Posting yet another classic coastal Karnataka recipe – ” Hagalakayi chutney or Bittergourd chutney “.I know many people would already be making faces and telling “Yuk !! didn’t she get any other veggie?”
I agree Bitter gourd is one of those vegetables which many of them hate because of its bitterness. But i think cooking with bitter gourd is an art and feel how good bitter gourd can taste when cooked right with right ingredients.Bitter gourd recipes get unique taste by inheriting bitterness itself.From health benefits perspective bitter is also better.Bitter gourd is one among the healthiest vegetable.You can see health benefits of Bitter gourd here , so that all those self confessed bitter gourd hater out there would be inspired to give this veggie a try .
But thank God , in my home, everyone loves bitter gourd and its diverse dishes.The dish I am gonna write today is a very simple one, yet the taste is very appetizing .Bitter, sweet,sour and spice blends together in this preparation.Whenever im going out of station for a few days my FIL brings home a few bitter gourd and i know i ve to make a chutney out of this bitter goodness and stock in our refrigerator.
Those of you who haven’t tried it pls give it a try youl be hooked and i assure you they would really not taste that bitter …
Wash the bitter gourd, cut it lengthwise and remove all seeds. Chop it roughly.Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder to bitter gourd slices and mix well. Keep it aside for 30 to 40 mins. Bitter Gourd would have left some water. Discard it. Again sprinkle little water , mix and
squeeze the bitter gourd slices with your hand. This helps to reduce the bitterness of bitter gourd.
Salt and haldi marination
Soak tamarind in water for min 5 mins.
Transfer bitter gourd,coriander seeds,jeera,red chilli,salt,tamrind and jaggery to a mixer jar. Grind them to semi smooth paste to semi coarse paste by adding little amount of water.
In a kadai or pan make a tempering with little more oil. Heat oil.Add mustard seeds .When they splutter add urad dal,chana dal and hing. When the dal turns to golden brown color add curry leaves and haldi. Give it a mix.
Now transfer the bitter gourd paste to the tempering.Add some water and mix well .
Keep on medium low flame and cook with lid closed. Mix in between .Dont forget to cook with closed lid. Else your kitchen slab would have turned a mess :(...
After about 15-20 mins, bitter gourd would have cooked and you would have got the nice semi soild consistency. Colour of the chutney would have would have turned to deep reddish brown .
Transfer the chutney to a serving bowl and relish them with hot rice topped with ghee or coconut oil / dosa / idly /roti etc. U can keep it for 3-4 days without refrigeration and in fridge for at least 15 days.
You can add finely chopped onion while tempering, roast them to golden brown and later add ground bitter gourd paste.
Other option is : Deep fry karela pcs. Separately grind masala and karela. Roast the masala for 10 mins and finally add karela paste to the roasted masala. Mix well.Fry for 5 more mins. But the procedure is lengthy and also deep frying karela in oil is more calorie.Taste wise also they do not make any difference.