Bittergourd is not my favorite vegetable.Especially the ones we get in Chennai.Dark green in colour and very bitter compared to the ones we get in Kerala.I believe curries like these were created to mask the strong bitter flavor.Fried bittergourd by itself is so tasty,so imagine dunking it in a coconut based curry.Divine!
Karathe Saglen - Fried Bittergourd in Spicy Coconut Masala
Bittergourd - 2-3,medium sized
Salt to taste
Oil to deep fry
For the Masala
Grated Coconut - 5 tbsp
Roasted Red chillies - 2-3
Tamarind - pea sized piece
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
For the seasoning
Coconut oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Chop the bittergourd into small pieces,apply salt and keep aside for 10-15 minutes or till you get everything ready.
In a kadai add 1/2 tsp of oil and roast the coriander seeds and urad dal till they start turning brown in color.Remove from the pan and let it cool.
Grind a masala paste using coconut,red chillies,tamarind and roasted coriander and urad dal.
Add enough oil in a kadai too deep fry the bittergourd.Squeeze the bittergourd well and sprinkle it into the oil.You can fry the bittergourd all at once or in batches.Drain to a kitchen tissue and keep aside.Remove excess oil in the kadai.
Meanwhile,in the same kadai add 2 tsp oil and splutter mustard seeds and add curry leaves.
Mix in the ground masala,enough salt to taste and around 1/4 cup of water and let it boil.Simmer for 5-7 minutes or till the curry becomes thick.
Mix in the fried bittergourd and switch off flame.
Serve hot with rice and dal.
- Though it is named a curry,it is more of a side dish.The bittergourd absorbs most of the gravy and becomes a thickish curry.
- It is best served with some dal based gravy on the side.