You can see people making faces the minute they hear the name Bittergourd. It is not a very popular vegetable amongst kids and even elders. In my family S loves eating it but for all the three of us, it’s a bit painful. If it tastes slightly bitter also we do not like to eat it. I try all the means to remove the bitterness to make it edible.
This time when I made the bittergourd it was not at all bitter and every body ate it gladly without any fuss. For this I must thank Prathibha from Chef and her Kitchen. I was actually inspired by her post and hence tried attempting it. I am indeed happy I tried it, as I found a way to feed the Bittergourd to my family. We all know that in spite of all the problems we might face eating this gourd is essential for it's high medicinal value..worth taking all the trouble!
Earlier when I cooked the Gourd I used to apply salt and then leave it for 2-3 hours, then squeeze out all the water and wash it many times with water to remove the bitterness and to a large extent the bitterness was removed. Some people apply curds to remove the bitterness. Prathibha had asked to boil the Gourd in water along with salt, tamarind juice and jaggery, which does the trick..it saves time and extracts all the bitterness. I did not add the jaggery as we are not very fond of the sweet taste in our curries. I modified the stuffing also to a certain extent to add in flavors which suited our palate.
So for those who have avoided bittergourd for so many days it’s time you try it again and taste it, and for the Gourd lovers…I know you would try.
4-5 medium sized bittergourd
1 small onion sliced
2 tbsp chickpea flour (besan)
2 tbsp bengal gram (chana dal)1 tbsp split black gram (urad dal)
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1-2 tbsp thick tamarind extract
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp peppercorn
1/2 inch stick cinnamon
5-6 red chilies
2 pods of garlic
salt to taste
1 1/2 tsp amchoor
oil for cooking
- Cut the edges of the bitter gourd. Make a slit in the centre and scrape out the hard seeds.
- Boil water and add salt, tamarind and turmeric. Add the bittergourd and cook till half done, remove from water and cool.
- Heat a spoon of oil and roast the besan till it releases a pleasant smell.
- Heat 1/2 tsp oil and saute the onions and garlic, remove them. Heat another spoon of oil add both the dals and saute till light brown in colour. Add cumin, coriander seeds, cloves, cinnamon, pepper corns and red chilies. Roast them for 2-3 mins on low flame. Cool the mix.
- Grind together onion and the mix . Add it to the besan and mix in amchoor and salt to taste.
- Fill in the stuffing in the bittergourds, heat oil and saute gently the gourds. Cook it on low flame till the outer crust is nicely crispy.
- Serve with hot rice and dal along with some ghee on the top.