Thursday, December 16, 2010

#43 Bitter Gourd Thoran

The bitter gourd is a vegetable that definitely needs an acquired taste to enjoy it. Momordica Charantia in Latin means Bitter Gourd and the Asian variety is lighter in color than the Indian ones.
Either way it contains vitamin A, B1, B2 and C and  minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper and potassium. In ancient ayurvedic science this vegetable is said to be excellent for purifying blood tissue, stimulating the liver functions and enhancing digestion.   

Freshly Grated Coconut- 1/2 cup
Chili Powder- 1/4 tspn
Haldi-a pinch
Cumin seeds- 1/2 tspn
Garlic Chopped- 1/4 tsp
Salt and Oil as needed.
Seasoning spices:mustard seeds, red chilies and curry leaves

1. Wash the bitter gourd and scrape off hard skin if any. I used Asian Bitter gourd which has smoother skin.
2. Slice lengthwise into two. Scrape out the seeds with a Tablespoon.
3. Slit each half into smaller pieces lengthwise about 1/4 inch thick. Hold all of the sliced parts of the gourd together
and cut across into very small cubes.
4. If you are not a fan of the bitter taste given out by these vegetables, you can wash then in a pan of water with salt and squeeze out all the water.
5. I love the taste of bitter gourd in all its bitterness so I use the vegetable right after chopping.
6. Heat a skillet  on medium fire, add oil and seasoning until they sizzle and pop.
7. Now add the bitter gourd along with salt, a pinch of sugar, haldi and garlic and cook covered on a low fire.
8. Meanwhile, in a blender coarsely grind coconut and cumin seeds. Add the garlic to it.
9. When the vegetable is cooked well and water has evaporated, add the coarsely ground mix from step 8 to the skillet.
10. Stir fry until the 'Thoran' is dry and the vegetable does not stick together.

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