Bitter gourds – 3 – 4 or 2 cups sliced
Onions sliced – 1 cup or 1 large
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves – a few
Dried red chilies – 2 small
Green chilies – 2 small
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder – 1/4 tsp
Red Chilly powder – 1/2 tsp (optional)
Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Brown sugar – 1/2 tsp
Vegetable oil – 2 tbs
Cilantro – 2 tbs
1. Scrape the bitter gourds lightly, wash and soak them in salt water for at least 1/2 an hour.
2. Rinse them again, scoop out the seeds and cut them into thin rings. Put them in a sauce pan with a little water and steam them till they change color and soften a bit. Remove and allow to cool.
3. In another sauce pan, heat the vegetable oil. When it fumes add the mustard seeds, dried whole red chilies, slit green chilies and curry leaves followed by the sliced onions.
4. Fry till the onions turn soft and lightly golden. Add the ginger garlic paste, turmeric and cumin. Add red chilly powder only if you want it spicy. I don’t like to add more heat to the dish as I feel the heat from the red and green chilies is good enough to enjoy it.
5. Add the steamed bitter gourd to the onion masala, turn over and mix gently. Sprinkle some salt and lemon juice and stir well to coat the bitter gourd with the masala.
6. Lastly add the brown sugar, sprinkle a little water, mix well again, garnish with some chopped cilantro and serve hot with chappatis or rice.
1. The bitter gourd is soaked in salty water to remove the bitterness. But it has to be rinsed well before slicing into pieces.
2. Do not throw away the juices left after steaming the bitter gourd. Add it to the masala with the gourd and it will dry up soon.