This is one of my favorite vegetable from childhood. As a child I was really picky especially with my vegetables and fruits. Only after my college days I really started eating a wide variety of vegetables and fruits.
Even then bitter gourd used to be one of my favorite vegetable. People used to get surprised when they look at me happily eating this vegetable. I love the slight bitterness and the overall flavor of this.
My mom used to cook bitter gourd often, because I was a vegetarian during those days and whenever my mom makes non-vegetarian dishes she will make this for me. I love this vegetable especially with yogurt rice. It tastes so good. There are a lot of ways you can prepare bitter gourd. The simple “Stir-Fry” is one of the methods and it is really simple to make.
My husband loves this stir-fry with Rotis. So I make them for our weekend lunch with Rotis, as it takes a little extra time to get the crispiness.
Bitter gourd is believed to have a lot of medicinal properties. They are believed to be beneficial for treating blood disorders. They are also believed to lower the sugar levels in blood and urine. They also are said to help in cleaning up toxic blood, improving blood circulation and cure hang overs.
There are a lot of medicinal values listed for this vegetable. So if you are not a big fan for this vegetable till now, try this recipe and taste them. Who know you might start liking them J
1 pound bitter gourd
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon oil
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon curry powder/sambhar powder
1 teaspoon pepper powder
Wash the bitter gourds thoroughly and remove both the ends. Now slice them evenly as thin as possible, so that it gets cooked uniformly throughout. Remove the seeds and soak them in a bowl of water along with some salt. Let them soak for about 10 minutes.
Now remove them from the salted water and keep it aside.
Meanwhile add the oil in a pan and heat the oil. When the oil is hot enough, add the mustard seeds and a pinch of hing. Once the mustard seeds start to splutter, add the bitter gourd. Sauté them for about 3 minutes, after that reduce the flame and add the salt, turmeric and the curry/sambhar powder.
Now close the pan with the lid and let it cook for about 15 minutes on low flame. Then remove the lid and increase the flame to medium stirring at regular intervals. Cook until they turn crispy and add the pepper powder then switch off the flame.
The cooking time depends on the desired crispiness, water content in the bitter gourd and the thickness of the slices. For me it takes 15 minutes of covered cooking in low flame and 20 minutes of cooking it with the lid removed on medium flame.
Serve this as a side dish for rice or roti and enjoy.
-- Sang V