Kumbalanga Parippu Curry | Ash Gourd Dal

Kumbalanga (ash gourd) and parippu (lentil) cooked in a spiced coconut sauce is a Kerala style dal served with rice or chapati for lunch or dinner. 

Kumbalanga Parippu Curry | Ash Gourd Dal

Ash gourd is also known as winter melon. In Malayalam, we call it Kumbalanga and in Tamil, it is known as neer poosanikai. Parippu translates to lentils but here we are using the yellow split pigeon peas also called Arhar dal, Toor dal or Tuvar dal. This curry can be prepared with split moong dal too but the flavour profile is totally different. 

I got introduced to ash gourd while in Yanbu and had made a bong recipe with moong dal. As you know already, the UAE has given me a great opportunity to cook my home food. Winter Melon was available in abundance here and I made this Kumbalanga Parippu Curry more than a few times. F also loved it with rice and chapati. I then learnt that this is also used to make the halwa - Poosanikai Halwa! I had shared this dal recipe over Insta stories and a couple of you tried and mentioned this is a keeper recipe! I can't agree more and so taking the effort to document here but maybe will come back again to update with better pictures. 😊

Kumbalanga Parippu Curry is a simple homely dal with chunks of ash gourd that is so comforting meal for the cold days ahead! There are a few different ways you can make this so I have listed the optional ingredients that you can choose to try. I am also thinking that Kumbalanga or the ash gourd can be replaced with any other gourd vegetable like bottle gourd or you can even try with green or raw papaya. 

Kumbalanga Parippu Curry | Ash Gourd Dal
Served with rice, red amaranth leaves stir fry and lime pickle

Kumbalanga Parippu Curry Recipe | Ash Gourd Dal Recipe


Pressure Cook
  • 2/3 cup Toor dal, washed and soaked for 10 minutes
  • 1 small tomato (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder 
  • 1 and 1/2 cup water
  • Salt to taste
For the Coconut Paste
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • 6 to 8 mini shallots, peeled and chopped roughly
  • 1 garlic cloves, crushed 
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds or cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder 
  • water to help the grinding process
For the curry
  • 300gms winter melon/ ash gourd / Kumbalanga (measured after peeling and chopping)
  • 2 to 3 green chillies, slit 
  • a few curry leaves, torn
  • enough water to cover the vegetable 
  • Salt to taste
  • prepared coconut paste
For Tempering
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • a few curry leaves


Pressure cook or boil the lentils:
  1. Add the soaked toor dal, garlic clove, turmeric powder, tomato if using, enough water and salt in a pressure cooker and pressure cook for 10 to 15 minutes on medium flame or until the lentils are cooked to soft. You may pot cook the lentils until soft and mushy. 
Prepare the coconut paste:
  1. Add the grated coconut, garlic clove, mini shallots, fennel seeds or cumin seeds, red chilli powder and a little water into a small chutney maker and process to a fine paste.  
Prepare the Kumbalanga parippu curry:
  1. Open the pressure cooker (only after it is cooled and pressure released) and transfer the cooked lentils into a deep pot.
  2. Heat that deep pot on low to medium flame and add the chopped ash gourd, green chillies, curry leaves, enough water to cover the vegetable and salt to taste. 
  3. Cover with a lid and cook this on low to medium flame for 10 minutes or until the ash gourd pieces are all cooked through (they should start to look transparent) 
  4. Open and add the prepared coconut paste and add more water as required and salt as per taste. Bring this to boil and then switch off. 
Prepare the tempering:
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a small tadka pan. Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Next, add the cumin seeds (optional) and let them sizzle. 
  2. Tear and add the dried red chillies and curry leaves and fry until crisp. Switch off and stir this into the prepared curry. 
  3. Serve hot Kumbalanga parippu curry with warm rice or ari dosha or chapati.
Kumbalanga Parippu Curry | Ash Gourd Dal
Served with rice, french beans stir fry and some leftover beef masala :-)

I would love to hear from you. If you have made this recipe then please do leave a comment below. If you like this recipe then please do share the recipe with your friends and family on Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Please do follow me on Instagram and mention @butfirstchaai or tag #butfirstchaai so that I can see your creations!