Narkel Kumri – Narkol Chal Kumro Ghonto Recipe

Gluten FreeVegetarian

Narkel Kumri aka Narkol diye Chal Kumro Ghonto is a classic Bengali vegetarian recipe where Ash Gourd or Wax Gourd is cooked with lots of grated Coconut, to be served as a side dish to rice for a Bengali vegetarian menu for lunch. Hence the name Narkel Kumri, where narkel means coconut and kumri means ash gourd.

Unlike other Bengali veg dishes it requires minimal spices (only bay leaf) and is slightly sweeter in taste owing to the natural sweetness of coconut. This is a summer dish since chal kumro or ash gourd is widely available during the summer months and is widely known for its cooling properties. It is light and easy to digest, just perfect for a healthy and nutritious meal for hot and sultry Indian summers

Ash Gourd Curry Recipes - Narkel Kumri

What is a Chal Kumro or Ash Gourd?

Unscientifically speaking, it is another vegetable from the category of gourds which is large, round and can often weigh few kilos. It has a light green to white coloured exteriour, often waxy to coarse in texture. That is why ash gourd is also commonly refered as wax gourd. Due to this waxy protective layer, it has a long shelf life and can be stored for more than just a few months for future consumption.

Available throughout the south east asia, it is widely consumed in various forms in Indian cuisine. Every region has its own particular way of cooking it. In fact, the city of Agra is quite famous for its sweet candy called Agra ka petha which is made by cutting ash gourd into smaller pieces and boiling them in sugar syrup till they crystalise.

In rest of the regional cuisines, it is made into various forms of ash gourd curry recipes, sweet dishes like halwa and chutneys, often cooked with other locally available ingredients.

In Bengali cuisine, ash gord or চালকুমড়ো is often made as narkel kumri which is quite famous as narkol chal kumro ghonto for everyday Bengali vegetarian meals.

In Hindu culture, ash gourd is also used as a sacrificial object instead of animals as was prevalent in earlier days. It is placed on the sacrificial altar and cut open in two halves by a single strike from a sacrificial axe. It is then offered to the diety as an offering!

So let’s make this unusual and almost rare Bengali vegetarian recipe of Chal Kumro Ghonto recipe.

How to make Narkel Kumri in Niramish Ghonto style – Ingredients list

  • Wax Gourd or Ash Gourd – in Bengali it is known as Chal Kumro
  • Coconut – fresh and grated
  • Bay Leaf
  • Neutral flavoured oil such as Sunflower Oil, Canola Oil, etc
  • Salt & Sugar
  • Ghee

Step-by-step instructions for this Narkel Kumri or Ash Gourd curry recipe in Bengali style

  • Usually ash gourd are large vegetables. They often range in few kilos in weight, hence they need to be carved into smaller manageable pieces for cooking. For a serving for 3 people, you will need a piece weighing around half a kilo or 500 grams
  • To begin the prep of ash gourd, start by peeling the waxy outer shell. Carve out the fleshy centres along with the seeds and discard them. Now grate the rest of the ash gourd and keep it aside
  • Similarly finely grate the fresh coconut and keep it aside
  • Heat a non stick pan with some oil. Drop a bay leaf or two and let it sizzle for a minute
  • Now add the grated chal kumro or ash gourd along with grated coconut and some salt. The salt will bring out the moisture out of the ash gourd to help everything cook together easily
  • Mix everything well and cover the pan with a lid. Keep the heat on low-medium and allow it to simmer for around 15-20 minutes
  • Once the water is reduced, give everything a good mix once again. Check for salt and add as required. Add sugar. As it melts and caramelizes you will notice that it has started to release oil at the edges for the coconut being cooked
  • Finish it off with a slight drizzle of Ghee, optional but highly recommended!
  • Serve it with steaming hot rice for a delicious Bengali vegetarian meal

How to serve Narkol Chal Kumro Ghonto aka Coconut & Ash Gourd Curry recipe

Typically this Narkel Kumri is served as a dryish side dish along with rice. It doesnt need any accompaniment of dal to go with this. It is slightly sweet in taste with rich coconut flavour.

Personally I feel Narkel Kumri tastes even better the next day of cooking. By then the flavour of coconut and subtle flavours of ash gourd along with ghee matures manifold.

Few more timeless classic Bengali vegetarian recipes which are almost lost in today’s cooking

I have over 300+ Bengali Recipes on my Blog which offers a wide variety of vegetarian dishes as well as non vegetarian ones. Starting from classic and traditional Bengali Ranna Recipes to contemporary Bengali dishes which are more suited to modern-day hectic lifestyles, you will many recipes to choose from.

Have you tried this recipe? I would love to hear about it.
Tag me on Instagram @priyankabhattacharya.sa or Facebook @hashdiaries and I will share it further.

Narkel Kumri – Narkol Chal Kumro Ghonto
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

Narkel Kumri aka Narkol diye Char Kumro Ghonto is a classic Bengali vegetarian recipe where Ash Gourd or Wax Gourd is cooked with lots of grated Coconut, to be served as a side dish to rice for a Bengali vegetarian menu for lunch. Hence the name Narkel Kumri, where narkel means coconut and kumri means ash gourd.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Bengali
Keyword: Ash Gourd Recipes, Bengali Vegetarian Recipes, Coconut Recipes, vegetarian recipes
Servings: 3 people
Author: Priyanka
Ingredients
  • 500 grams Wax Gourd or Ash Gourd – in Bengali it is known as Chal Kumro
  • 1 cup Coconut – fresh and grated
  • 2 Bay Leaf
  • 2 tbsp Neutral flavoured oil such as Sunflower Oil, Canola Oil, etc
  • Salt & Sugar as per taste
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
Instructions
  1. Start the prep by coarsely grating the Ash Gourd and finely grating the coconut

  2. Heat a non stick pan with some oil. Drop a bay leaf or two and let it sizzle for a minute

  3. Now add the grated chal kumro or ash gourd along with grated coconut and some salt.

    Mix everything well and cover the pan with a lid. Keep the heat on low-medium and allow it to simmer for around 15-20 minutes

  4. Once the water is reduced, give everything a good mix once again. Check for salt and add as required. Add sugar.

  5. Finish it off with a slight drizzle of Ghee

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Indian Food Blogger Priyanka Bhattacharya

Hi! I’m Priyanka!

A passionate home cook and food lover who loves nothing more than sharing my favourite recipes with the world.

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