Simple Turai / Turiya / Peerey Subzi

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Turai or Tori vegetable (ridge gourd in English) can be made either as a curry or a dry side dish. Get the recipe to make South Indian style turiya or perry upkari. It is a simple dish made by stir-frying the gourd and finishing it with a coconut garnish.

Turai garnished with coconut served in a red casserole
Turai / Turiya Subzi

What is Turai / Turiya

There are different kinds of gourds found in India. Turai, Turiya, or Ridge gourd is one such variety with green and ridged exterior and white pulp on the inside. Considered part of the cucumber family, this popular vegetable dish is often cooked as a curry or a dry side dish.

If you grew up in India, you probably had this vegetable but it may have been called one of these names based on the state you came from:

  • Ridge gourd (English)
  • Dodka (Marathi)
  • Turai / Turi (Hindi)
  • Turiya (Gujarati)
  • Peerey (Tulu)
  • Heerekayi (Kannada)
  • Peerkangkai (Tamil)
  • Beerakai (Telugu)
  • Luffa or Lufah (scientific name)

Most grocery stores across the US carry turiya but it is often labeled as sin qua (Chinese name).

2 ridge gourd / turiya
Turai / Turiya / Peerey

If you never had turiya before, I would say it tastes a lot like zucchini. Here’s the thing though – when it is cooked and seasoned with spices, the vegetable transforms into a flavorful dish that most people appreciate.

While it can be an acquired taste for some, most people include turai in their diet because of its health benefits.

Health benefits

Turai is known to have many health benefits such as

  • Helps with digestion
  • Aids weight loss
  • Helps control diabetes
  • Relieves constipation

To learn more about the health benefits, read this article – 5 benefits of adding ridge gourd to your diet.

How to select

Turiya can be quite bitter sometimes and maybe that’s why I have noticed quite a few people taking a quick bite of this vegetable before buying. But don’t do that, there is an easier way to select turai – based on its appearance.

While selecting turai, look for a deep green one free of blemishes. Make sure the exterior does not appear dry and has no soft spots.

The taste of this dish rides a lot on the vegetable picked so choose well.

How to make this recipe

The recipe below is a simple South Indian or Mangalorean way of making this dish and is called peerey or heerekayi upkari.

Ingredient notes

  • For tempering – oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves
  • Flavor enhancers – garlic cloves, onions, Thai green chilies, salt
  • Key ingredient – ridge gourd or turiya
  • Garnishing – grated coconut (fresh or frozen)

Instructions

How to chop

  • Rinse the turai thoroughly.
  • Use a peeler to peel off the skin around the ridges and surrounding areas. Discard the peel.
  • Cut off the stem. Chop it lengthwise into half. Slice each half into 3 pieces. Make horizontal slits to dice them into 1/2 inch cubes.

Cooking instructions

  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a wok. To it add mustard seeds and as they begin to splutter add curry leaves and garlic.
  • After 10 seconds or so add onions, green chilies, and salt. Fry it till onions turn translucent.
  • Add Turiya and let it cook covered for 10 minutes until it is done. ( Note: You don’t need to add water while cooking this vegetable. It releases water on its own).
  • Garnish it with grated coconut (if using).

Recipe notes

  • Turai when cooked reduces in size by almost 50% so go easy on the salt otherwise you can easily end up with a salty dish.

How to prep ahead

You can chop the veggies and leave them in the refrigerator for 1-2 days or in the freezer for up to a month. No need to thaw it before cooking – just use it straight from the freezer.

Storage instructions

Cooked turia bhaji can be refrigerated for up to 2-3 days without impacting the taste.

What goes well with this recipe

Serve it with basmati rice along with any of these lentil-based curries

  1. Tadka Dal
  2. Sambar
  3. Udupi-style tomato rasam

Recipe notes

  • Turai when cooked reduces in size by almost 50% so go easy on the salt otherwise you can easily end up with a salty dish.

How to prep ahead

You can chop the veggies and leave them in the refrigerator for 1-2 days or in the freezer for up to a month. No need to thaw it before cooking – just use it straight from the freezer.

Storage instructions

Turia bhaji can be refrigerated for up to 2-3 days without impacting the taste.

What goes well with this recipe

Serve it with basmati rice along with any of these lentil-based curries

  1. Tadka Dal
  2. Sambar
  3. Udupi-style tomato rasam
Rice, dal and turiya bhaji served with pickle on a white plate
Peerey upkari

Other Mangalorean side dishes you should try

  • Cabbage upkari – This simple, yet flavorful stir-fried cabbage preparation pairs well with steamed rice and sambar and makes for a perfect afternoon meal.
  • Plantain subzi (bareda kai ajadina) – Get ready to entice your senses with this south-Indian style Kacche kele ki sabzi also called as Bareda kai ajadina (Raw banana/plantain dish) in Mangalore. 
  • Kadle Manoli / Chana Tendli (Chickpeas with Tindora) – Kadle Manoli is a vegetarian side dish from Mangalore that combines white or brown chana (chickpeas) and tindora (ivy gourd) and finished with grated coconut mixed with Kundapur masala.
  • Kadle suran bhaji – This classic Mangalorean dish combines black chickpeas (kadle) with elephant foot yam to make a mildly spicy side dish with a hint of sweetness. Enjoy this dish with steaming hot rice and sambar.


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Turai garnished with coconut served in a red casserole

Turai / Turiya / Peerey Bhaji

4.5 from 2 votes
This quick and easy Turai recipe is a keeper. It takes only a few ingredients and steps and yet yields a delicious and satisfying side dish.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Diet : Vegan, Vegetarian
Course : Side Dish
Method: Stovetop
Cuisine : Indian

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves or kadipatta, kadipatta
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green chili peppers, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 2 turiya / ridge gourd
  • 2 tablespoons grated coconut, optional

Instructions
 

  • Rinse the turai thoroughly. Use a peeler to peel off the skin around the ridges and surrounding areas. Discard the peel. Cut off the stem.
    2 turiya / ridge gourd
  • Chop it lengthwise into half. Slice each half into 3 pieces. Make horizontal slits to dice them into 1/2 inch cubes.
  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a wok over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and as they start to sputter, add curry leaves.
    1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1 sprig of curry leaves or kadipatta
  • After 10 seconds or so add onions, garlic cloves, green chilies, and salt. Fry it till the onions turn translucent.
    2 garlic cloves, 1 small onion, 2 green chili peppers, salt to taste
  • Add turiya and let it cook covered for 10 minutes until it is done. (Note: You don’t need to add water while cooking this vegetable. It releases water on its own).
  • Garnish it with grated coconut (if using).
    2 tablespoons grated coconut

Notes

Recipe notes

  • Turai, when cooked, reduces in size by almost 50% so go easy on the salt otherwise you can easily end up with a salty dish.

How to prep ahead

You can chop the veggies and leave them in the refrigerator for 1-2 days or in the freezer for up to a month. No need to thaw it before cooking – just use it straight from the freezer.

Storage instructions

Turia bhaji can be refrigerated for up to 2-3 days without impacting the taste.

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Disclosure: This recipe contains affiliate links to products we love and recommend. As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition

Calories: 94kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 1gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 4mgPotassium: 66mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 11IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.

Did you make this recipe?Take a photo and tag @simmertoslimmer on Instagram for a shoutout!
Keyword : easy, Mangalorean, Simple

This recipe was first published on Dec 2, 2013, and completely updated with step-by-step pictures on October 5th, 2021.

Turiya / Peerey bhaji served in a white and black bowl

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