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Snake Gourd with Black-eye Peas
India - Konkani   -   Padwale Randayi

4 side  
45 min  

Delicious and satisfying as a side dish or as a light vegetarian main dish served with steamed Basmati rice. This recipe is from the Konkani cuisine of India which spans the central western coast from Mumbai south to Kerala.



Snake Gourd (1)
Black-eye Peas (2)
Coconut, grated (3)
Red Chilis (4)
Kokum (5)
Sichuan pepper (6)
Water, boiling

  1. Soak PEAS about 8 hours if using dried. Frozen are ready to go.
  2. Split GOURD lengthwise and scrape out the spongy seed mass. Cut into about 1/2 inch by 3/4 inch pieces, or as desired. In most cases it is not necessary to peel the gourd.
  3. Grate COCONUT fine if fresh (or soak if dried grated - see Note-2) and chop fine. Core CHILIS and chop fine.
  4. Grind the Coconut and Chilis to a paste (see Note-7), either together or separately and then mix.
  5. Crush Sichuan Peppercorns lightly in 1 T of water.
RUN   -   (40 min)
  1. In a saucepan, place Gourd and Peas along with 1-1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the peas and gourd are done - with frozen peas this will be about 30 minutes.
  2. Stir in Coconut mix, Salt, Kokum and Sichuan Pepper. Add boiling water as needed for consistency - not dry, not too watery. Bring back to a boil stirring, then simmer for another 8 to 10 minutes stirring now and then.
  3. Serve hot with plenty of steamed Basmati rice.
  1. Snake Gourd:   Found in markets serving an Indian community, there are several sizes, shapes and colors of this gourd ranging from 3 foot long and 1 inch diameter to 6 feet by 3 inches or so. A short gourd about 2-1/2 inches diameter works well in this recipe. For details see our Snake Gourd page. You could also use Bottle Gourd (Opo) which is much easier to find, but that one needs to be peeled. For details see our Bottle Gourd page.
  2. Black-eyed Peas:   These can be either frozen or dried soaked overnight (measure after soaking). I prefer frozen because they stay nicely intact and finish up right with the gourd and the rice. Black-eyed peas are from Africa, and made their way to India long before they appeared in the American South.
  3. Coconut:   Use fresh if possible. Measure is for fresh or frozen coconut grated fine and measured without packing. I prefer a "fresh" coconut which is like the dry ones but white instead of brown. The flesh pops out of the shell easily and grates easier, and the water is more flavorful for drinking. If fresh or frozen aren't available use 2/3 cup of dried grated coconut (unsweetened) and soak with enough water to make up 1 cup. Drain before using. For details on handling coconuts, see our Coconut page.
  4. Chilis:   The pattern recipe called for 5 red chilis (and her photo isn't very red). I presume these would be Indian chilis which are thin walled and moderately hot, but red ones are almost never available in Los Angeles. Around here all the ethnic groups use red ripe Fresnos, which are much thicker walled, brilliant red and a bit hotter, so I cut the quantity down. Four Fresnos makes a dish moderately hot by Southern California standards - use your own best judgement. For details see my Chili Page.
  5. Kokum:   A "piece" of kokum is generally 1/2 pod, whether sliced crosswise or lengthwise. For details see our Kokum page.
  6. Sichuan Pepper   the pattern recipe calls for 5 Teppal. That Indian variety is much larger than the Chinese variety so I doubled the quantity. For details see our Sichuan Pepper page.
  7. Method:   You can do the chilis and coconut while the peas are cooking. The best tool to do the grinding is probably a "Liquadora Azteca" (Aztec Blender), a flat stone surface with an oblong stone slider (Sil and Batta in India) - but who has one of those in North America? My mini-prep processor kind of chokes on this and needs a lot of scraping down, but it's either that or chop on the cutting board. When I get it as fine as I can I pound it in my big Thai granite mortar - still not really paste. Anyway, do the best you can with whatever you have.
  8. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste

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