Monday, 3 August 2015

Karela sabzi / Bitter gourd cooked with spices

This Karele ki sabzi is made very regularly in my kitchen.
Since I cook both types of food, Bengali as well as Rajasthani, almost all vegetables and dals are cooked in two ways or more.
One is the Bengali way that we eat when we have a Bengali menu .... read  bhaat  and dal.
The other is the Rajasthani way that we have with roti and dal.
When it comes to the Karela or the Ucche, as it known as in Bengali, I make the Ucche bhaja when eating with rice.
But make the Bharwa Karela or this dryish dish when eating rotis.
Bengalis eat a little bitter at the begining of every meal. I can eat the Ucche bhaja along with a little rice, but in a very small quantity. And can never eat it with rotis.
But B eats the Karela as a side dish. Along with rotis or parathas / porota.

The Ucche bhaja is slightly bland with no spices at all except a little red chilli powder that I add at the end. But this recipe does have some spices, as Rajasthani food is wont to, and transforms the simple Karela  completely.
And I confess that I love this recipe too. Especially with parathas. 

 A favourite combination at my in-laws' place is the Karela+Paratha+Aamras.
This summer, we were very busy with numerous things and travels, hence I could make this meal just once for B.
And decided to make a post too.
I know it is not the time for Aamras, but then maybe you can enjoy it the next summer.
Which I know will be soon.
Time doesn't stand still after all.

 Mummy ( Ma in law ) has a typical way of making this sabzi.
She grates the skin of the Karela and keeps the peels aside. Later, when cooking, she adds the washed peels too. It does give a body to the dish but I am not too keen on making it this way.
I prefer to keep the skin on and cook as it is.
I love bitterness of the Karela and so does B. Hence no problem there.

Need :

Karela / Ucche / Bitter gourd  - 3 medium sized
Jeera / Cumin seeds - ½ tsp
Dhaniya / Coriander powder - 4 tbsp
Saunf / Fennel powder - 3 tbsp
Amchur / Dried mango powder - 1 tsp
Haldi / Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Mirch / Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Cooking oil - 1 tbsp

How to :

Chop the karela in small sized cubes.
Apply some salt and keep aside for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, squeeze out the water released by the karela and wash it well under running water.

Heat oil in a kadahi / wok.

Add the jeera.
Once it starts to crackle , add the karela.

Raise heat and stir fry well.

Now add all the powder masalas, except the amchur.
Add salt.

Stir well, cover and lower heat.
Cook till done .... do remember to stir in between.

When done, add the amchur powder and give a final stir.

Remove from heat.

Serve hot with Aamras and parathas.
The recipe for Parathas is here.

To make the Aam ras :

Take out the pulp and juice of three medium sized, ripe mangoes and mash well.
Add sugar only if necessary.

Here is a look of our lunch one summer afternoon.


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Thank you for sharing Kichu Khonn( a few moments ) with me in my kitchen!