January 5, 2006

Karela poreel aka fried bitter gourd

This is the second time we are cooking bitter gourd (botanical name - Momordica charantia) for you, this time it is karela poreel aka fried bitter gourd. You may want to see our previous bitter gourd recipe - karela curry aka bitter gourd curried sauce. Good news is that bitter gourd has so many ayurvedic medicinal properties and is very good for the heart and the nervous system. It helps to purify and enrich the blood, clear the skin of blemishes, boils, pimples, and other skin diseases. Here is the traditional recipe for karela poreel aka fried bitter gourd, our attempt to demystify and convert the bitter bitter gourd to a delicious side dish.

Karela poreel aka fried bitter gourd
Serves – 4
Preparation time – 15 minutes

Bitter gourd – 1 cup, deseeded, cut into small pieces
Onions – 1 cup, finely chopped
Oil – 1 teaspoon (preferably coconut oil)
Ghee – 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds – ¼ teaspoon
Dried red chillies – 2, small, broken into halves
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Salt – 3/4 teaspoon or adjusted to taste
Chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
Cummin powder – ½ teaspoon
Coconut – 2 tablespoons, preferably fresh scrapings
Garlic – 3 beads, finely sliced

Method: Coarsely grind the coconut with garlic and keep aside. Heat a fry pan and pour in the oil/ghee mix. When it becomes very hot, add in this order: the mustard seeds to splutter, dried red chillies, curry leaves, and then the onions and bitter gourd pieces together. Saute well over moderate heat until the onion edges turn brown. Add salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder, and cummin powder. Saute for a minute. Add the coconut and garlic paste. The water clinging to the bitter gourd pieces when washed is usually enough, but if it is stale at this time, add a good sprinkling of water also. Cover with a lid, cook till tender over moderate heat for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and continue stirring till no water shows out of it. Fried bitter gourd is very tasty when eaten with rice, chappaties, or pooris. Serve either hot or cold; in both ways it tastes delicious.



Blogger Priya Bhaskaran said...

VKN, This recipe looks yummy and different from the normal karela which I do. Will give a try soon:)

Anonymous gerald said...

I love bitter gourd (I call it bitter melon). My family cooks it with calabaza (squash) and bagoong (salted shrimp paste) in a Filipino dish, I'll have to try to find the recipe and post it someday.

Blogger beesidhu said...

VKN I tried this yesterday it was very good thanks ..infact the bitterness of the bitter gourd was hardly there i guess the coconut did the magic!!!!

Blogger vkn said...

Priya - how do you make ur karelas. Also, pl let me know if you liked the taste of this.

Gerald - I never heard of cooking squash and karela. Must be good. Would you mind sharing the recipe pl.

Beesidhu - wow! so glad to note that it came out well. You are absolutely right.. coconut makes the difference in subsiding all the bitterness of karela.


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