Monday, September 7, 2009

Bitter Gourd Sabzi / Karela Sabzi

When I came to US, I was longing for home cooked meals for a few days. Everything about this place was very new to me. One of my husband's cousin had invited us over for dinner and his wife had prepared this karela sabzi. I took the recipe from her and as both I and my husband love karela, this dish features at least once a week in our menu. It is unique dish as a mixture of hot- bitter-sweet and spicy flavor can be found in this one dish. It is not a very time consuming recipe and goes fabulously with dal-chawal or kadhi-chawal.

2-3 bitter gourds
1/2 cup jaggery
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon white sesame or til
2 teaspoon poppy seeds or khus-khus
1 tablespoon raisins or kishmish
1 tablespoon broken cashew nuts
salt for taste
pinch of asafoetida
pinch of turmeric powder
3-4 fenugreek seeds
chili powder for taste

Scrape the skin off the bitter gourd and cut it into thin round circles. Apply 1 teaspoon salt and keep aside for 20 minutes. Squeeze the juice from the bitter gourds. If you want a crispier version, deep-fry the bitter gourds in oil till brown. For a healthier version, oil a pan and saute the bitter gourds on a medium flame till brown on both sides.

In another pan, heat 2 tablespoon oil and add mustard seeds. When the seeds splutter, add asafoetida and fenugreek seeds. Add the cashew nuts and saute till brown. Add sesame seeds and fry till brown. Add poppy seed, raisins and saute for a moment and mix in jaggery. Add 1/4 cup water and turmeric powser and chili powder. Get the jaggery mixture to a boil. Add the bitter gourds and mix well. Serve hot with rice.

Preparation time:40 minutes
Serves: 2