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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Can Bitter Gourd taste Sweet?? YES!!!

gujarati karela recipe, karela recipe, bittergourd recipe, bittergourd, thehoggerzrecipe

Since childhood, the only vegetable I enjoyed the most has been bitter gourd or karela is what we call. As soon as we hear the name karela! memory gets populated with a sense of its smell and taste of its bitterness. Eww! this is the only expression I have ever come across when it came to this particular veggie. I remember, nobody in our house used to like this one. It was only me and mama who used to relish every bite of it. Hashim always felt hesitant about this underdog veggie. But not anymore! one of the best things about our relationship is the diversity in tastes due to the difference in our cultures. On mama's side, the influences were veggies and little sweet versions of food. And his side, he takes pride in his pakistani cuisine and there were often differences in the name and etymology of certain dishes, for instance, hashim would call scrambled egg as anda ghotala, and I would call it egg bhurji and hashim would say, well it's the Indian version.
So it was not at all an easy task to convince a guy who is totally partial to his non vegetarian food. My husband says that pakistani's do not know how to cook vegetables with different styles and that's why he always used to escape from the options of eating veggies. So, I first learnt to slowly make him eat bhindi(okra), masoor lentil (red lentil) and vegetable pulav, curry rice, pav bhaji (mixed vegetables that are boiled, mashed and mingled with spices), masala dosa(Indian pancake), dhokla's (gujarati specialty) and so much more.
After all the experiments, twist and turns, I finally convinced him to try this amazing recipe passed down by my mama. So, he stood up like a warrior to finally face this bitter veggie. At first, he tasted only the piece of Indian flatbread without digging the flatbread into the bitter gourd chunks. After this bite, he jumped into conclusion that he is not hungry and he will risk his life later. After insisting and putting efforts, he finally ended up eating this saucy coated bitter gourd. And surprisingly!! he loved it! I have always struggled with the unexacting nature of indian food but this recipe totally reminded me of the exact taste of mama's food. Try this dish yourself, and enjoy this under-rated veggie without any complaints.

Not so Bitter – Stir fried Bitter gourd,  Gujarati style Karela

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 2 persons

2 tablespoons of cooking oil
2 medium sized onions, finely sliced
3 large size bitter gourds
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon asafoetida 
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon dry mango powder
1 teaspoon jaggery or sugar
Salt to taste

  • Wash the bitter-gourds, cut them in half moon slices.
  • Transfer this into a bowl,add half teaspoon of salt and mix it well and let it sit for 15-30 minutes.
  • After that wash the bitter gourd and squeeze all the excess water & leave it aside.
  • In a non-stick pan, heat cooking oil and reduce the flame to low heat.
  • Add ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds and allow it to splutter.
  • Immediately add ¼ teaspoon asafetida and sliced onions, saute until half cooked.
  • Now add squeezed bitter gourd or karela, ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon coriander & cumin powder and mix everything properly.
  • Cover the pan with a stainless steel cook pot top. Add ½ cup water on the lid and stir the bitter gourd occasionally.
  • Note that: I haven’t added water in the recipe, instead I have poured the water on the stainless steel cook pot top and used it as a lid.
  • It will take not more than 10 minutes to cook. Add 1-2 tablespoons of jaggery or sugar. You can add sweetness as per your preference.
  • Mix well and cook it for another 2 minutes. Add cilantro leaves if needed.
  • Serve hot with chapatis.

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