If you happen to be one of those ‘few’ who have have clicked the link to this recipe, I would vehemently recommend you try this. Bitter Gourd, despite having lot of goodness and food value is a vegetable which does not elicit a very pleasant response from most people, even adults. Most people would rather skip their meal than eat karela for a meal!! I remember whenever my mother used to make this recipe (along with Bharwan Karela or stuffed karela), she used to serve it up with tandoori rotis, Lassi and a very basic and simple home made chutney of green chillies, where she would grind them along with some salt. The whole combination was simply…awesome!! As for me, this was one of my favourite as a kid (and it still is!!) and that is speaking a lot, since I was a very fussy eater as a child. And I am glad that my love for this stir fry is shared by my daughter as well. She loves having it with paratha, though it tastes equally good when eaten along with chapati or rice and dal. On second thoughts, I would rather let the recipe speak for itself.
4 Bitter Gourds (peeled)
4 medium sized Onions (diced) or a handful of Shallots
4-5 medium sized Potatoes (chopped small)
1 ½ tbsp Mustard Oil (if you desire, you can use any other oil)
¼ tsp Cumin Seeds
2 Green Chillies (split in half)
1/3rd tsp Red Chilli powder (or as much heat as you want)
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1/3rd tsp Turmeric Powder
Salt to taste
3/4 tsp Dry Mango Powder (Amchur)
Peel the bitter gourd with a peeler and add two generous pinch of salt (to squeeze out its bitterness)
Keep the peels (preferably in sun) rubbed with salt for 2-3 hours or covered over night on the kitchen counter
Boil a glass of water in a pan and add the peels. Boil the peels for a minute and a half.
Put the peels in cold water and then strain them. Squeeze gently, when cool, to remove excess water.
Heat the mustard oil in the wok (kadahi) and when it beginss to smoke (let it smoke for approximately half a minute on medium heat and then reduce the flame) carefully add green chillies and cumin seeds.
Immediately add boiled bitter gourd peels. Fry them till the colour starts to change. Add onions to the peels and keep frying till the onions become translucent.
Now add the potatoes and fry them for 5 minutes on high flame.
Season the potatoes with salt and spices except amchur.
Reduce the heat and cook till the potatoes are done. Sprinkle and stir in the amchur and serve with chapatti, parantha or rice.