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.
4 ½” Kakarakaya (Bittergourd) – medium size, lightly scraped and chopped into pieces
1Red Onion– medium, chopped fine
1tspCurry powder(I used my homemade curry powder)
1tspCumin Mustard seeds& – each
6 - 8Curry leaves
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.
Served with steamed rice and sambar makes this a complete comfort meal.