HAPPY NEW YEAR ..
I am starting the new year with a bitter dish to balance out the cakes/pastries ate during new year and Christmas celebrations :) . BTW, I always try Chinese bitter gourd or bitter melon as they are comparatively less bitter than Indian ones ;)
For coarse spice powder:
Grated coconut: 3 tbsp
Rasam powder: 1 tbsp
Bittergourd: 2 cups (deseeded & finely chopped)
Turmeric: 2 big pinches
Oil: 1.5 tbsp
Tamarind powder or very thick tamarind paste: 1 tbsp
Jaggery/Brown Sugar: 1 tbsp
Curry leaves: a sting
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Urad dal: 1 tsp (optional)
Asafetida: a pinch
Broken red chilli: 1
Salt: According to taste
Cilantro: 2 tbsp
- Mix a tsp of salt & turmeric to the bitter gourd pieces & allow it to leave water for 20-30mins.
- Squeeze the water from th bittergourd &discard the water. This procedure is said to reduce the bitterness in the gourd.
- Heat a broad pan, add oil. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds. When mustard seeds crackle, add curry leaves, asafetida, urad dal, broken red chilli & saute for 10secs.
- Add the bitter gourd & mix well. Allow the bitter gourd to get cooked for 5mins.
- Meantime, make a coarse powder of the coconut & the rasam powder(Do not add water).
- Once the bitter gourd is half cooked, add the tamarind powder, salt (note salt is added before too), jaggery, the prepared coarse powder & mix well. Cook for another 5-7mins.
- Turn off the flame, garnesh with coriander leaves/cilantro & serve with rice or roti.
- Chinese bittermelon oozes out a lot of water while cooking. Hence, there is no need to add water while cooking. However, Indian bittergourd might need few teaspoons of water.
- The palya is supposed to be dry. So, donot make the tamarind paste or spice paste/powder watery.