Karele ki sabzi

Karele ki Sabzi (bitter gourd)

Karele ki sabzi or bitter gourd vegetable is rarely liked by family members. It is almost an impossible task to make kids eat this. I have hardly seen a family where all family members love to eat and they demand Karele ki Sabzi (bitter gourd) in their lunch or dinner menu.

Not boasting, but I was always an obedient daughter and used to eat whatever my mom used to cook. Probably that’s how I slowly developed taste for all vegetables. I remember till 5th or 6th class my daughter Apoorva also used to eat every thing. But slowly she also became fussy and I just couldn’t make her eat a few veggies, including bitter gourd.

I love karela in any form – whether it is prepared as sabzi or in stuffed form. It tastes really good if onions are also added, but it is not compulsory. I like bitter gourd with hot parathas or as a side dish with simple daal – chawal.

There are many ways to cook bitter gourd. To eliminate its bitter taste you can peel it and smear it with salt and keep it like this for 2 hours. Later wash it and cook it.

I don’t want to wash away all nutrients of bitter gourd this way. So I never peel it. I just wash it and chop in small pieces and cook it with onions. To reduce the bitterness you can add dry mango powder (amchoor), grated raw mango or lemon juice.

Try this extremely nutritious vegetable in my way, probably you might develop a taste for it …

I have a few more posts on vegetables in the blog. You can take a look…Vegetables (Curries)

Ingrediants:

Bitter gourd(karela) 200 gms

Onions 2 big size

Oil 3 tbsp

Rai  (small mustard seeds ) 1/4 tsp

Cumin seeds (jeera) 1/4 tsp

Asafotida  (hing) 1/8 tsp

Coriander powder 1+1/2 tsp

Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

Red chili powder 1 tsp

Coarsely grounded fennel seeds 2 tsp

Finely chopped green chilies 2

Salt  as per your taste

Water  2 or 3 tbsp

Dry mango powder/grated raw mango/lemon juice

Process:

Peel, wash and chop onions.

In a wok heat 1 tbsp of oil and add chopped onions. Keep the heat on sim and let the onions turn light brown. Keep tossing them from time-to-time.

Wash and chop bitter gourd in round shape.

In another wok heat two tbsp oil and crackle rai, hing and jeera. Add chopped bitter gourd and rest of the spices, except dry mango powder. Mix everything nicely, cover it and let it cook on sim heat. In between keep turning them upside down a couple of times. If you feel that sabzi is sticking to the bottom of the wok, add little water and let it cook till it is tender.

Onions would be ready by now – so, switch off heat.

Once bitter gourd is cooked, add onions and 1 tsp dry mango powder or 1 tbsp grated raw mango or 1 tbsp lemon juice. Mix it well, cover it and on sim heat and let it cook for 2-3 minutes more.

Karele ki sabzi is ready to be served.

Bitter Gourd

Bitter gourd
 

Kairie ki loungi (raw mango dish)

‘Kairie ki loungi’  (raw mango dish) sunte hee muh mei paani aa jaata hai (mouth starts watering after listening to the name of the dish). This dish is prepared with raw mangoes.  Kairie ki loungi is one of my favorite raw mango dishes during summer since childhood. It is a side dish with your regular meals or you can have it with paratha during breakfast.

Sour taste of raw mango is balanced by sugar/jaggery, salt and red chilli powder. Seasoning with fennel seeds gives sweet fragrant flavor. When sugar melts and gets mixed with the rest of the ingredients, the look of the dish and taste reaches to another level altogether!! You have beautiful caramelized raw mango dish which will get over by licking directly from the pan. Oh, I can really write a poem on this!!!

Am I exaggerating too much?? Not at all… Try this recipe and experience the wonderful taste of my favorite raw mango dish ‘Loungi’ during summer!!

The whole credit for this recipe goes to my younger sister Nandini. Amongst the three sisters she is the one who started cooking very early. So her culinary skills are excellent. Last year during my Jaipur trip she prepared loungi and since then I have been waiting for the summer season to get back that wonderful taste!!!

