snake gourd recipe potlakaya fry

Snake gourd | pudalangai poriyal | potlakaya fry recipe

By Swasthi on August 1, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Snake gourd recipe – Snake gourd is a vegetable used in Indian cuisine and goes by the name padawal in hindi, potlakaya in telugu and pudalangai in tamil. It is most commonly used to make stir fry, curry or added to curd chutney. Snake gourd has a very strong smell & tastes pretty bland. It is very important to choose a young snake gourd as the older ones are tougher to cook and may taste bitter.

snake gourd recipe potlakaya fry

I include different kinds of gourds in our diet. Ridge gourd, bottle gourd, ivy gourd and this snake gourd are some of the most common veggies we use at home.

In this post, I am sharing a simple snake gourd stir fry recipe. If you are new to this veggie then this post is going to help you learn how to choose snake gourd, how to clean & prepare it for cooking.

Apart from that I have also shared some variations I make to this recipe. My kids love change every time so I experiment a lot to make the snake gourd dish interesting.

We usually serve this snake gourd stir fry with sambaror rasam as a side. Sometimes we also eat this with some dal & roti.

Choosing snake gourd

Always choose young & tender snake gourd. The older ones are harder and tougher to cook. The older one also have a strong odor which is difficult to get rid. Some times they also taste bitter especially those grown during the hot summers.

Cleaning snake gourd

Snake gourds have a natural whitish layer coated over them. This has to be scraped off with a knife first. Then we rub the entire veggie with some sea salt and rinse off under running water. This step removes most of the odor.

However some breeds of this veggie smell very strong, no matter how we clean and cook. The hybrid varieties do not smell much.

Cut the snake gourd to 2 to 3 pieces and cut them vertically. Discard the seeds and the pith or the white pulp inside.

Preparing potlakaya

The variety that we get in our region of Karnataka are less juicy and can easily get a crisp texture after they are stir fried. But the variety we get here in Singapore are very juicy and tend to become mushy when cooked.

So my mom always would sprinkle salt over the chopped veggie and set aside for some time. Then squeeze up the chopped pieces to extract the juice & discard. This way the veggies get a crisp texture when fried and the smell also vanishes. It is not a healthy way though so I don’t do it.


  1. Snake gourd tastes bland by itself so I usually flavor it up with some spice powders like vepudu karam , idli podi, sambar powder or peanut podi.
  2. Sometimes I just use some grated coconut and stir fry.
  3. Snake gourd can also be steamed in a cooker or steamer until tender. Then just add a tempering to it and sprinkle fresh grated coconut.

More vegetable stir fry recipes,
sorakaya fry
bhindi fry
yam roast
drumstick leaves stir fry
brinjal potato recipe

snake gourd recipe potlakaya fry

snake gourd recipe

Simple & healthy side dish made by stir frying snake gourd or potlakaya or pudalangai with spices & herbs. Serve this with rice or roti.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 2 cups snake gourd chopped finely (potlakaya or pudalangai)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon urad dal , minapappu (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chana dal , senaga pappu (optional)
  • 1 Pinch hing or asafoetida
  • 1 garlic clove chopped or crushed (optional)
  • 1 dry chili broken or green chili
  • ¼ teaspoon chilli powder or sambar powder or pav bhaji masala or 1 tbsp idli podi
  • 2 tablespoon Oil (do not reduce, it doesn’t taste good)
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon Turmeric or as needed


  • Cleaning : Scrape off the whitish layer on the snake gourd with a knife. Take some salt and rub it on the snake gourd and wash off under running water thoroughly.
  • Chopping : Trim both the ends. Cut to 2 to 3 parts. Cut length wise each part and remove the seeds as well the white layers inside. Chop to small pieces that are uniform in size, this ensures even frying.
  • Optional step : You can sprinkle some salt over the snake gourd pieces and rest for 15 mins. Take a handful of pieces and squeeze off to drain all the moisture. This step is done to remove the strong smell of the snake gourd. Some amount of nutrients are lost so I do not do this.
  • Cooking : Pour oil to a hot pan. When the oil turns hot, add mustard, cumin, chana dal and urad dal. Stir and fry until the dals turn golden. Then add red chili, curry leaves and chopped garlic. Fry till the leaves turn crisp, then add the hing.
  • Add chopped snake gourd and fry on high for 3 mins stirring often. Reduce the flame completely. Cover and cook until it is soft and tender. Keep stirring in between to prevent snake gourd curry from burning.
  • Sprinkle salt, turmeric, & chilli powder. I use this vepudu karam or idli podi or peanut podi to flavor up the snake gourd. You can also use pav bhaji masala or sambar powder.
  • Stir fry until the raw smell of chilli powder goes away. You can also sprinkle 2 tbsps coconut if you have. Mix well and off the heat. Serve snake gourd curry with rice and rasam.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
snake gourd recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 153 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Sodium 46mg2%
Potassium 130mg4%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 2g8%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 70IU1%
Vitamin C 14.2mg17%
Calcium 58mg6%
Iron 4.2mg23%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars
Just tried this recipe. Absolutely loved it. Thanks for all your tips.

I just tried it.It is very tasty.

5 stars
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I grow snake gourds in Zone 9a (USA), and they are very prolific! I picked 32 yesterday and I’m slowly getting them peeled, deseeded, chopped and put in the freezer.

I am looking for ways to store these for winter. Do you have any other ideas?
I love your website too!
Thank you,
Lee Ann H

Hi Swasthi I have taken over cooking and kitchen duties for the first time even though in am now in my early Sixties. This is because my mum and mom in law ran the kitchen and I had a career that took a lot of my time. Now that my mom is ailing I look for recipes on the internet and whenever there’s one with your name I know that it’s fail-safe and the tips and details are what I look out for. I am happy to say that people enjoy my cooking all thanks to dedicated folks like you!

I am so new to snake gourd so some pics would be much appreciated..

Hi swasthi….what is the alternative for vepudu Karam/idli podi??? Can I add normal chilli powder?

5 stars
Wonderful, a 5**** recipe. I never bring snake gourd at my home, this time my husband brought this vegetable. So I searched ur recipe & this tasted awesome by adding ur VEPUDU KARAM from ur blog.

I reduced the qty of urad dal & chanadal.

Perfect side for some rasam saadam. nice one

healthy stir fry 🙂 i love this veg so much

Healthy very delicious and inviting stir fry ! Yummy…

Very healthy and delicious stir fry.