Bitter Gourd Saaru

(Bitter Gourd in Spicy, Sour and Sweet Gravy) 

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Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Serves: 4-5

2 medium Bitter Gourd
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
½ tbsp Garlic, finely chopped (Optional)
2 Green Chilli, slit
½ inch Ginger, crushed and chopped
1 small Lime sized Tamarind
1-2 tbsp Jaggary (Adjust acc to taste)
½ - 1 tbsp Rasam Powder
¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
¼ tsp Chilli Powder (Optional)
1 tbsp Coriander Leaves, chopped
Salt to taste

For Tempering:
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 Dry Red Chilli
A big pinch of Hing/Asafoetida
Few Curry Leaves
1 tbsp Oil

Cut thin round slices of bitter gourd, about 1 packed cup, and add little salt to it. Mix well and keep it aside for at least 30 mins. This way the bitter taste of bitter gourd will be released from them.
After 30 minutes or so squeeze as much of water as possible from these bitter gourd slices. Wash them with cold water and drain and keep aside.
Mean while, soak tamarind in hot water for about 10 minutes and extract its juice and keep it aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds to it. When mustard starts to pop and splutter, add halved dry red chilli, hing and curry leaves. Sauté it for few seconds.
Mix chopped onion, garlic and sauté on medium flame till they leave raw smell and lightly browned.
Add slit green chillies, bitter gourd slices, ginger and mix well. Keep sautéing for about 5 minutes till bitter gourd turns light brown.
Mix in tamarind juice, about 1 cup of water, jaggary, turmeric powder and salt to taste. Bring the mixture to gentle boil at medium flame.
If required add more water and add rasam powder and red chilli powder. Check for the seasoning and make changes according to taste. Cook on a low to medium flame for another 5 minutes and bring it to boil.
Switch off the flame and add chopped coriander leaves. Cover and let it sit for about 10 mins for the flavours to blend well. Serve hot with steaming bowl of rice and pickle and enjoy this bitter goodness.

Labels: Bitter Gourd, Jaggery, Rasam, Tamarind