This is quite a special recipe story. Sonia, one of our readers sent me a recipe for cooking bittergourd. Nothing exciting about it, right? Nope. She sent it to me when she learned that I was expecting a baby and I had just started eating bittergourd, thanks to the Gestational diabetes scare. Thankfully, I did not get that GD. Those days I just had one trick of cooking BG, trying the recipe from here, but Sonia sent me more than one way of removing the bitterness from the gourd.
This incident happened last year, if I remember well, it was in July 2010. I was thinking on publishing her tips on cooking the gourd, but I was so tired due to pregnancy and then came the baby and the whole world vanished from my sight. All I could think of was little R. I guess it is about time I publish the recipe. Sorry for the delay Sonia. Do send me the special kofta recipe you were talking about, I promise I will publish it asap with pictures
Tips and Tricks on cooking bittergourd:
We have just given approximate measurements for ingredients assuming that the cooking is for 1 or 2 bitter gourds. Depending on the number of gourds you use, please adjust all other quantities accordingly.
Making Stir fry’s:
Chop bittergourd in to rings(half moon shape). Then marinade the rings with 1/4 cup of chopped onions, pinch of asafoedita, 2 tbsp of gram flour, salt and red chili powder to taste.
Remember not to add any water as onions will give out water needed to make a coating. Heat oil in a kadai, splutter mustard seeds(or the tadka you’d normally use) and stir fry the onions and gourd till crispy.
For making Bajjis:
Slice the bitter gourd into thick rings. Add salt and leave aside for 10 minutes. Discard the water released by the bitter gourd as that will carry the bitterness. Pat them dry. Then add red chilli powder(to taste) , a pinch of asafoetida and mix well.
Dust the rings with with 2 tbsp of rice flour, keep aside for 5 minutes for the coating to stick and then deep fry in oil. This makes a good crunch munch accompaniment for rice or even as a snack with a hot cuppa chai!
For crispier karelas:
Instead of adding rice flour, soak 1 tbsp of plain uncooked rice for half an hour. Grind this rice, 1-2 whole red chillies, hing, one teaspoon of coriander seeds, 1 tbsp of besan (optional) into a smooth paste. Dip the marinated karela into this and deep fry. Serve as accompaniment or as a snack.
So, are there any more ways of cooking bittergourd? Let me know and I will update this post.
NOTE: This is not included in the postpartum of lactation recipe series that I am writing for the past few days. In general bitter gourd is not included in the diet of lactating moms.