Bitter gourd or Karela. This is what the Indian kids’ food nightmares are made of. Surprisingly, both of us are huge fans of it. Yes, we love our Karelas. And yes, it could get a little tricky to make this really bitter vegetable into a favorite but never underestimate the power of Indian spices and punjabi recipes.
After a long and food-filled vacation all you can ask for is a hearty homemade meal. We decided to try out mom’s simple recipe and it came out so well. Bitter gourd can be made several ways. You can chop ’em up into small, round pieces or stuff em with the spice mix and fry it. Adding potatoes with Karela, definitely adds a layer of flavor and takes away the bitterness, too. We shallow fry the bitter gourds after putting a layer of spice mix in it and once they are done add onions and potatoes to them.
Follow this recipe to get a spicy, tangy, yummy dinner.
Step 1 is to make sure your bitter gourd doesn’t remain bitter anymore. Bitter gourd has a thick, prickly skin that should be taken out. Take a small knife and carefully grate/peel the outside layer. you will be left with a smoother product like this
Step 2. Make a slit length wise and spoon out all seeds (those could be dangerous if ingested). Wash the bitter gourds and pat them dry with a paper towel.
Step 3. Take salt and rub it inside and out of the cleaned out gourd. Let the salt do its magic for about 30 mins. Squeeze the gourd and take out all the water from it.
Them gourds are now ready to be cooked. The secret to making this dish is seasoning. You don’t have to be heavy handed with the spices just the right amount should do the trick.
Karelas 2-3 small
Potatoes- 2-3 medium sized
Onion- 1 Medium
green chilies- 1-2 depending on spice level
Turmeric- 1/2 tsp
Chopped cilantro to garnish
Spice mix to stuff the gourd + vegetables
Corriander powder- 1 tbsp
Aamchoor powder- 1 tsp
Anardana (dried pomegranate seeds)- 1 tsp
Red chili powder- 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala-1/4 tsp
Salt- 1 tsp
Mix it all well.
Take the clean dry karela and coat the bitter gourds with spice mix on the inside. Again, make sure there’s a nice coat of spices on the inside but don’t go overboard with it.
You might be left with a good amount of spice mix after using it depending on how many gourds you are using. Add the leftover spices to potatoes and onions later.
Take a wok/kadhai and add some cooking oil to it to shallow fry the bitter gourds.
This is what your gourds should look like after frying them. Make sure they are cooked well enough before adding potatoes to it. If not, the result will be a bitter tasting mix of karelas and aloo. We don’t want that, do we?
Once you get the golden brown color on your karelas, proceed by adding some cut green chilies, onion and potatoes. Chop the potatoes wedge style and thinly sliced onions. If you feel there isn’t enough oil, you can add a tbsp of it before adding other ingredients.
Let the onions and potatoes mix well and add the leftover spice mix and turmeric powder. Cook it on low to medium heat and cover with a lid. Keep checking for salt and spices and stirring the mix. You can adjust the spices as per taste. You can add a splash of water to make sure the potatoes don’t stick to the bottom.
Once the potatoes and onions have softened turn off the flame and keep it covered for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro and enjoy this healthy and tasty delight with hot rotis.
We really hope you guys enjoy your karela aloo subzi.