You can check one more post from raw magoes in the blog. It is traditional Indian cool summer beverage Kachhi keiri ka pana/panna (raw mango beverage)

Ingredients :

400 gm kairie (raw mango medium sized peeled and sliced)
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp sauf
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp salt or as per your taste( can take a mix of white and black salt)
Water 1/4 cup
1/3 cup Sugar

You can reduce or increase the quantity of salt, sugar and chilli powder as per your preference.

For oil, my preference is mustard oil for its pungent flavor.

Process :

Wash, peel and cut raw mangoes in long pieces. The seed of raw mango is tender. While slicing kairie, the seed will also be sliced. Remove the seed after cutting kairie into pieces.

In a broad pan heat oil and crackle funnel seeds.

Add cut pieces of kairie and rest of the spices, except sugar.

Add water, mix everything and cover the pan.

Raw mango gets cooked very soon – so after a minute keep stirring in between. When the kairie is 80% cooked and needs a few more minutes, add sugar and keep stirring very gently till sugar melts. Switch off heat.

Be careful here – don’t let kairie cook completely before adding sugar. If it is completely cooked, it will become mushy when sugar/jagegery is added. Slight crisp and soft pieces of kairi taste really nice.

Loungi wouldn’t last more than a day, but if you want to save it for the next day to eat it with paratha for breakfast, keep it in the fridge.

 

Stuffed Green Masala Brinjal

Brinjals  come in so many varieties and all over the world it is cooked with so many variations that you can just keep experimenting with this vegetable. Stuffed Green Masala Brinjal is cooked with the ingredients of gravy spices but in a slightly different way.

A few months back I had gone to meet my dear friend Veena with my daughter Apoorva. Veena is a wonderful cook and no matter how much she is busy, she never lets me go without having food. So during this visit also we were greeted with elaborate lunch. Among all the dishes that were laid out in front of us, there was one dish which was new for me.  Veena told that it is green brinjal and Apoorva couldn’t believe that brinjal could be so good to eat!

I see green brinjals regularly in the market but never thought of trying them. Probably I was content with the variety of purple brinjals. But now after tasting Veena’s dish, I was determined to try them. I noted down the recipe from Veena and now green brinjals are a regular weekly basis vegetable in my kitchen.

Original recipe had fresh coconut and tamarind juice in the gravy masala. I replaced coconut with fresh coriander leaves and dry mango powder instead of tamarind juice. Feel free to use any of these as per your taste.

I have a few more varieties of brinjal dishes in the blog. If you are interested can check them also… Stuffed brinjal/eggplant/aubergines (Bharva baigan)

Baigan ka bharta (roasted balloon eggplant/brinjal cooked with spices)

Stuffed Brinjals/Eggplant/Aubergines

 

Ingredients:

1 onion, 2 tomatoes, 6-7 spicy green chillies, tiny pieces of ginger and green coriander leaves

Spices:

4 tbsp coriander powder, 2 tsp chilli powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp clove powder, 2 tsp cinnamon powder,1 tsp dry mango powder or tamarind juice and salt as per your taste.

7-8 tbsp oil

Process:

Wash and dry brinjals and keep them separate.

Chop onions finely and grate tomatoes, red chillies and ginger.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a heavy bottomed  or non stick pan and add chopped onion, ginger and green chillies. Saute them on medium heat till onions are transparent.

Chop coriander leaves very fine.

Add chopped tomatoes, coriander leaves and all spices, other than dry mango powder.

Let it cook till tomatoes are cooked and add dry mango powder.

Switch the gas off and let it cool down completely. Later, grind everything in paste consistency.

Cut brinjals vertically as shown in the picture below.

Fill in ground masala paste in all brinjals and keep them in a pan. Pour rest of the oil and remaining masala on all brinjals. Cover them and let them cook on sim heat.

Keep on turning them upside-down in between for even cooking.

  • When brinjals become tender and are cooked completely from all sides, switch off the gas and serve these delicious green stuffed masala brinjals with rice or chapatis.