Bitter gourd curry

Bitter gourd curry

By
From
My Feast
Makes
6
Photographer
Chris Chen

Bitter gourd is, as its name suggests, very bitter and an acquired taste but, as with most foods used in Sri Lankan cooking, it has tremendous health benefits. Unfortunately, to get the best out of this vegetable, it is said the greener (and hence more bitter) the gourd, the more benefits it contains. If you want to use it medicinally I would suggest you juice one of these knobby vegetables, pinch your nose and throw it down. As kids in Sri Lanka, we used to play a taste-test game to see who could tolerate eating the gourd.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 bitter grounds, seeds removed and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon salt
100ml vegetable oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/2 tomato, chopped
60ml water
125ml coconut milk
1/2 lime or lemon, juiced

Method

  1. Sprinkle the gourd with the salt and set aside for 10 minutes, then rinse in water, drain and squeeze out the excess water. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add the onion and mustard seeds and cook until the mustard seeds begin to pop.
  3. Add the cumin, turmeric and chilli powder, stir for a few seconds, then add the gourd and stir to combine.
  4. Add the tomato, water and coconut milk, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until the gourd is soft.
  5. Stir in the lime juice and check the taste — the lime off sets the bitterness of the gourd.
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