Sizzling Tastebuds

Padavalakai Thove | Snakegourd Dal-Curry

Thovve (Dal in Kannada) is one of the easiest dishes to make when one is pressed for time or when you need something light and breezy for lunch / dinner. Today I present Padavalakai Thovve (Padavalakai = Kannada for Snakegourd) – a very simple, basic and healthy accompaniment to Phulkas / rice alike.

For years we kids used to call it “Satellite” at home.. Now, thats a strange name for a dish, wouldn’t you say !? To cut a long story short, the episode goes like this : As kids, we used to have our dinner, esp on some summer evenings outside the house right on the compound where grand mom used to give us “thuththu” (Thuththu in kannada means small morsels of food made from a common food bowl) to all her grandkids. That particular day, she had made this Thovve and up in the sky, we could see some bright objects spinning. 


The first idea that came to us was that they were satellites whirling away (only years later did we know how true that was !). So, grand mom coaxed us to eat this dish and nicknamed it Satellite, and so the name stuck. It was even stranger that when I got married too, I kept referring it to as Satellite in the first few months, and S thought he had married an alien(?!) he he 😀


You can make this with veggies like Chow Chow, Snake gourd, cucumber (yes, green cucumber) or any such water-based vegetables (zucchini?? may be, I havent tried) . S calls this Mashial (Tamil), but we dont add the usual tomatoes , onions etc . This dish can be rustled up in under 30 mins and is almost Oil free (just 1 tsp reqd). Tastes yum with both steamed rice and roti.

Other dishes using Snakegourd are:

Snakegourd Raita


Podalangai Poricha Kootu


                                                           PIN FOR LATER


Preparation time : 5 mins. Cooking time : 15 – 20 mins. Serves : 4


  • Moong Dal / Split yellow gram- 1 cup
  • Chopped Snake gourd – 1/2 cup
  • Oil – 1 tsp (yes!)
  • Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Grated coconut – 2 tsp 
  • Lemon juice – 1 tsp (opt.)

For Tempering:

  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Jeera / Cumin – 1 tsp
  • Red chillies (broken) – 2 or 3 (alt. use 1 or 2 green chillies)
  • Hing – 1/8 tsp (skip for GF)
  • Coriander and curry leaves – few



1) Wash and chop snake gourd into bite sized pieces. Boil them in water with a pinch of salt for 5 – 6 mins.

2) Meanwhile,  pressure cook Moong Dal (Split Yellow Gram) with less water for 2 whistles. Cool .You may cook on stove top like we do,  the texture is quite pleasant than pressure cooked moong dal.  Cool.

3) In a pan. Add the oil. Prepare the tempering with mustard, jeera, red chillies, hing an curry leaves.

4) Add the dal and adjust salt. Now add turmeric and the boiled veggies. Simmer for 8-10 mins.

5) Garnish with coriander leaves. Switch off the gas and stir in the lemon juice and serve hot with Rotis / Steamed rice and papad.



1) You may use Toor Dal also sometimes along with Moong Dal.  But I find using the latter makes you feel light, while Toor Dal might makes this dish a tad heavy. But whichever dal you use, dont mash it up, but try to boil them till they are soft, but not mushy.

2) You may also stir fry the veggies rather than boiling them al dente. I use this method sometimes, when I feel I need to use zero oil / very little oil. Feel free to try to both methods.

 Updating this for #Foodies_Redoing Old Post 25 where we update old posts with fresh pictures and text




  1. I usually make this dal with zucchini. Snake gourd is always reserved for fry 🙂

  2. Mélange !

    Awesome Kalyani.This I too make often,but with toor dal.lemme try this version of your too next time.

  3. Priya Suresh

    Yumm, dal curry looks super comforting and delicious..can have this with anything..

  4. vaishali sabnani

    daal must be yum…but i love the story…n the idea of granny feeding under an open sky:)

  5. Jayashree

    I like the story……and the name 🙂

  6. MySpicyKitchen

    I once made this dal. It was good. I don't bring snake gourd that often and more over, hubby likes plain dal and doesn't like the addition of veggies to it.

  7. Hummmmm perfect for your theme and thove looks great.

  8. lovely dish

  9. Archana Vivek

    Lovely combo. Happy to follow you as well

  10. @ Archana – thanks for dropping by, and nice to know you as well..
    Thanks all othe BMers.. happy to note that my daughter also now uses this name !! Knowledge Transfer !! ha ha 🙂

  11. Suma Gandlur

    This one is a hit especially with kids!

  12. yummy dal I love to eat moong dal in various forms

  13. Being the occasional cook, I am glad I chose your blog for the recipe! The satellite story has me cracking up 🙂

    -Earning-for-some-"thuthu"-all-over-again dude

  14. @ Ganesh – Thanks for dropping by.. Glad you liked the post ! Yes 'thuthu' is something we all crave for ! Do drop by often !

  15. Now you remind me of ajji giving us cousins curds rice as kaitutu. How delicious it tasted!
    As for satellite lol she seems to be very inventive. Loved the dal will feed mine too.

  16. mildly indian

    Such soothing recipes are what i will love for winters here. Though i love the wrmth of the kitchen, my feet hurt and i love these simple recipes. This is for sure on my list of to do.

  17. Poonam Bachhav

    We do not get snake gourd very often here and whenever I get hold of it I made a dry stir fry with lots of coconut. Your curry with moong dal looks simple yet flavorful and yes soulful too.

  18. cookwithrenu

    Food has so many memories attached to it. Love reading that, and how you nicknamed it Satellite. A dal curry from snakegourdis interesting way to feed the kdis some snakegourd

  19. Mayuri Patel

    Like your story.. and reminds me how imaginations would 'turn wild' when we were kids. Such a simple and nutritious meal, I sometimes prepare something similar using ridge gourd. The first time I saw snake gourd in Bangalore and thought what a strange sabji!

  20. This dal looks so healthy kalyani….We make stir fry usinh this Snake gourd and some stuffed dishes as well, never prepare like this with moong dal 🙂

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