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
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.