • 1 medium Ridge Gourd / Watakolu (about 430g each before cleaning)
  • 1/4 of a medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 green chilies sliced
  • 1/8 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Sri Lankan unroasted curry powder (check the description for substitutes)
  • 2 inch piece of Ceylon Cinnamon broken into pieces
  • 1 sprig curry leaves, broken into halves
  • 1 small pandan leaf broken into pieces
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup thick coconut milk (I used canned)
  • salt to your taste
  • 1 small piece of lime (optional, adjust to your taste)
Instructions
  1. Cut the Ridge Gourd/ Watakolu into three of four pieces so it's easily manageable. Then cut and discard the ridges (watch the video). Do not remove whole green skin. It helps to retain the shape of the pieces and is perfectly edible. 

  2. Cut the Gourd into roughly 1 cm thick slices. 

  3. Add everything except Coconut milk into a medium pot. Mix well. Cover and cook on medium-low heat until all the pieces are softened. 

  4. Add the coconut milk. Mix. Taste and adjust the salt as you like. Let the coconut milk come to a simmer. Stir for about 30 seconds. Then turn off the heat. 

  5. optional

    Add a few drops of lime juice and mix well. 

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