Ash gourds in a spicy, sweet coconut gravy (Kuvale Puli, Puli Koddel)

Ash gourds in a spicy, sweet coconut gravy (Kuvale Puli, Puli Koddel)

Kuvale puli or puli koddel is a Konkani delicacy. A coconut based curry that is sweet, spicy, sour and full of flavour with juicy ash gourds in them that are yum! Ash gourds in this curry take up the amazing flavour and taste of the delicious curry and are a real pleasure to eat.

Ash gourd, winter melon or white gourd is a very healthy vegetable called as kuvale in Konkani. Kuvale puli or puli koddel is a Konkani dish usually prepared on special occasions and is served with steaming hot rice rice for lunch, dinner. Black sesame seeds used give a reddish brown colour to this curry.

Ash gourd has many health benefits and has great medicinal value too. It is used to cure kidney stones, digestive problems and is an excellent diet for diabetic patients. It is also used to cure acidity and intestinal worms. Ash gourd juice also helps in weight loss.

Here goes the recipe to make delicious kuvale puli/puli koddel:


  • 1/2 kg ash gourd
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • 4 dried red chillies
  • 2 tablespoons of tamarind
  • 2 teaspoons of rice grains
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of corrainder seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds
  • A pinch of turmeric powder
  • 2-3 tablespoons of jaggery
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • Salt to taste

For seasoning:

  • 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 2 leaflets of curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 dried red chilli

Serves: 3-4

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Preparation Method:

1. Peel the ash gourd and remove off the middle portion containing seeds. 

2. Chop ash gourd into big cubes and cook them closed until done using 1 cup of water. You need not add lots of water or enough water to dip all the ash gourds.

3. When the ash gourds are half way cooked add salt and mix well. Do not add salt until its almost cooked as it doesn't cook sometimes.

P.S: You can also pressure cook ash gourd for just a whistle with salt and one cup water. But you gotta be careful not to overcook it. We want firm pieces of ash gourds in the curry to enjoy them, not mushy, overcook ash gourd pieces. 

Whilst your ash gourd is cooking prepare the masala.

Preparing the masala for the curry:

4. For preparing the masala you first need fry spices. Frying the spices right is very crucial to get the right taste of the curry.

5. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Simmer the flame and add spices into the skillet in this order. Saute continuously to fry the spices uniformly. Add in fenugreek seeds, corrainder seeds, cumin seeds, dried red chillies broken into pieces, curry leaves, seasame seeds, rice grains, turmeric powder, grated coconut and fry them for few minutes on a low flame. 

Remove off heat and allow it to cool completely.

6. Grind the fried contents along with salt, jaggery and tamarind into a coarse paste using water. Add jaggery depending on how sweet you would like your curry to be. 

7. Add the ground masala to the cooked ash gourd in the cooking vessel and mix well. 

8. Add 1 cup of water to the curry and mix well. Keep the curry semi thick. It'll thicken as it cooks and thicken more on cooling due to the ground rice grains. The consistency of kuvale puli is usually thick. 

9. Bring the curry to a boil on a medium flame. Check and adjust salt.

10. Keep stirring every once in a while as it could stick to the bottom of the vessel and start to get burnt.

11. Once the curry comes to a boil, simmer on a low heat until the rawness of the masala goes off. 

12. Remove the curry off heat and season it for added flavour.

13. In a tempering pan heat oil, add in mustard seeds. Once they start poping, add in broken pieces of red chilli, curry leaves and let them sizzle for few seconds. Add this seasoning to the curry and mix well.

14. Serve the curry hot with a bowl of hot steaming rice and enjoy!

For more Konkani cuisine curry recipes look here

Tags: Kuvale, ash gourd, kumbalakayi, coconut curry, gravy, lunch, dinner, Konkani recipe, Konkani dish, kuvale puli, puli koddel, Konkani cuisine, Udupi cuisine, Mangalore food, Konkani food