Thursday, April 4, 2019

Pavakkai Masala Kara Kuzhambu | Bitter Gourd Masala Curry | Gluten Free and Vegan Recipe

Pavakkai Masala Kara Kuzhambu

Hi Supermoms,

There are a few tips that I learnt from my Mother-in-Law and Mother to make bitter gourd taste less bitter. I try and follow those tips every time I make a bitter gourd dish. 

Sharing some pointers to keep in mind while cooking bitter gourd:

1. Slightly peel/scrape the skin of bitter gourd before chopping it.
2. After chopping, marinate them in freshly squeezed lemon juice and half teaspoon salt for at least 10 minutes.
3. Wash them well before you cook. 
4. Adding sugar/jaggery balances the bitterness.
5. Adding tomatoes adds to the tanginess of the dish and masks the bitterness. 
6. Using  coconut oil makes the kuzhambu flavourful and also reduces the heat of the dish. 
7. You can steam the bitter gourd for 7-8 minutes before you add it to the kuzhambu. This reduces the cooking time and the bitter gourd is much softer.

Today's Pavakkai aka bitter gourd spicy curry has all the six flavours making it most delicious. This kuzhambu can be stored upto 3 days in the refrigerator and it actually tastes even better the next day. 

Pavakkai Masala Kara Kuzhambu

Pavakkai Masala Kara Kuzhambu :

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time : 40 minutes
Serves : 4-5 
1 cup = 250 ml cup 

Ingredients :

250 gm bitter gourd ( de-seeded, finely chopped)( steam for 7-8 minutes)
3 tomatoes ( finely chopped, grated or processed )
1 onion ( finely chopped)( you can use 10 sambar onions/shallots for great taste)
5 garlic cloves ( roughly mashed using mortar and pestle)
small gooseberry size tamarind ( soak in 1/2 cup warm water and extract juice)
1 teaspoon jaggery 
1 teaspoon rice flour ( optional)
salt to taste

Spice powders:

2 teaspoons red chilli powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder 
1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder

For tempering :

1/4 cup coconut oil or sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/8 teaspoon fenugreek seeds 
pinch of asafoetida
1 sprig curry leaves ( add whole)

Method : 

1. Heat a heavy bottom kadai with oil and temper with ingredients given under 'For tempering'.
2. Once the mustard seeds crackle, add garlic and fry till they turn light brown.
3. Add onions and tomatoes together.
4.  Add all the spice powders, salt and mix well.
5. Let this mixture cook over low flame till the tomatoes break down, change colour and the excess water is absorbed .
6. Now add the steamed bitter gourd and the extracted tamarind juice. 
7. Add 2 cups of water, partially close the kadai or pan and allow it to cook for another 10 minutes .
8. Open the lid, add jaggery , taste and adjust salt.
9. The kuzhambu has to be thick in consistency. If the Kuzhambu is still watery, you can mix 1 teaspoon rice flour with 2 teaspoons of water and add it to the kuzhambu.
10. Allow it to cook for another 5 minutes , add a teaspoon of ghee or coconut oil on top of the kuzhambu and switch off. 

Your yummy Pavakkai Masala Kara Kuzhambu is now ready !

If you like bitter gourd, here are a few more recipes you can try :

Happy Cooking !


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