High on the nutritive quotient, Karela, is a vegetable that is available all year round at our local farmer’s market and a regular at our home. Few takers for this knobbly, humble, bitter tasting vegetable. But the few who chose to go beyond the outward appearance and bitter flavor, were won for life once they savored its true taste, appreciating it health enhancing benefits.
An every day, simple, stir fry using few spices and jaggery to offset the bitter flavor of Kakarakaya. Makes a decent side with rice or rotis.
Kakarakaya Vepudu Recipe
Prep & Cooking: 45 mts
1/4 kg bitter gourd, peel, slice into rounds
2 medium onions, finely sliced
1/4 tsp turmeric pwd
pinch of saunf/aniseed pwd
1 tsp red chilli pwd
1/2 tsp coriander pwd
pinch cumin pwd
1 1/2 tsps jaggery pwd or grated jaggery
1 1/2 tbsps oil
salt to taste
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3 garlic cloves, crushed OR 1/4 tsp asafoetida
10-12 curry leaves
1 Lightly peel the bitter gourds, nip the ends. Cut each gourd length wise and slice them. Keep aside.
2 Heat oil in a vessel, add the mustard seeds and let them pop. Add cumin and allow to brown, add the curry leaves and asafoetida or garlic and stir fry for 10 secs. Add the sliced onions and fry for 5-6 mts till they turn transparent.
3 Add the spice powders and jaggery and combine well.
4 Add the sliced bitter gourds and salt, saute for a mt. Place lid and cook for 10 mts on low flame. Stir in between. Remove lid and saute on medium heat without lid ensuring they don’t burn or stick to the pan. Keep frying till they well roasted and this could take about 22-25 mts.
5 Adjust salt and serve hot with rice.