Monday, 2 September 2013

"Chatpate Karele" or Hot n Tangy Bittergourd

Bitter gourd is a powerhouse of health benefits.
It helps detox the blood of toxins, helps make skin clearer & also is helpful in curing diabetes.
Bitter gourds are very low in calories but dense with precious nutrients. It is rich in iron, contains twice the beta-carotene of broccoli, twice the calcium of spinach, and twice the potassium of a banana.
The name bitter gourd or bitter melon was derived from its bitter taste. However there are ways to reduce the bitter taste and cook some lip smacking side-dishes with this vegetable.
There is a famous saying in tulu language (Mangalore local language) which says "Kanchala Etthanda, Encholu Unnoli", which means "If you have any bittergourd curry with you, you can eat a hearty meal".
For those who love bitter gourd, I have some lovely bitter gourd recipes, mainly in our 'very easy to make' Konkani cuisine, my favorite being "Karathe Phodi" or Bittergourd fritters.
I also make a sweetish curry with bitter gourd called "Karathe Go'd thalasani" which is probably the oldest dish in our konkani community.
For the pickle lovers I have the "Bittergourd pickle" and for those who like salads there is
"Karathe Kosambari".
But the biggest delicacy of them all is the "Chilly garlic Bitter gourd and eggplant" or "Karathe ani Gulla thalasani" since its made from the traditional and patented "Gulla" or brinjal from Udupi.

Here is a simple yet lip smacking side-dish made using thinly sliced bittergourd, my very own creation and a hit in the first attempt itself.
Since I am mostly using North Indian cuisine ingredients, and the end result was indeed "chatpata" , I have given this dish a Hindi name "Chatpate Karele" meaning "Hot n Tangy bittergourd".
Goes perfectly well with rotis/chapatis and a bowl of curds/raitha.
If you feel the bittergourd is too bitter, then you could peel the outer skin using a peeler and soak in salt water for about 30 mins.

Serves 2
Bittergourd or Karela - 1 - thinly sliced
Onion - 1 - finely chopped
Green chilly - 1 - finely chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves - finely chopped
Ginger - 1 inch - finely chopped
Oil - 1 tbsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1 tsp (or more as per taste buds)
Chat masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Amchur/Dry mango powder - 1/2 tsp
Black salt - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves to garnish

Take a large pan, keep on medium heat, add oil, once hot add the onions, green chilly, ginger and garlic and fry till onions turn translucent.
Now add in the sliced bittergourd/karela and fry till the bittergourd slices are cooked and crispy.
Now add all the masalas and salt as required, and stir fry for about 2-3 minutes.
Serve hot garnished with fresh coriander leaves.

Tasty Tip : You could deep fry the bitter gourd slices and then use them in this recipe. 

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