Karela or Bitter gourd, a versatile vegetable that’s cooked in so many ways. I learnt making it in a different way today and loved it with hot chapattis. Of course Arnav isn’t yet fond of this vegetable but I am sure he is soon going to love it.
Here is how I made them today-
4-6 Bitter Gourds (Karelas) – peeled (optional)
1.5 tbsp Gram Flour (Besan)
2 tsp Coriander Powder (Dhaniya Powder), 1.5 tsp Dry Mango Powder (Amchoor), 1/4 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder, Red Chili powder as per taste
1 tsp Cumin seeds (Zeera)
1 tsp Methi dana (Fenugreek seeds) & Saunf (Fennel seeds) each
Salt as per taste
Finely chopped green chilies
~2 tsp ginger paste
Oil- 1 Tablespoon and for deep frying the bitter gourd or steam for a healthier option
Wash, drain and scrape the skin of the bitter gourd (scraping is optional). Chop to small pieces. Add 1/2 tea spoon salt, 1 tsp vinegar and a pinch of turmeric powder mix and leave it aside for 10-15 minutes. Add a cup of water. Squeeze and remove the water. This reduces the bitterness. Now you can either deep fry the chopped bitter gourd or steam it- the latter being a healthier option any day.
Once done, heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds. When is starts spluttering add finely sliced green chilies and ginger paste. Fry them for a minute or two and now add the gram flour. Add about a small bowl of water to this and stir so that the ingredients mix and form a paste.
Now add all the spices – as well as salt- (keep it less as we had already added it to the karelas and it absorbs) Keep stirring so that the besan is cooked properly. After 3-4 minutes add the bitter gourd pieces, mix and stir. Since we have already fried or steamed the karelas, it should not take too much time- cook for 7-8 minutes more and done!
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Tip : Karelas when cooked properly can be refrigerated for a month