Bitter gourds, also known as bitter melon or karela, are an Ayurvedic super-food, renowned for blood sugar control, diabetes, weight loss, blood cleansing and skin health. But their bitter taste can be off-putting to some. Here is a delicious way to enjoy the benefits of bitter gourd together with some quality protein from paneer, a fresh Ayurvedic cheese. See here how to make paneer.
This recipe is designed for the small bitter gourds that can be purchased from Indian grocery stores. If you are using large bitter gourds from an Asian market, you will need fewer bitter gourds.
Stuffed bitter gourds ready to pan-fry.
8 small bitter gourds
½ tsp. salt
1 Yukon gold potato
1tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
¼ tsp. peppercorns
1 tsp. turmeric
½ tsp. mild chilli powder
Paneer made from ½ gallon milk
Salt to taste
1 green chilli, chopped
6-8 curry leaves
A pinch hing
½ tsp. mustard seeds
Boil the potato in salted water until fork tender.
Bring some water to boil in a pan, add pinch of turmeric and ½ tsp. salt and boil the bitter gourds for 5-6 minutes. Remove and rinse with cold water.
Slice the softened bitter gourds in half and remove the seeds.
In a skillet, dry roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and peppercorns. Grind the roasted seeds in a spice grinder with the turmeric and mild chilli powder.
Mash the potato and the paneer together with a potato masher and stir in the spice mix, chopped chilli and salt to taste.
Fill each bitter gourd half with this mixture.
Heat some oil in a large skillet and drop in the mustard seeds, hing and curry leaves, taking care not to burn the mustard seeds.
Add the stuffed bitter gourds and pan fry, basting often, until they are golden brown and the bitter gourds are soft.
Keep in warm oven until ready to serve.
Adapted from this recipe.