Saturday, July 26, 2008

Garden Fresh Bittergourd with Red Chori Beans (Mung Beans) . What am I going to be? -3

The credit card saga continues ...
I read the statement for this month's credit card bill and was in for a bit of shock and disgust at myself for paying that one bill late. The bill that was due for 6/7 got paid on 6/11. This got me slapped with a finance charge and late fee the next 7/7month and thought that was the end of it. Nope! The next one 8/7 also had a finance charge on it since the second billing cycle had already started when I was late in my payment :( I have learnt my lesson and it is time to use all the alerts and reminder features available at my disposal.

Some banks also charge a few if the balance runs below a certain amount. But if you are familiar with their online banking service, lots of them have nifty features like alerts and such. Time to use those too!

What am I going to be?
Look at the next stage.

Lot of you had commented on how beautiful the bitter gourd vine looks. I started looking at the plant with brand new eyes and indeed they are spectacular. I feast my eyes on them every morning and a few days they are feast for our stomachs too. There are 3 different varieties one long and dark green, one long and pale green almost white and the third the small tiny dark green variety. Eating them fresh the bitterness is almost indiscernable. When cooked with Red Chori or Cow Peas which are sweet in taste they balance each other out. This recipe is from my mom and she says it is also called pitlai.


Serves: 4-5
1. 5-6 Bitter gourd, seeds removed and chopped
2. 2-3 garlic cloves sliced
3. 1/4 Red onion chopped
4. Tamarind juice from a lemon sized ball - 1 cup
5. 1 Cup Red Chori Bean - steamed but not mushy
6. Seasoning - curry leaves, mustard
7. 1 tsp jaggery
8. salt to taste and 1 tsp oil

For the Paste
1. 3 Red chilies
2. 1 tbsp grated fresh coconut
3. 1 1/2 tbsp chana dal
4. 2 pinches of asfoetida

Dry roast the red chili and chana dal. lend together to a paste.


1. In a wide mouthed pan add a tsp of oil and when hot add the seasonings.
2. Add the onion fry till translucent
3. Add the Bitter gourd and saute till they start to brown on the edges
4. Now add the tamarind juice and let them cook till the bitter gourd is completely cooked and soft
5. Add the ground mixture with about 1/4 cup water and when it starts to boil
6. add the cooked chori beans and the jaggery and salt.
7. When the desired consistency is reached remove from heat.

Serve with rice or it goes well with chapathis too.


  1. Homegrown bittergourds? Can I move in with you? :)

  2. Indo,
    This is a test comment. All my previous comments here have got lost. Will leave a detailed comment if this goes through.


  3. Mamta, Sorry about that. This message did come through :)

  4. Yay, finally! I've been a regular reader of your blog for more than a year but never have had luck with the comments.

    The bittergourds look gorgeous. May I ask where you got the seeds? Can I use seeds that I discard from a fresh bittergourd or would I need to dry them before sowing?


  5. okay, I give up. I have no idea what that mystery beans is.

    The bittergourd dish looks amazing!

  6. ooh hugs to you dear ISG and sorry to hear about your credit card saga. I can imagine what you must be feeling.
    Sounds silly, but how about paying the day you receive the statement?

    I loved the combination of bitter gourd and red chori! Very nice

  7. wow lovely ... fresh beans and bittergourd straight from your own garden

  8. i have 4-5 reminders set for paying all my bills (just in case one doesn't work properly;)
    what a beautiful garden bounty indo... did i mention how green my face is right now?;)

  9. Sorry about the credit card problem. Maybe along with the bank/credit card's reminder system, you can also put a reminder in your mobile phone (if you use one).

    We pay all our bills online on the month end. Easy to remember and we don't have to remember each and every due date separately. say, usually the dues dates for bills coming in April are may 12th, may 17th etc, we pay on April 30th.

  10. I cant remember the last time i saw such fresh bittergourds....could u courier some??????

  11. oh my! those karela's are cuuuuuuuuuuute :) loved 'em!!!
    this is a very unique combo, isg!
    again, those karela's are tooooo good! I too like to feast my eyes on my garden veg every morning :)

  12. I have never tried bittergourd in this fashion before....its a must try....

  13. The curry looks delicious, ISG! And you ahve three varieties too?!
    That credit card situation must be annoying, to say the least! Hate to have to pay more to the cc companies, esp considering the kind of interest rates they charge!

  14. Sig, you are welcome to- you can work here too ;)

    Mamta ofcourse you can try the seeds from the bittergourds, some germinate some don't. Try one of these online stores
    I soak the seeds in water for about 2 days before putting them in the soil.

    Kay, few more days the mystery will be solved :) Now I am packed with reminders after the little mishap. I was truly surprised to see the finance charge in the second month bill too but I guess according to them thats the way they do it.

    RC, thanks dear. I usually do but missed it that time, don't know how but hopefully it won't happen again. Red Chori or Cow Peas with bitter gourd is a great combination.

    Kalva nothing like it.

    Sia thats the way to do it. These reminders cost absolutely nothing. Now I am also reminder ready :) Sia I know, but you are on your way with the coriander leaves, bitter gourd next ?

    Mismash lets make a deal, I'll hand deliver if you make some of that Njandu and Shrimp fry :)

    Richa, isn't that the best ever, time spent in the garden be it feasting your eyes, or doing work around them is always a unique pleasure.

    Poonam, this combo is a must try if you like bitter gourds.

    Vani, it sure is. I hate to pay these fees and I am mad at myself more than anything else.

  15. You've made me hungry and it is almost 1 o'clock in the morning here! Your bitter gourd is so fresh and the dish really drool-worthy.

  16. Amazing bittergourds, Indo! They look so adorable! :)


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