Bitter Gourd Stir Fry / Poriyal

 This is a recipe request from one of my readers. Growing up, I never liked bitter gourd. This is my mom's favorite vegetable and she used to a cook a small serving of this poriyal just for herself and we wouldn't even want to do anything with this. These days I am into more vegetarian dishes and vegetables and veggies like brinjal and bitter gourd, which I used to hate as a kid, have become my new favorites.  This stir fry pairs with rice dishes like sambar, rasam, and curd rice.

Here are some tips to reduce the excessive bitterness in bitter gourd dishes:
1. Soaking the bitter gourd in salted water or tamarind water for 30 minutes before cooking helps to reduce the bitterness a little bit.
2. Adding a teaspoon of jaggery or brown sugar or palm sugar can also help reduce the bitterness.
3. Adding tamarind extract and more tomatoes increases the sourness of the dish and balances the excessive bitterness.

1. Bitter gourd, small ones, 5-6, chopped finely with the seeds removed and discarded. The ones with the red flesh should also be discarded.
2. Onion, medium size, 1, diced.
3. Tomato, small, 1.
4. Ginger-garlic paste, 1/2 teaspoon.
5. Mustard seeds, 1/4 teaspoon.
6. Turmeric powder, a pinch.
7. Chili powder or sambar powder, 1 teaspoon or more depending upon preferred spice level.
8. Salt, as per taste.
9. Curry leaves, a sprig.
10. Thick tamarind extract, 2 tablespoons. I used a small goose berry size of tamarind for this.

Heat a pan with a tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add the diced onions and curry leaves and sauté for a few minutes until the onions are translucent. Now add the diced tomatoes and ginger-garlic paste and keep sautéing until everything is blended. Add the salt, turmeric powder, and chili powder and mix everything well. Then add a cup of water along with the chopped bitter gourd, tamarind extract and let it cook under medium flame for 10 minutes until the bitter gourd is tender and the dish turns dry. Serve as a side dish with rice or chapathis.


nandoos Kitchen said...

nice poriyal.. I also make it in the same way..

kitchen queen said...

delicious and healthy poriyal.

Ree Kasirajh said...

Good recipe and is very good for health...I try to cook it once a week atleast