The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including Gluten Free dishes.

April 2, 2012

~Not So Bitter Karela Curry~

You learn many lessons in life; some stick with you and some don't. My favorite is "don't judge a book by its cover". It applies not only in life but also in cooking. Just because it looks different, doesn't mean it tastes bad or is bad for you.


Sometimes it's quite the opposite; like in the case of the Karela aka The Bitter Melon. Karela is a green, prickly and bitter tasting gourd or melon. It's probably the last to be picked among the more popular vegetables like eggplant or bell pepper. However I don't think people know that this vegetable is really quite good for them. Among the Asian and African countries, Karela is noted to have medicinal value to treat many illnesses. Karela juices and pills are also available for daily consumption.

We enjoy eating Karela in a number of ways: Steamed and stuffed with masala, stir fried, and in a gravy based curry.
 
Last night we picked up some fresh Karela from the Indian grocery and made the gravy based curry as one of the curries for the week. The addition of the peanut butter, brown sugar, coconut and milk tone down the bitter taste of karela.

Ingredients:
1 ½ lbs Karela/Bitter Melon
2 Medium Onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp Peanut Butter
- 2 Dry Coconut powder
- 2 to 3 tbsp Brown Sugar
½ tbsp Chili powder
½ tbsp Salt
- 1 cup Milk
- 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
½ tsp Turmeric


Procedure:
Cut the ends of the karelas and chop them longitudinally and then cut into thin slides.  Heat oil in a pan, season with mustard and cumin seeds. When they sizzle, add onion and saute them for 2 to 3 minutes. Next add turmeric and chili powder, karela and salt. Mix well and cook under low-medium heat until karela is cooked well. Now add peanut butter, brown sugar, coconut, and milk and cook for 5 to 6 minutes until all the milk is absorbed. Serve it with rice or rotis. 



***Quick Tips:
- Karela can be substituted with Kantola (another type of bitter melon, which isn't as bitter). You can find it in the frozen section in most Indian grocery stores. If using this vegetable, reduce the brown sugar and peanut butter measurements. 

1 comment:

  1. Great recipe A/J..Am going to try it soon.

    ReplyDelete

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