One Stop Eats

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Karela Pudina Sabji (Bitter gourd with Mint)

Karela?….. oh no!…. no way!…. that used to be my reaction till couple years back. It’s only very recently that I’ve come to appreciate it’s goodness, taste and values. I don’t blame people who hate karela, c’mon, it’s gotta be the most bitter thing you’d ever eat! But, I do urge them to read about how beneficial it is for our bodies, and also to try this recipe. I’ve experimented over and over again, until I’ve finally been successful in making something I like…. and I must point I have a pretty bad sweet tooth. So, anything bitter does not pass my list very easily.

What’s so great about Karela?…… oh! millions of things! It is wonderful for people with diabetes and for people like me with a sweet tooth, since it helps with metabolism, digestion and helps maintain one’s blood pressure.Growing up my Mom made us chug down Karela juice, which helps prevent various skin problems and also improve blood circulation.

Buying Tip: When buying Karela, make sure you buy smaller sized ones, green and firm ones. If they are yellowing, they are older and yes! more bitter! Stay away from those. Also, feel how heavy they are. The heavier ones will be heavily seeded. You want the lighter ones. The best place to find them is in your garden. Growing them is real easy. Start by sowing 1 seed and soon enough you’ll have a lovely trailing vine that you can shape to your desire. It looks beautiful. And the biggest advantage is that they wouldn’t have been heavily treated with pesticides. Home grown vegetables are the best. To learn more about them, here’s an earlier post. More to come in the future.

Karela Pudina Sabji (Bitter gourd with Mint)

Karela Pudina Sabji (Bitter gourd with Mint)

Karela Pudina Sabji

Ingredients to Serve 4

  • 8 small sized karela (bitter gourds)
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 big vine tomatoes, chopped
  • 10-12 mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon aamchur (dried mango powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dhania (coriander) powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt + Salt to taste

It can be avoided, but yet, most karela farmers use pesticides and it’s quite rare to find organic karelas, unless you grow your own. So, store bought ones will need a very thorough wash.

Wash the karelas in hot water.

Cut them into thin disc shapes, getting rid of any big seeds. Small, tender seeds are fine to eat. It’s the big ones that have a tough shell that isn’t very delectable. Tip: Save the big seeds and plant them for your own home grown karelas.

Give the karelas a warm, salted bath. For this, use warm water and 1 tablespoon of salt. Just put all the karela pieces in, give them a quick shake and take them out. Let them rest on some clean kitchen towels to get rid of excess moisture.

In a skillet, heat the oil on medium heat.

Add the onions, jalapeno pepper and ginger and saute them until the onions are translucent.

Add the lovely yellow turmeric and red chilli powder. Give it a toss and smell the goodness.

Now add the karela pieces and saute them for about a minute.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the skillet and let them cook until almost tender. Check after couple minutes to see if they are sticking to the bottom. If they are you can add a little bit of water. They should be done in about 10 minutes.

Now, add the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes on medium-low.

Add the rest of the ingredients, i.e. the coriander powder, aamchur, mint and salt to taste. Let this cook for about 2 minutes and that’s it! It’s done.

Enjoy with rotis, daal, and yoghurt on the side……. a wonderful, healthy, tasty and wholesome meal!

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This entry was posted on August 8, 2009 by in Cuisine, Extra healthy, Indian, Main Course, Recipes, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , .

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