So the bitter gourd is perhaps one of those vegetables that is perhaps hated the most or then loved the most. I have never heard anyone saying they can eat the vegetable and it is not a big deal. Yes I know it is a big deal. It is perhaps hated by children and adults since it is so bitter. Why would someone want to feed themselves a food that is perhaps a substitute for a bitter medicine ? Why o’ why? And then there are those who actually relish the vegetable (like me) and have no qualms eating it. These folks are not crazy – I think I know the reason why they do like the vegetable. The reason being there are methods to remove the weird bitterness of the gourd but still be just enough tasty (and bitter) to eat. I know you will not believe this.
But try this – once the gourds have been washed well, scrape off the rough skin off them. Then slit them midway but do not cut them into half pieces. Now immerse all your gourds in a deep pan of salt water. What I have learnt and seen is that salt reduces the bitterness. Once soaked for about an hour or so, remove the pieces out. Scrape out the big seeds from each piece (I find them annoying to eat and is best when they are removed). Then smother them in and out with a nice paste of the following ingredients – salt, fennel powder, turmeric powder, dry coriander powder, dry mango powder, jaggery flakes and a little water to make a paste out of all the dry ingredients. Roast or grill on a pan with some olive oil sprayed for about 15 min on each side until they start to brown. These taste great as a side with some chicken or fish or meat. Or forget the meat – just serve with a simple salad, some yogurt and flat breads like I enjoyed them last week.
Bitter gourds peeled with skin removed and soaked in salt water
For the filling – depending on how many pieces you need to smear and stuff use the following in the same proportion with the exception of salt being lesser than all
1 spoon turmeric powder
1/2 spoon salt
1 spoon fennel powder
1 spoon dry mango powder
1 spoon dry coriander powder
1 spoon jaggery flakes
Olive oil to spray on the pan to roast or grill the gourds.
And lots of interesting stuff online to read on bitter gourds or bitter melons. Here is just another link that might interest you: