Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Bitter Gourd Pickle

Bitter Gourd (Karela / Pagarkai) initially was force fed (and mostly so for many) to me... However, with time, I did realize that it is one of the richest vegetables. So, was keen to know the various dishes possible such that one can relish it. Stuffed, fried, spicy gravy with tamarind, are some possibilities. One that I found recently was that we can also make pickle out of the same.

I did try & believe me it went down almost everyone's throats so easily :)

Ingredients: (As I used)

Bitter Gourd : 2 big size (4 medium size)
Small Onions (Shallots): 10 (cut into thin slices)
Garlic: 10 pods (per your taste; cut into thin slices)
Ginger: 2 inches (per your taste; cut into thin slices)
Curry Leaves: to garnish
Gingely Oil: 4-5 tbspn (this pickle doesn't need excess oil & needs to be refrigerated)
Turmeric Powder:  1 tspn
Salt: to taste 
Mustard Seeds: 1 tspn
Fenugreek Seeds: 1/2 tspn
Tamarind: 1 small lemon sized (soaked in water)
Jaggery: 1 small piece (powdered)
Green Chilli: 5 nos (slit)
Red Chillie Powder: 2-3 tspn 
Hing: 2 pinch

  1. Clean, wipe, remove the seeds and slice them into 1/2 inch slices or desired shape (rings etc)
  2. Place them in a bowl, add a tspn of salt, mix it and leave them for an hour
  3. Pick the same mix and leave it in sun for a couple of hours to ensure they are dried
  4. In a deep pan, add a few tbspn of oil and fry these dried pieces in small lots, till they turn golden brown 
  5. Take them and place it on a plate with tissue papers to absorb the oil
  6. In another pan, add 2-3 tbspn of oil. As it heats up, add the mustard seeds. As they splutter, add the fenugreek seeds. As it becomes reddish, add the curry leaves. Saute for a minute.
  7. To this, add the slit green chilies, garlic, ginger, and onions. Fry them till they are cooked or become golden brown.
  8. To this mix, add the tamarind extract (to balance between the bitterness and spice)
  9. Add the red chillie powder, hing and allow it for a minute
  10. Then add Salt and the fried bitter gourd pieces to this. Mix well, and allow it to cook on a small-medium flame for 5-7 mts (if you have not fried the pieces well enough, then you will need to keep it for 10-12 mts to ensure the pieces are well cooked)
  11. Add the powdered jagery and mix well.
  12. Remove from fire and allow it to cool
  13. Pack it in air tight container & refrigerate it
You can serve this with hot chapatis and / or rice. Can also serve as dry subji if you make it less tangy and spicy.

Tips: Instead of tamarind, you can also use Lemon Juice or Vinegar

[Source: Customized from various online recipes]