This is a very simple preparation with minimum ingredients but the end product was really yummy & delicious. To me prepping bittergourd (kakarakaya in telugu) to remove some of the bitterness is the most important step. I know some people who really love the bitterness, but prefer it to be mildly bitter; I can’t take extreme bitterness (like broccoli rabe is something I absolutely cannot have, it is way tooooo bitter for my taste).
For this dish, I microwaved the veggie with some tamarind pulp, turmeric and salt for 6 minutes. Then I thoroughly rinsed it under water and completely squeezed the liquid out leaving just slight bitterness in the gourd. For a non-vegan version, use buttermilk while microwaving instead of tamarind pulp.
Kakarakaya (Bittergourd) – 4 medium size, lightly scraped and chopped into ½” pieces
Red Onion – 1 medium, chopped fine
Curry powder – 1tsp (I used my homemade curry powder)
Salt – to taste
Cumin & Mustard seeds – 1tsp each
Curry leaves – 6-8
Served with steamed rice and sambar makes this a complete comfort meal.
- In a mw safe bowl, add the chopped veggie with 2tbsp tamarind paste, pinch of turmeric, ½ tsp salt and ½ cup of water. MW covered on high for 5-6 minutes or until bittergourd is half cooked. Drain the liquid and rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Squeeze out as much water as possible from the gourd and keep aside.
- Heat 2tbsp oil in a sauté pan; add the tempering ingredients and once the seeds start to splutter add onions and sauté till they turn translucent.
- Now add the prepped bittergourd; cover and cook for 8-10 minutes or until bittergourd is completely cooked. Mix in salt and curry powder. Sauté for another couple of minutes.