Karela ( bitter gourd) and egg plant are the few vegetables I love to eat . This dish I had to cook today to please a semi-foe . ( In my previous blog, I had said I had 4 types of foodie or cookie friends, they are friends, semi friends, semi foes and foes. ( I am not giving the classification criteria here,,,but all my blog-foodie friends have one classification..they are friends only because, no matter what I cook, they always end up with saying , drooling, awesome , cant wait to eat etc etc )
Coming to eating Karela, I recall, when my elder daughter was 2 years old, she used to eat peeled raw karela ( like Cucumber salad) with salt, pepper and green chilis, with eyes and nose running...when she would finish, she would throw a big tantrum demanding more...But when she started going to school , she gave up eating Karela because she learnt from her classmates, that bitter was bad ( obviously learnt from parents that any thing bitter was bad). So that was end of her raw Karela eating , but she loves crisp fried Karela rings, with hot rice , salt, ghee and green chilis smashed into it. The point here is , God did not tell us ( or coded it into our brain) that sweet or sour was good, bitter was bad taste. We learnt it from others..The perception of taste or all perceptions like feel, smell, sound , sight etc ( the Indriyas) is given by God. We define good or bad as the society guides us....
It is just a simple Karela and onion fry with a tempering of fenugreek and red dry chili. Only difference is, the Karela is added before.
Karela ( bitter gourd) 300 gms ( about 5 medium ones)
red dry chili 3 broken
Fenugreek seeds 3/4 tsp
turmeric 3/4 tsp level
Oil 2 tbsp
Wash and cut the Karela to 25 X 6-8 mm pieces. ( Cut the Karela into 25 mm cylinders and take out long slices, with part of the white flesh, leaving the core and the seeds. ( no need to scrap or peel).
Wash with water, drain and salt, keep aside for 15 minutes. Squeeze the Karela and take out. ( Salting and washing doesn't reduce the bitterness)
Slice onion and keep aside.
Heat oil and give seasoning of fenugreek and red chili, When the seeds change color, add the bitter gourd .
Keep frying the karela, until some pieces become brown and the volume is reduced to half.
Add the onion and turmeric . ( If you love chili HOT, add red chili powder)
Stir fry and add 4 tbsp water, mix, lower flame to minimum and cover.
When the water is gone , add green chilis and stir fry on high heat.
Take a bite and adjust salt. When the ingredients are fried and become brown reduce heat to minimum, stick the material to the wall of the Kadhai and allow the oil to drain to the center. ( Do this if you are a health freak and believe that oil fattens and the rice and wheat ( carbohydrates) do not ). Or let the oil mix with the dish.
Remove form the Kadhai, eat with hot rice or roti....
The Himalayan Blog
I have posted few photos and words at my Indian Himalayan Blog, have a look, you may like it.