I have mentioned in my earlier posts that Bittergourd is the most favorite vegetable for my husband and is also a favorite vegetable at my in-laws place too.The way it is cooked in my in-laws place is quite different from my mom's place as in my in-laws place they don't bother to remove the bitterness as they all like the bitter taste of it but it is not the same with me.I can eat bittergourd only if it is cooked in such a way that its bitterness is removed.My mom cooks the bittergourd in such a way that no one could ever say 'NO' to that 'bitter' Bittergourd being it in the form of fry,stew,curry or this podi. Bittergourd powder is one such classic preparation by my mom that it is loved by everyone and I am sure that even a non-bittergourd lover will definitely like it without any doubt.This is a perfect balanced powder where the bitterness of the bittergourd is reduced and is balanced with the sweetness of onions and dry coconut and fiery hot red chillies.It tastes best when mixed with hot rice and sesame oil and biting into the raw onions......hmmm...it tastes so yummy.
If you have a fussy eater at home for bitter gourd you can definitely try this one for them and if you are a bitter gourd lover this is definitely a treat for you.
1/2 kg Bittergourd
4 big Onions,very finely chopped
1 heaped cup grated dry coconut
3 tbps curds
15 red chillies,fiery hot one's
a gooseberry sized tamarind
1/2 cup regular oil approximately
salt to taste
- Grate the bittergourds with a fine grater.Add salt and curds to it and mix well and leave it aside for 1 hr.Now squeeze the water completely from the bitter gourd and keep it aside.This step is mandatory in order to ease the process of frying the bittergourd and storing the powder,it will also remove 60-70% of the bitterness.If you still want to remove more bitterness wash the squeezed bitter gourd and squeeze the water again.Take care that no water should be present in the squeezed bitter gourd,repeat the process twice if needed.
- Tear the tamarind into small pieces and slightly dry roast the red chillies and tamarind for few seconds.This step is however optional if your red chillies are softer and tamarind is slightly damp.
- Now grind the red chillies,tamarind,dry coconut with salt to a slight coarse powder.
- In a thick bottomed kadai heat oil(1/2 cup approximately) add squeezed bitter gourd and fry on a very low flame until it is slight golden in color(75-80% done),it approximately takes 15-20 mins.This step is very important and it is to be on very low flame.
- Now add the very finely chopped onions to the bitter gourd and fry on a very low flame until the onions and bittergourd is deep golden in color.It takes for around 15 mins again.
- Add the ground spice mixture to it and mix well and keep stirring on low flame for 3-4 mins and remove it from the stove.
- Cool the powder completely and store it in air tight container.
- It stays good outside for 20 days without any problem and if you keep it in refrigerator you can store it for 2-3 months.I hope that it would not last that longer if you are someone like us it should get over in less than a month.
- Updated:It is mandatory to squeeze the water from the bitter gourd in order to fry the bitter gourd crispier and helps in storing for long.Squeezing of water from bitter gourd is not just to remove the bitterness from it,it helps in quick frying,storage and even enhances the taste and it also helps in consuming less amount of oil.
- For a Vegan version add salt and turmeric powder to bitter gourd to remove the bitterness instead of curds in the recipe.