Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bittergourd curry

Translation : Pakarkkai - bittergourd / bitter melon.

In my childhood, the bittergourd we get nowadays were a hybrid and not available in local shops. We were buying a smaller version of them called 'mithi pagal':), those used to be very tiny and not bitter like the ones we get nowadays. Moreover that mithi pagal plant, root, fruits everything can be made into a juice and drank for obesity and diabetes. Then came the longer version and one day we saw them in our Vivekanandan uncle's house and were amazed at that yield. They were gathering them in big baskets and no one was there to buy them as they couldn't find a better way to cook them without that bitterness. Mom showed them a way using more oil and chilly powder and it was so excellent. Yes, my Mom used to make very good fried curries with this bittergourd and call it as pakarkkai varuval along with paruppu kulambu. At that time I have also consumed that but after I started cooking, I could neither take that bitter flavor nor add oil like my mom. So bittergourd became a rare commodity in my kitchen and I prepared it sometime ago and with chapathi for supper and packed it with lentil rice the next day. Anyways everybody liked it and I am just noting it down because of the way I added very minimal oil.

Myth: Bittergourd curry is a big no no in my native , while inviting guests:)

Bitter gourd - 2 (150 gm)
tomato - 3 (100 gm)
onion - 1
salt - to taste
red chilly powder - 1 tbsp
garam masala powder - 1 tsp
oil - 1 tbsp
fennel - 1/2  tsp

Finely chop the vegetables. Remove the seeds of bittergourd.
Heat oil in a wok and add fennel. After they get red, add the sliced onion, curry leaves and fry till they wilt. Then put the tomato and cook till they get mushy.
Now add the bittergourd along with salt and other masala powders mentioned above.
Stir well and after a minute sprinkle a handful of water and cook covered till the bittergourd is cooked well.
Switch off.

Serving suggestions:
Serve with roti or any rice.
If you still find the bitterness unacceptable, then try adding a few drops of lemon or tamarind extract.


Santosh Bangar said...

though few people like this veggi but i like it very much ur version is different but yummy try it soon

Reshmi Mahesh said...

Nice recipe...I once fried bittergourd and made a curry...the bitterness was very less...

Anonymous said...

Hi Vikki,

I have not cooked bitter gourd like this before. Looks delicious and I am sure this will go well with lentil rice or curd rice as well. I normally make it like your mom does. As you have mentioned this is a natural remedy for diabetic patients

Viki's Kitchen said...

Santosh: Liking the bittergourd is really good ....I should also try:)

Viki's Kitchen said...

Reshmi: Yes dear. frying makes it less bitter. Only way to cook this veggie:)

Viki's Kitchen said...

En Samayal: You can try this dear. The tangy tomato took over part of that bittergourd taste. Anyways bittergourd won the first day, but the bitterness subdued the next afternoon:)

Suja said...

Love bitter gourd,this sounds great curry

Premalatha Aravindhan said...

Thats a healthy curry,every one loved this even who don't like bittergourd...

MAGESH said...

Hi viki,
i am back to Ur blog,for some reason i missed to follow your blog and to update my blog also, all of your recipes are looking tempting and i will try soon.

Cynthia said...

One of my absolute favourite vegetables!

nimsy said...

I love Bittergourd curry if it is cooked properly. We call it karela in gujerati and my sister in law also cooks it well.
I'll try this and see if mine turns out better!! ;)