Photo: taken in அம்மா’s (ammah/mother) garden:
My 92 year old அப்பம்மா (grandmother on my father’s side) juices it to keep herself healthy. Gross – only cos it’s super super bitter and eating it raw is wild! The good news is she is still fit as a fiddle.
My அம்மா 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. It is served as a side dish and can be eaten with பிட்டு (puttu) or சோறு (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 brown in colour. The browner – 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 the remaining ingredients just before you serve the salad.