First lets keep the masala used for stuffing ready . Fry the ingredients mentioned under masala in a tsp of oil .
Grind it to a fine powder. Transfer to a wide plate and add salt,turmeric and little jaggery to it.Mix well . Now stuffing is ready .
Wash and roughly peel the ridge gourd to remove sharp ridges. You need not peel the skin completely. The removed peel can be used to do ridge gourd chutney .
Cut the ridge gourd to about 1.5 " pieces .Cut them in "+" shape just half through the ridge gourd as shown in the pic.Do not cut fully .
Stuff the masala with a spoon or with your fingers as much as possible into the slitted ridge gourd. Keep the remaining masala powder aside to use later .
In a small cooker,take more oil .When they are hot, splutter mustard seeds and curry leaves.Add onions and saute till they are translucent.
Now add the stuffed ridge gourd and saute for 2-3 minute.
Next add tomatoes.Add salt,tamarind and remaining stuffing masala if there is any.Add some water and close the lid and cook .Keep the flame on medium . Stir occasionally to see that it is not burnt.
Mean while , when the ridge gourd is getting cooked lets prepare the extra seasoning which will be added towards the end . Separately dry roast peanuts and sesame seeds.Roast till they are fragrant .Once cool, if you want de skin peanuts or use as such
Transfer roasted peanuts,roasted sesame and dry coconut to a mixer jar. Grind to a coarse powder.
Now check if ridge gourd s are done . When the ridge gourds are cooked, finally add peanut-sesame-kopra powder. Mix well. Addition of this powder will thicken the gravy. Add some water ,based on your desired consistency. Give it just a boil.Switch off .
That's it yummy Stuffed Ridge gourd / Heerekai ennegai is ready to serve . Relish them hot with Chapathi / Jowar bhakri / Rice bhakri / Steamed Rice.
If you are lazy to stuff ridge gourd / running out of time, short cut method is : just chop ridge gourd into big pieces and proceed with other steps as mentioned above.
Ridge gourd should be fresh and tender for this dish.
Don't peel off the skin completely.This will make the veggie weak and will be difficult to fill in the masala .
If you want you can just stuff rasam powder / sambar powder instead of freshly roasting spices.
While roasting spices if you want you can add 2 cloves,a piece of cinnamon and a cardamom.
If you want you can omit onion.
Do not forget to add peanut-sesame-dry coconut powder in the end.This gives nice taste and texture to the gravy.
The same masala as well method can be used to cook stuffed capsicum / stuffed brinjal
Instead of black sesame seeds you can also use little poppy seeds / nigella seeds (huchellu/gurellu)