I had a sweet tooth from childhood and no wonder I hated bitter gourd poriyal or any such preparation to the core. My mother used to make it only for herself. She also used to make small pavakkai (forest bitter gourd) curry and used to literally begs us (my sis and I) to eat saying that that variety would not be bitter. My response would be “How can Bitter gourd not be bitter”.
When I got married, my office was in the ground floor of Spencer Plaza. In the second floor of the plaza, there was a small shop where they bring home cooked food during lunch. My husband introduced the shop to me (as he had his office nearby) and I love their preparation. Whenever I could not bring lunch box, I had my lunch there. Additionally if there is anything special food item was planned, they tell me ahead so that I will not bring lunch next day also 🙂 What a planning!!!!
Like that on a fine day, they had bitter gourd as poriyal reserved only for selected few like us. For the mass, they prepare only potato, cabbage, beetroot, raw banana and likes which are easy to prepare on scale. For select few like us, mami sends goodies. One day the so called goodie was “bitter gourd”. I simply refused to eat and shop mama got amused and literally forced me to eat. My husband’s colleagues were also seen around that time, I did not want to make fuzz and get noticed. To my surprise, bitter gourd did not have any element of bitterness. Instead it was spicy and quite tasty. So what is the next thing!!!! Talk to mami and get the trick!!!! I did that exactly. Guess she knows some of us by name from mama and she happily shared the secret to make bitter gourd without bitterness. And now I am sharing it with you.
Nowadays at least once every fortnight, I make bitter gourd and my younger son just loves this. It is a bit lengthy preparation, but the whole effort worth’s it.
- 500 grams Bitter gourd
- 2 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Turmeric powder
- 1/2 Tsp Chilli powder
- 1 Tbsp Oil
- 1/4 Tsp Mustard
- 1 Spring Curry leaves
Thinly slice the bitter gourd. During slicing, the bigger seeds would anyway fall apart. Thin seeds will get sliced. They are fine to retained till next step.
Add 1Tsp of salt and 1/2 Tsp of turmeric powder to the sliced bitter gourd and mix well. Keep aside for 15 min. After 15 min, the bitter gourd would start leaving water. Gently squeeze the water from the bitter gourd with your hands.
The water squeezed would be very bitter. You can consume it with added buttermilk if you want. Take the sliced gourd separately.
Take oil in a heavy bottomed cast Iron kadai, and add mustard. Once mustard cracks add the curry leaves and the squeezed bitter gourd slices. Add salt to taste. Note that bitter gourd will already have salt and hence adjust as required. Add chill powder and roast in kadai in slow flame.
You can make fries with very less oil in cast iron kadai. The kadai transfers heat evenly and hence with very less medium food is fried.
Bitter gourd poriyal – Step by Step instructions
*Thinly slice bitter gourd.
*Add Salt and turmeric powder to bitter gourd slices and marinate. Bitter gourd then leaves water. Squeeze extra water by hand and take only the slices. The water can be consumed by adding butter milk.
*In a kadai, season with mustard and curry leaves and add bitter gourd slices. Add Chilli powder and required salt.
*Shallow fry squeezzed slices till crisp.