Jhinge or Ridge Gourd is not one of my favorite veggies, never was, in fact I hated it as a child and even when I was no longer a child. The dish I hated most with Jhinge was Jhinge Posto, I absolutely lurrrrved (that is some twisted form of love it seems) , really truly loved Posto and that includes Alu Posto, Posto Bora, Ka(n)cha Posto blah, blah except of course Jhinge Posto.
I felt Jhinge totally ruined Posto's personality and would become emotionally upset on days Ma made Jhinge Posto. Yeah, I was that attached to my food.
So when my Ma was here and she said "Why don't you get some Jhinge, I will make Jhinge Posto", you can well imagine my reaction.
I gasped, grunted and was about to faint when she said "Chingri debo" ("Shall add shrimp to it")
That helped because I lurrrv (BTW what is this "lurv", is it some different emotion altogether, I am hating it, makes me think up a larva) or rather really really love Shrimp, Prawns, Lobster, all crustaceans, blah, blah, blah. Anything with shrimp in it cannot be less than desirable for me.
So I got her those Ridge Gourds in their sharp armors, pretty defensive for a soft veggie like that I say. And she made Jhinge Chingri Posto, ahhhhhhh and it was absolutely, lip-smackingly delicious. I would give up a chocolate cheesecake for that Jhinge Chingri Posto and some Rice, I am telling you.
I should tell Big Sis S "Be like a prawn, make the mundane desirable by your mere presence and if someone is allergic to you avoid them and move on". Isn't that a great life's lesson !!!
BTW do we still call Big Sis S that in this blog or do we have a different name for her ? From the comments I feel I am making her look too big and responsible for her age.What say all ye veteran readers who have seen Lil' S grow up right here?
Jhinge Chingri Posto
How I Did It
Prep: Peel skin of 3 ridgegourd and chop in small pieces. Cut 1 potato in cubes. Dry grind 2 tbsp of Poppy Seeds.
Defrost 12-15 frozen medium sized shrimp or if using fresh, clean and de-vein. Cut the shrimp in pieces and lightly fry with turmeric and salt.
Heat Mustard Oil or any other Oil in a Frying Pan
Add 1/4 cup of chopped red onion and 4-5 slit green chillies
Saute with a sprinkle of 1/4 tsp of sugar till the onion is pinkish brown and translucent
Add about 1 cup of cubed potato or 1 potato chopped in cubes
Fry with a little Turmeric till the potatoes are light golden in color
Add the chopped ridgegourd and fry for a couple more minutes
Add salt and 1/4 tsp of red chilli powder
The ridgegourd release water, so cover and let it cook in its own water
When the ridgegourd is still cooking in its own juice add the poppy seed powder. If you see there is not enough water add about 1-2 tbsp of water.
Give a good stir and cover and cook till the veggies are done and the water has all dried up
Add the fried shrimp and mix
Top with 1/2 tsp of Mustard Oil
More Posto Recipes:
Alu Posto -- potatoes in poppy seeds paste
Kalai'r Dal with Alu Posto
Trivia: The fruit of L. aegyptiaca commonly known as Ridge Gourd may also be allowed to mature and used as a bath or kitchen sponge after being processed to remove everything but the network of xylem. This version is called Lifah in Arabic, bholor jaal in Assamese, dhundul in Bengali, ghiya tori or nerua in Hindi.(from Wiki)