Snake Gourd (Podalangai) Besan Stir Fry

Snake Gourd or ‘Podalangai’ in Tamil is known as ‘Padwal’ in Marathi. Snake gourd stir fry made with besan or kadalai maavu makes this bland vegetable more interesting and alleviates the taste

Snake Gourd Besan Stir Fry

Snake Gourd Besan Stir Fry

Snake gourd belongs to the gourd family and is a creeper and grows long in length looking like a snake, hence the name snake gourd. It curls while growing and a heavy object like stone is tied to one of its end to avoid it from curling. Tender gourds are selected for cooking. Also, we discard seeds and white fiber like thread as their consumption may cause gastric discomfort.

Snake gourd has high water content and its nutritive benefits are immense. It can be transformed into various delicious dishes like Kootu, Poriyal, Puttu, Paruppu Usli, Stir Fry, Bajjis and many more.

Snake gourd besan stir fry is a side dish that I learnt from my Maharashtrian friends. At my mom’s place, we either make a poriyal or puttu or kootu with it. When I tasted this dish for the first time, I was awed by the simplicity and taste of it. Using just minimal ingredients, the bland snake gourd is transformed into an entirely spicy and yummy item.

This stir fry makes a perfect side dish with rice and sambar or rasam or kuzhambu or with chappathis or bhakris.

Health Benefits

Snake gourd is low in calories and rich in fiber. It aids in weight loss and is also a detox agent. It is very rich in minerals like potassium, iron, calcium, iodine, magnesium and contains Vitamins like A, B and C. It is high in proteins and considered to be diuretic. When consumed, it can eliminate constipation; helps reduce cramping and bloating. Also, helps optimize the nutrient absorption process in the body. Snake gourd is also said to stimulate growth of new hair and beneficial for those suffering from alopecia.


Snake gourd (Podalangai) – 2 cups
Besan (Kadalai maavu) – 4 tbsp
Garlic – 8 cloves
Green chillies -4
Oil – 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Salt to taste


Preparation time – 10 mins
Cooking time – 15 mins
Total time – 25 mins

  1. Wash and cut the snake gourd lengthwise, remove and discard the seeds and thread like fibers. Then finely slice the gourd.
  2. Make a coarse paste of garlic and green chillies. Set it aside.
  3. Heat oil in a pan. Add the garlic-green chillies paste. Saute for a min or two.
  4. Add the sliced snake gourd, turmeric powder and salt. Cook covered until the snake gourd is done.
  5. Once done, add in the besan and toss it well.
  6. Cook until the raw smell of the besan disappears and color turns golden brown and becomes crispy.

Snake gourd besan stir fry is ready to be served with rice, sambar and rasam.

Additional Notes

  1. Do not add water while cooking the podalangai. Juice released from the gourd is sufficient for its cooking.
  2. After adding the gram flour, keep stirring to avoid besan getting burnt or sticking to the pan.
  3. You might feel the oil to be less after adding besan, just keep on tossing. Besan and the gourd will combine and become crispy.