Monday, August 4, 2008

Bitter Gourd Masala - Curry Mela

I keep forgetting about events, and even though I read others' entries in their blogs and leave a comment, I never remember that I too can participate and should start thinking of something suitable for the event while cooking. I have missed quite a few, and was reminded by comments for the Cauliflower with Spring Onions post, that Curry Mela is on at Cooking 4 All Seasons hosted by Srivalli.

Considering that most of my daily-meal curries are lentil based (I make Sambar almost every day for my daughter who won't eat Dosa/ Idli/ Rice without it), I was not sure what curry to make, that I could also submit for the event. I did not want to submit Moru (Buttermilk) based curries, and I already have a post on Moru Curry.

As mentioned earlier, there is always one Bitter Gourd dish on the Sunday lunch menu. Yesterday, when I was washing the bitter gourd vegetable, my mother's Bitter Gourd Masala curry came to my mind, and I decided to try my hand at it. A quick phone call (long-distance! :-() and a few jots on my kitchen post-it, and I was good to go.

To make the Bitter Gourd Masala in the picture, you will need:

Bitter Gourd - washed, deseeded, and cut into rectagular pieces - 5 cups
Tamarind paste - 1/2 - 1 cup (depending on taste preference)
Onion - peeled and chopped - 1 large/ 1/2 cup (optional)
Ginger - peeled and pounded - 2 tbsp
Garlic - peeled and pounded - 1 tbsp
Pepper - a pinch
Hing/ Asafeotida - a pinch or 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 strand
Water - 2-3 cups
Oil - 4 tsp
Salt - to taste

For the Masala:
Grated coconut - 2 cups
Red Chillies - 2-3 depending on size
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
Jeera/ Cumin powder - 1tbsp


  • Heat 2 tsp oil in a kadai, add the red chillies and grated coconut until the coconut turns light brown. I used coconut pieces, cut into small cubes, instead of grated coconut
  • Add the turmeric, coriander powder and jeera powder, mix well and roast until coconut turns dark brown and keep aside
  • Pressure cook the bitter gourd along with the chopped onions, ginger, garlic, and a pinch of salt with adequate water
  • Grind the roasted coconut mixture into a think, smooth paste. While grinding it helps to add a pinch or two of salt, as the coconut gets ground faster
  • In the pressure cooker pan, which already has the cooked bitter gourd, add the tamarind paste along with salt, and bring to boil on low flame
  • Now, mix the ground coconut masala into the curry and stir well
  • Keep on low flame and allow to simmer
  • Heat 2 tsp in the tadka pan, temper the mustard seeds and curry leaves along with hing and pepper, and season the curry with this mixture

Serve hot with rice. We had it with Beans-Carrot pulao and a subji as seen in the picture below.

Though the curry did not turn out to have the delightful dark brown colour as my mother's (which I later found out to be the result of not roasting the coconut and powders well enough), the following exchange at the lunch table laid my fears to rest: "Not as good as Amma's," I said, and R replied, "Stop comparing every dish you make with your mothers'! This is really tasty."

This is my entry to Curry Mela at Cooking 4 All Seasons

Note: I wanted to mention about Srivalli's Food Blog List many posts ago, but forgot. If you have a food blog and would like to feature in the list, please visit here. I have also added a link to the list on my blog.


Nags said...

even nandu had posted a bittergourd gravy! i dont like it at all but this is definitely do-able with other veggies :)

Shreya said...

Hi Nags, I didn't realize Nandu posted bitter gourd!:-( I just looked through the recipe, and found that the only difference is that she also uses toor dal and chana dal in the gravy. You can use any other veggie and try this.

rekhas kitchen said...

mmm new one for me sounds yummy will try it good choice for the mela

Ivy said...

Shreya, your recipe sounds delicious although some of the ingredients cannot be found my part of the world.

Dershana said...

Hi shreya,

saw your yummy bittergourd masala. will share a little tip which i got from my ma in law (since my bittergourd masala too was never the right brown!). put the grated coconut and give it a quick turn in the mixer (don't grind it). Its easier for the finer pieces to fry to an even choclate brown.


Laavanya said...

This seems different but very yummy - yeah sometimes a variation on the usual one works out real good :) Don't worry about the colour as long as it tastes good. My daughter requires rasam with almost everything (like idli/dosa & rice)


nice gravy .. bittergourd is soo good for health .. belated friendship day wishes to you

Myviews said...

your recipe sounds yummy will try it.belated friendship day wishes to you.

Cham said...

Love Bittergourd gravy :) Looks like Buttermilk gravy- Great tasty entry :)

Bharti said...

Ohh...I would love it if soemone could cook this fo rme. I love gravies which have anything do with coconut.

Lore said...

Beautiful rainbow of flavours, Shreya! I'm sure it was tasty :)

Maheswari said...

i don't know whether u got my last comment..Loved the gravy..almost like theeyal we make.Loved the platter with pulav and sabji..

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

This recipes sounds new to me. Nice way to eat bitter gourd. So healthy. Great Try!

Lavi said... are great to prepare 3 dishes for a meal..iam lazy to cook more than 2 dishes. everythings looks good. sabzi looks so yummy!

Sireesha said...

Curry sounds delicious and healthy...Its new for me.....Will try it..

ICook4Fun said...

Thanks for stopping by at my blog. I like bittergourd but always fry it with eggs. I should try out your recipe.

bhags said...

I dont like bitter gourd....:(

Thanks for tagging me for the bookie meme...will try to do it.

A_and_N said...

I love bitter gourd man! I am going to try this too.

LG said...

yummy hubby loves BG, and pressure cooking BG is something new to me so will have to try and taste this curry.

notyet100 said...

hi this looks yum,...never tried bitter gourd curry,..thnks so sharin..

Shreya said...

Rekha, Ivy, Laavanya, VP, MyViews, Cham, Bharti, Maheswari, Sukanya, Lavi, Sireesha, ICook4Fun, Bhags, A_and_N, NotYet100 - Thank you:-)

Dershana - thank you for the tip. Will surely try it next time.:-)

LG - If your hubby likes the bitter taste of BG, then this is the best way to always cook BG - boil it with salt or pressure cook with salt. However, tamarind paste does help in reducing the bitter taste afterward, not to mention the masala! Do try and let me know how you like it.

Dee said...

Wise words from R :) It looks lovely Shreya.

Priti said...

Very new recipe for me ..never heard bitter gourd curry...looks gud.. I have some bitter gourd at home to try :)

Maya said...

I do make it very often. It is yummy

Srivalli said...

Thats a lovely dish..thanks for the entry!

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