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 and vegan dishes.


Showing posts with label Kantola. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kantola. Show all posts

July 11, 2019

Throwback Thursday: Creamy Kantola Curry

I started this blog with my mom because I wanted to learn about Indian cooking and all the dishes she made for our family.  When I was away at college, I used to call my mom and she would recite the recipe to me over the phone for the dish I was preparing at the time. Over the years, I learned a lot about spices, how to pick vegetables, and of course how to cook them. 

When I got married and moved away, I felt like I was in college again. Not only was I cooking for myself now but also for my husband...who, by the way, loves Indian food. He's my guinea pig now, I mean my loving partner! 😍

Even my mom says I've come a long way and that she's proud of me. It's all thanks to this blog. Even though I'm far away from home, whenever I'm cooking a dish from the blog, I feel like my mom is right there with me. Sometimes, it really does feel like she's here with me because I call her to ask questions about ingredient substitutions. 

I made two curries tonight, Paneer Bhurji and Creamy Kantola curry. 

The recipe below is for Creamy Kantola Curry - a dish I really like and am so happy I got to cook it tonight for dinner. I haven't eaten this vegetable curry in a long time and I enjoyed making it.

- 1 packet (12oz/340g) of frozen chopped Kantola*
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/8 cup fresh coriander, finely chopped

Ingredients for the gravy
- 1.5 Tbsp peanut butter (alternately you can use Tahini as well)
- 1/4 cup grated coconut*
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 tsp Tamarind pulp

Ingredients for seasoning
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp whole cumin
- 1 tsp urad dal (black gram lentil) optional
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1) Heat oil in a medium saucepan on medium flame and season with urad dal, mustard, and cumin. When the mustard splutters, and dal is fried, add onions and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Now add turmeric and chili powder and mix well.

Add frozen Kantola, brown sugar, salt and 50 ml of water. Mix well. Cook under tightly closed lid until Kantola is cooked and soft (about 10-15 minutes). You should be able to split the pieces easily with a spatula.

2) Remove the lid and add the ingredients for the gravy (peanut butter, grated coconut, plain yogurt, and tamarind). Mix well and add more water to loosen up and cook on low heat for 5 to 6 minutes until the mixture thickens. Taste and adjust salt and brown sugar per your taste.

3) Remove from stove, transfer into a serving bowl and garnish the curry with fresh coriander. Serve hot with rice or rotis.

***Quick Tips

- On the left is the frozen Kantola packet I bought at my local Indian grocer.
- If Kantola isn't readily available, you can also use Chinese bitter melon or Karela (bitter gourd). If using Karela, you may have to add more brown sugar to tone down the bitter taste as needed. 

- I didn't have plain yogurt to use for the gravy, so I used coconut milk instead and it still came out well.
- I used dry coconut powder instead of freshly grated coconut. You can also buy grated coconut at your local Indian grocer (in the frozen section). 

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.

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

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.