This sambol is made from bitter gourd (Pavakkai in Tamil). The only other recipe I know this is used in is an Okinawan dish called Goya champuru ゴーヤーチャンプルー.
Below photo taken in my ammah’s garden:
For those not familiar with this green lumpy looking vege – I guess you are not surprised to read that it is very very bitter!
My 92 year old grandma used to juice it to keep herself healthy. Gross! The good news is she is still fit as a fiddle.
My ammah uses it in 3 different dishes – a curry, deep fried and in a yoghurt salad. I am not a fan of the curry – so it will be a loooong while before I post the recipe. She says they never made salads back at home, so this could very well be one of her own creations.
When fried, the bitterness mixed in with yoghurt, coriander, tomatoes and red onions is a fantastic complement to curries like dhal, eggplant … pretty much anything vege. It is served as a side dish and can be eaten with pittu or rice.
2-3 bitter gourds sliced in circles
1 medium sized red onion sliced in circles
2 medium sized tomatoes sliced in circles
coriander or parsley leaves chopped
1 cup yoghurt
oil to fry
1/4 tsp salt
2-3 green chillies (if you want it smokin hot)
Vary the amount of the above ingredients as your tastebuds desire.
1. Add the salt to the bitter gourd and deep fry till it becomes a browny, green colour. The more brown – the less bitter. I like it all brown (unlike the photo above).
2. Pat the fried bitter gourd with a paper towel to remove the oil. You can store this away in the fridge for later use if you want.
3. Add remaining ingredients just before you serve the salad with rice and curry.