There are many ways to cook with this vegetable. Here is one of my favourites. This can be cooked in a pressure cooker or in a regular pot. If you are cooking this in a regular pot I'd recommend using red or orange lentils as they cook much faster. If you have a pressure cooker use pigeon peas or Toor (Tuvar) dal.
Luffa Gourd or Chinese okra - 1
Pigeon peas or Orange lentils - 1 cup
Onion - 1 medium chopped coarsely
Green chillies - 5 chopped
Tamarind paste - 3/4 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 to 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 3 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 2 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tbsp
Garlic - 3 cloves crushed
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Peel the ridges off the Luffa and chop into bite sized pieces. You just have to peel the ridges and not the entire vegetable. Combine 1 cup of lentils, one medium sized chopped onion, 5 or 6 green chilles chopped, 3/4 teaspoon of tamarind paste, 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder, a teaspoon of salt along with the peeled and chopped luffa in a pot or pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 5 minutes. If you are cooking in a regular pot cook until the lentils turn soft.
Once the lentils are cooked add the following seasoning:
Heat some oil in a pot. You can add about 3 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is heated add one tablespoon of mustard seeds, 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds, one tablespoon of urad dal or black lentils, 2 to 3 cloves of crushed garlic and a sprig of curry leaves. After the urad dal starts to brown and the mustard seeds pop add this seasoning to the cooked lentils and the luffa gourd. Taste to see if you need more salt. Add more salt if required. Serve this with brown rice topped with a teaspoon or two of ghee (clarified butter).