Coconut Kerala Vegetarian

Ash Gourd – Winter Melon Pulissery, Kerala Vegetarian Recipe

Ash gourd turned into pulissery, a comforting vegetarian dish…

Pulissery, a highly versatile Kerala vegetarian dish, can be prepared using an array of vegetables and fruits, making it a delightful culinary choice.

Every time I make pulissery I make it with a different kind of vegetable or fruit & all of them have turned out awesome. It’s one of the side dishes served in Kerala Sadhya & is also served with rice for lunch in Kerala.

Vegetables like okra, beetroot, cucumber, ash gourd, pumpkin & fruits like mango, pineapple, apple, ripe plantains can be added to making this particular dish.

Ground coconut & yogurt are added to the vegetables or fruits, and topped with an aromatic tempering. It’s comforting & tastes delicious when eaten with rice.

Ash Gourd - Winter Melon Pulissery, Kerala Vegetarian Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 5 People
  • Ash Gourd, diced- 2 cups
  • Turmeric powder- ⅛ tsp
  • Green chili, halved- 1 or 2
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Salt- 1 tsp
  • Water- ½ cup
To Grind
  • Coconut grated- 1 cup
  • Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp
  • Water-1/2 cup
Other ingredients
  • Yogurt or Curd- 1 cup
For Tempering
  • Coconut Oil- 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
  • Whole dried red chilies- 2, halved
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  1. Ash gourd or winter melon is available in all Indian stores & most Canadian stores these days.
  2. Peel off the skin, discard the seeds & dice the ash gourd.
  3. I've used 2 cups of diced ash gourd.
  4. In a saucepan, combine diced ash gourd with turmeric powder, green chilies, curry leaves, salt, and water.
  5. Cook covered for 5 minutes till the ash gourd turns soft. Do not overcook & let them turn mushy.
  6. Grind all the above-mentioned ingredients ‘to grind’ in a blender to a smooth paste.
  7. Add the ground coconut paste to the cooked ash gourd, combine well & cook for 5 minutes until the raw smell of the coconut goes away.
  8. Take the yogurt in a small bowl & beat well using a spoon or fork.
  9. Take the pan off the heat.
  10. Add the beaten yogurt/curd to the ash gourd coconut mixture, stirring constantly.
  11. Don’t add the yogurt while the mixture is hot, yogurt will curdle.
  12. Keep the pan covered.
  13. Place a frying pan over medium heat, add coconut oil.
  14. Let oil turn hot, add mustard seeds, let them splutter.
  15. Add whole red chilies and curry leaves, fry for a few seconds and remove the pan from the heat.
  16. Immediately, add the above seasoning to the ash gourd pulissery.
  17. Close the saucepan with the lid & keep covered for a few minutes, the aroma from the seasoning will infuse into the pulissery.
  18. Enjoy as a side dish along with rice. Tastes absolutely delish & comforting.




Thas is the author of Cooking with Thas, a popular food blog with recipes from Indian, American and Fusion Cuisines. She has been blogging since 2009 and been featured in several magazines. Read more...