Due to its extremely bitter taste, cooking with bitter gourd is an art and the right techniques have to be incorporated. My Mother-in-law recently taught me how to cook with Bitter gourd, and boy, I must say I regret not having learned this sooner.
You will need:
2 long bittergourds, washed and wiped dry
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Salt
1/2 cup chopped onions
3 tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
Few curry leaves
2 tbsp Sesame seeds, pulsed to make a coarse powder
1 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
TT ball sized Tamarind, soaked in water
3-4 tbsp Jaggery, powdered
Salt to taste
Trim the ends of the gourds, slit in half and remove the white soft innards and seeds.Chop the gourds into tiny pieces, should have about a cup. Transfer to bowl, add salt and turmeric. Toss well and allow to sit overnight. This process releases the bitter juices. This is an important step to make the gourd edible.
Rinse chopped gourds thoroughly 3-4 times and drain.Squeeze tamarind juice, remove pith and seeds, reserve. Heat oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds and when it begins to splutter add the curry leaves and onions. Saute till onions are soft and then add the chopped gourd. Saute for a minute. Add the tamarind juice, jaggery, red chilli powder and salt as required. Cover and cook on medium heat for 5-6 minutes, until the gourd is cooked through.Add water if required.Also add the sesame seed powder and combine well.
Simmer for a minute and then turn off heat. This curry goes well with hot rice and ghee.
Hope you enjoy this curry as much as I did.