Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bitter Gourd Curry

This morning at work, I met all my colleagues and wished everyone a happy New Year.  It was nice - new year, new beginnings.  And what are the new beginnings?  Forgetting and forgiving everyone for what they have done last year and moving on?   Starting anew?  Often we have heard this quote from A.Pope – “To err is human; to forgive is divine”.  Personally for me, I think I can forgive easily, but never forget.  But if I cannot forget, how could I claim that I forgive?  We ask God for forgiveness – many of us make confessions and then ask forgiveness.  But if just making confessions and then asking forgiveness is all it takes, wouldn’t that be too easy?  Are we not required to make amends towards the person we have inflicted wrong against?  If forgiveness is sincere and we truly repent what we have done and sincerely try to overcome our faults, would we be forgiven?   

Bitter Gourd used below in the dish, is a vegetable not all of us like.  I have eaten this vegetable only twice in my entire life.  But after cooking the dish below, I think I have fallen in love with this rather ugly vegetable.  The medicinal properties of this vegetable are many and are often used by diabetics.  I am also using jaggery in the recipe which is a type of sugar made from sugar cane or date palms.  You can find it in most Asian stores.  Fenugreek, another seed used in this recipe, has many medicinal properties.  

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Serves 4


4 Bitter Gourd
2 medium sized potatoes
4 tablespoons tamarind pulp
4 tablespoons jaggery powder
Salt to Taste
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 teaspoon mustard Seeds
Roasted and ground paste
½ teaspoon asafoetida
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 cup water
Toast and grind to a coarse paste the following:
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black pepper seeds
2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
4 tablespoons Bengal Gram Dal
A sprig of curry leaves
6 tablespoons of dry coconut gratings


  1. Wash, de-seed and slice the gourds.  
  2. Salt them and keep them aside for 30 minutes.  Wash and cut into cubes.  
  3. Wash, peel and slice the potatoes.  
  4. Heat oil in a pan.  When hot, add the mustard seeds.  
  5. When the mustard splutters, add the gourd, the potatoes, the turmeric and asafoetida. 
  6. Sauté this on medium flame until they are tender, approximately 10 minutes.  
  7. Now add the tamarind pulp, jaggery and salt along with 1 cup water and simmer on low flame for about 5 minutes.  
  8. Add the ground paste and stir well.  
  9. Simmer for another five minutes till it is well blended.  Serve hot with chappatis.

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