"Food for me was a connecting link to my grandmother, to my childhood, to my past. And what I found out is that for everybody, food is a connector to their roots, to their past in different ways. It gives you security; it gives you a profile of who you are, where you come from." - Lidia Matticchio Bastianich
Peanuts, goda masala, tamarind, jaggery, bitter gourd, sesame seeds - add the entire gamut of tastes.
3 medium or 6 small bittergourds
1 onion, finely chopped approx = 1 cup
1/4 cup fresh coconut
1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup roasted,unsalted peanuts powdered/daanyache koot
salt to taste
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp grated jaggery
1/2 tsp tamarind pulp
1 tbsp goda masala
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
0. Scrape the bittergourds. Remove both the ends. Make a lengthwise slit on the gourds.
1. Mix all the stuffing ingredients. Carefully, stuff the stuffing inside the gourds.
2. Heat oil. Add tempering ingredients. As they sizzle, gently place the stuffed bittergourds. Lower the gas. Let them brown for about 5 minutes.
3. Sprinkle remaining stuffing masala around and between the bittergourds. Add 1 cup water. Bring to boil.
4. Switch the gas to low. Cover and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes or till bittergourds are cooked.
5. Take off the lid. Let it simmer till a thick gravy is formed.
6. Garnish with coriander leaves.
1. After stuffing the bittergourds, there should be remaining stuffing to make the gravy.
2. If bittergourds are fresh and if you really like bitter taste, you can chop the seeds and add to the stuffing.
3. Generally, after scraping and slitting the gourds, salt is applied and bittergourds are kept aside for 10-15 minutes. Then squeeze out the moisture. This step lessens the bitter taste of the gourds. I love bitter taste and I do not find bittergourds, at least available here too bitter for my taste. So I skip this step.
4. In order to expedite the process, you can use pressure pan to steam the gourds.
5. If bittergourds are big, you can cut them into two and then make a slit.