Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

You perhaps know that I am a gourd fancier. I like my squashes to have a bit of skin.

While I'm currently enjoying my Snake Gourd vines every day -- called pathola in Sri lanka -- I made myself and the good woman a simple gourd curry using bottle gourd.

Let it be known, however, that you can swap the gourds around according to your harvest.

I based my approach on pathola maluwa (snake gourd curry) which is essentially a curried stir fry drowned in coconut cream or milk.

Generally a gourd curry is called Karawila and there are many tweaks to the combo.


Oil for frying
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
6 curry leaves
1 green chilli pepper , thinly sliced
2 medium red onions  grated/finely chopped
2 cloves garlic , crushed
1 tablespoon  chopped anchovies (about 6)..or Maldive fish.
½ teaspoon fenugreek powder (or 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds)
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon thuna paha (raw Sri Lankan curry powder or see below)
250 grams (or more) of bottle gourd, peeled and sliced
Salt , to taste
1⅔ cups coconut cream
1 tablespoon lime juice


  • And the DIY is easy: put all ingredients together in a pot,stir fry, then add some coconut milk and bring it to boiled.
  • I added 'spinach' to the curry before I threw in the coconut cream. I was in a few minds about what  'spinach' I'd use -- but after walking the garden  I harvested katuk leaves and used them.
  • If the curry doesn't have quite the piquancy you want, slurp in some fish sauce...
  • Another gourd option, popular in Sri Lanka etc, is 'Ridge' Gourd -- know here as Luffa.
  • The advantage of Luffa over other gourds is that it grows easily, isn't rampant or demanding, and, if you miss the harvest,and it dries out,  you get a  handy bathroom body scrub sponge.

Sri Lankan curry powder:

3 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
½ tablespoon fennel seeds
⅓-inch piece cinnamon stick
2 fresh curry leaves

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Sounds very nice.  


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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

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