Gourd Ceviche

Gourd Ceviche

We first served this dish at March's Yoga Brunch at Nicobar in Bangalore. I was so hesitant and worried that people would not like it, and the recipe went through many iterations before I was happy with it to serve at the brunch. Whilst most of us are familiar eating bottle gourd  as a subzi or as part of our sambar, cooked until soft, the 25 people at the brunch were trying raw, marinated gourd for the first time. And people loved it!

I've taken inspiration for the flavours from South America and Asia, but all of the ingredients are local, and this dish is really simple to make.

You will need: A peeler or sharp knife


  • 2 bottle gourds
  • 1 corn
  • 1 tbsp. cold pressed sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 red chilli
  • juice and zest of 1 lime or lemon
  • pinch sea salt and black pepper

Dressing ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. cold-pressed oil (sunflower or safflower works)
  • 1 3 cm piece of ginger
  • 2 tsp. miso paste (like this one from Happy Healthy Me)
  • 1 tbsp. Himalayan honey or jaggery liquid
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime
  • pinch sea salt and black pepper

How to

  1. First prepare the gourd. Peel the tough outer skin of the gourd and the first layer underneath and discard. Using a peeler or very carefully using a knife, peel thin strips of gourd down until you get to the spongy part in the middle with seeds. Stop when you get to that white spongy middle part (it will be much harder to cut into thin strips), rotate the gourd and repeat, on each side. Repeat for the second gourd. You should have a pile of thin, translucent ribbons of gourd which you should place in a bowl. Take the middle section and cut into chunks and set aside for your sambar or to make a subzi! The spongy, white middle part won't be needed for this recipe but there is no reason for it to o to waste
  2. Pour the juice of half the lime and the lime zest over the ribbons of gourd and mix well with a pinch of salt and pepper. 
  3. Next remove the outer tough green parts of the corn and place the corn in boiling water for 4 minutes. Remove. Once it is cool enough to pick up, cut the corn kernels from the cob, heat 1 tbsp. sunflower oil in a pan over a medium flame, and add the coriander powder and the corn kernels. Keep stirring, you want the corn kernels to char and take on some colour, without burning the coriander powder. Once the kernels have some brown colour, take off the heat and set aside to cool, sprinkle some salt while cooling.
  4. Meanwhile dice the red chilli into tiny pieces, and pluck the coriander leaves, wash, and finely chop.
  5. Create the dressing - put all the ingredients into a jar and shake until combined, or whisk with a fork. 
  6. Now to assemble. pour the dressing over the gourd and mix well so it is well coated. Lay out the gourd on a plate and throw over the chopped coriander, charred corn and chilli. You could also top with some crunchy pumpkin seeds.
Sarah EdwardsComment