Friday, April 11, 2008

Kaarela-kanda nu Shaak

This is my grand-aunt's (grandma's sister) recipe. She probably must have learned from her mother-in-law.

Kaarela is bittergourd in Gujarati, Kanda is onions. It is a simple bittergourd-onions stir fry with a generous amount of jaggery in it. My grand-aunt used to make exactly similar "shaak" of padwal or snake gourds too. Just replace bitter gourds with snake gourds and the rest is the same.

Kaarela-Kanda nu shaak
4-5 medium bittergourds, scraped & diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
salt to taste
1 tsp chili powder
1 - 2 tbsp jaggery (depending on your taste)

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 lemon/lime

1. Wash, scrape bittergourds. Remove the seeds, and make small dices. Sprinkle salt all over the bittergourd pieces. and set aside for about 15 minutes.
2. 15 minutes later, squeeze out all the water from the gourds. Now they are ready for cooking.
3. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder. Add onions and stir fry till onion is soft.
4. Now add bittergourds and chili powder. Stir fry till all the spices coat the vegetables. Add 2 tbsp water.
5. Cover the saucepan with a lid. Switch the flame to low and cook till the bittergourds are soft.
6. Add jaggery and salt to taste. Cook till jaggery melts. Squeeze a lemon on top just before serving.
7. Serve with chapati, ghau ni bhakri or rotla.

Note -
1. Sprinkling of salt on the bittergourd pieces takes out extra bitterness.

Update -

I had posted this entry sometime back. I am not finding any bittergourds here. Hopefully, I will find bittergourds before April 15th for Pooja's VoW: Bittergourd event. Then I will send a new entry as well. The recipe I have in my mind, needs freshest possible bittergourds so I can't use the frozen ones. and so I have done, what needs to be done too. Now all I need is little bit of patience and fingers crossed!!:-)


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