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Stuffed with coconut, onions, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and Kashmiri red chilli

This is  one of my least favourite vegetables. And I often stuff it with spicy mashed potatoes and pan fry them when I have to eat it! As kids we had no choice we had to eat bitter gourd once a week to keep ourselves healthy! This veggie is said to be a blessing for those with diabetes, I come from a family that’s genetically pre-disposed to this ailment, so we had little choice than to eat the veggie with the funny skin.

Over the years and after I started running my own kitchen and married a diabetic, I learnt to alter the dish and make it flavoursome till I landed up with this combination. It’s a mix of many flavours and has a touch of north Indian masala with the southern star–the coconut. But what’s interesting is that this dish can be baked!

Over the many years we lived in Goa I also learnt of a unique way of removing the bitterness without effecting the properties–peel and remove the seeds and soak the bitter gourd in water with vinegar. I use apple cider vinegar.

Time taken: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

Skill Level: Basic 

Ingredients:

  • 3 onions
  • 3 dried red Kashmiri chillies, soaked in hot water
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon each black and white sesame seeds
  • 7 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4-5 bitter gourd
  • 3 tablespoon grated coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon each turmeric, coriander-cumin seed powder and garam masala. (You don’t make your own, use Everest Rajwadi Garam Masala)
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds

Method:
1. Peel the bitter gourd, cut the ends and slice through the centre. Ensure you do not cut the bitter gourd through as it needs to be stuffed. Remove the seeds and soak in the vinegar-water.

Soaked in water, the red Kashmiri chilli takes on a bright red colour when ground
Soaked in water, the red Kashmiri chilli takes on a bright red colour when ground

2. Meanwhile fry the onions, coconut, soaked chilli and other ingredients till the onion is translucent.

The mix that gets cooked and ground chunky before being stuffed into those bitter gourd packets
The mix that gets cooked and ground chunky before being stuffed into those bitter gourd packets

3. If you have a stone mortar and pastel, use that to grind the onion mix, or use a mixer. The paste should be chunky.
4. Remove the bitter gourd from the water. Dry them and fill them with this mix.
5. Now you can either plate them in a baking dish and Cook for 30 mins at 180 degree

Stuffed bitter gourds
Stuffed bitter gourds

centigrade or shallow fry them in a wee bit of oil. Remember the open side with the coconut will burn easier so cook the base of the bitter gourd well to ensure it is cooked and cook the other side just to get the right colour.
6. Sprinkle freshly chopped coriander before serving.

While the bitter gourd is good for the pancreas, the coriander helps clean the kidneys...but then thats just additional information :)
While the bitter gourd is good for the pancreas, the coriander helps clean the kidneys…but then that’s just additional information :)

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