This dish was always dearly prepared by my grand mother and absolutely cherished by me, each and every time she made it. After marriage I too included this dish in my regular menu.
The bitterness of Karela and the sourness of Tomatoes truly compliment each other making one perfect combo veggie dish which is healthy too. This is another dish where we get health and taste together.
Check for the Importance of Bitter Gourd here.
Some famous preparations of this Bitter gourd are - Tamil : added in sambar,Cooked with legumes like kidney beans, Telugu : Hot and sweet version, North Indian : stuffed & fried,
Here is the recipe for Tamatar Karela.
Bitter Gourd - Medium size - 6;
Tomatoes - 3-4 or Tomato Puree/Crushed Tomato - 1 cup or Tomato Paste 3-4 Tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard - 1/4 tsp
Onion - 1 small (Increase to 2 if you want more gravy)
Green Chillies - 3 slit
Curry leaves - 1 rem
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Coriander leaves - a small bunch
Cut Bitter Gourd into circles and wash them with salt to remove excess bitterness.
Add oil in a heated Kadai/Skillet, allow mustard to splutter and then add cut onions, green chillies, curry leaves and saute till onions turn slightly brown.
Add Bitter Gourd pieces, all CCC powders, salt, and mix well to give an even coat of all ingredients.
Sprinkle some water and cover with lid to cook the Bitter Gourd in steam for about 25- 30 minutes.
Keep mixing periodically and add more water if required.
Once the Bitter Gourd is almost cooked add the tomato puree, mix well.
Cook for another 5-7 minutes or till karela absorbs the tomato flavour.
Add finely chopped coriander leaves just before removing from heat.
Serve this with hot rice, dhall curry and any other veggie fry.
This is another contribution of mine to the event Vegetable of the Week - Vow, Bitter Gourd created and hosted by Creative Pooja.
For the Hot and Sweet version add a little jaggery to the dish when it is 3/4 cooked.