In the continuous effort to include different types of vegetables in our diet, I started exploring bitter gourds. This blog is not new to how I have waded through the vegetables I disliked all my life – especially with bitter gourds. It pretty much is a new found love for me and ever since I first cooked bitter melons in my kitchen, I have been making a few variations. The bitter taste does take some time to get used to, but with rice I have found it really yumm! After trying out stuffed bitter gourds and crispy fried bitter gourd, it is time now to share a simple stir fry recipe.
Bitter gourd is one of the healthiest vegetables. Due to the way it tastes (bitter), it acts as a natural insulin to the body and therefore is good for diabetes. Eating bitter gourd or having it in juice form has proven to reduce the blood sugar levels. Not just that, bitter gourd helps keep the cholesterol level low and helps in reducing kidney stones. It also helps in weight loss among many other health benefits.
I wouldn’t claim this recipe a 100% healthy one, as the stir fry recipe uses oil. At the same time, if you don’t want to compromise on the taste but would like to include this vegetable in your diet, this is the recipe for you. To reduce the bitterness of this vegetable, it can be soaked in sour curd/yogurt. The use of onions in the stir fry also help reduce the bitterness to an extent. But the vegetable is named bitter gourd, it is supposed to be bitter and once you are acquired to the taste, you would love it – just like me 🙂
To make Crispy Bitter Gourd Stir Fry | Pavakkai Poriyal | Kakarakaya Koora
What I used –
- Bitter Gourd Chopped, 1.5 cups
- Onions Chopped, 1 cup
- Oil, 1.5 tbsp
- Mustard Seeds, 1 tsp
- Cumin Seeds/Jeera, 1 tsp
- Sambar Powder, 2 tsp
- Salt, as needed
- Turmeric Powder, ¼ tsp
- Sour Curd/Yogurt, ½ cup (optional)
How I made –
1. To reduce the bitterness, soak the chopped roundels of bitter gourd in sour curd for at least 10mins. Squeeze out the liquid when the vegetable has to be added to the stir-fry.
2. In a pan, heat oil. Add mustard and cumin seeds. As they pop, add julienned onions. As they begin to turn translucent, add the bitter gourd roundels.
3. Add sambar powder, turmeric powder and salt required. Stir fry on a low flame for about 15-20 mins. It is important to cook the vegetable on low flame and for a longer time to get the crispy texture. Remove from heat.
4. Serve hot with rice!
- It is optional to soak the bitter gourd roundels in sour curd. This would remove the extreme bitterness.
- The onions and bitter gourd should be in almost equal quantity.
- It is important to slow cook the vegetable for a longer time to get the correct texture.
- If you don’t have sambar powder, replace it with 1 tsp of red chilli powder and 1 tsp of coriander powder.