Spicy, Sweet and Tangy Bitter Gourd

Bitter gourd is known as pavakkai in Tamil and karela in Hindi.
If there is one vegetable which I have never been fond off, then it’s certainly bitter gourd. My son has taken to me. But my husband and daughter are fond of this vegetable. Whenever he buys vegetables, he will buy 1/2 kg of bitter gourd.
Since I cook for them regularly, now I have developed a liking for  bitter gourd.
Generally I make crisp and spicy, pan roasted bitter gourd.
This time I wanted to make something different which inspired me to create this recipe:)

Ingredients

Bitter gourd chopped- 2 cups
Tamarind- plum sized
Seedless dates- 5-6
Coriander seeds- 1 tbsp
Chana dal ( Kadalai paruppu)- 2 tsps
Red chillies- 4-5
Sesame seeds- 1/2 tsp
Grated coconut- 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Dry mango powder- 1/2 tsp
Oil- 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds- 1tsp
Peanut- 2 tbsps
Curry leaves- few
Hing- little
Salt to taste.
To the chopped bitter gourd, add a tsp of salt. Mix it well and let it rest for one hour.
After one hour, wash the bitter gourd well and drain. Keep it aside.
This is done to remove some bitterness from the gourd. This step is optional.
Soak tamarind and dates together in half cup of water for 30-40 mins.
Squeeze well and take a thick extract.
Roast coriander seeds, chana dal, sesame seeds, red chillies and coconut in little oil. Cool and grind to a powder.
Heat the remaining oil in a pan. Add mustard. When it starts spluttering, add peanuts, curry leaves and hing. Sauté for few mins and add the bitter gourd.
Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, dry mango powder and salt to taste. Mix well and let it cook till the bitter gourd turns tender but crisp.

Now, add the tamarind and dates extract. Mix well and cook till the bitter gourd becomes soft.
Add the ground spice powder, mix well and cook for few more mins.
Serve hot with steamed rice drizzled with some sesame oil:)

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