Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Bitter Gourd in a peanut gravy

For a lot of people bitter gourd means puckering of the mouth and generally avoiding it obviously because of the bitterness. To counteract the bitterness I add tamarind extract, jaggery and cook it down so the bitterness is mostly gone.

So I was intrigued when a colleague/friend got this smooth and creamy gravy which was not too bitter and not too sour or sweet but just right. So of course I asked for the recipe. The gravy was made by her neighbor as was just back from a trip to India. She checked for the recipe from her neighbor and texted it and here we go.

It is soon going to become one of my go to recipes for bitter gourd. Here some of my other bitter gourd recipes,
3 recipes in one
Broiled Bitter gourd
Bitter Gourd Recipes

The smooth gravy is perfect for any kind of Indian breads or even with rice.

Soak the bitter gourd pieces in tamarind extract. Saute the masala ingredients - ginger, garlic, whole spices, coconut and coriander powder
Blend the masala ingredients along with the peanuts to a smooth paste.
Heat oil in a saute pan add cumin and mustard seeds. Saute the onions and tomato till the tomatoes get mushy. Add in the bitter gourd pieces and let them cook completely.
Add the blended peanut paste along with the tamarind pulp and water and cook till the desired thickness is reached or for about 8 minutes..

Bitter Gourd in a peanut gravy
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
  1. 8-10 bitter gourds seeds removed and cut into thick half moon slices.
  2. 1/2 cup of finely chopped onions
  3. 6-8 small tomatoes (about 2 cups)
  4. seasonings: mustard seeds and cumin seeds
  5. tamarind extract about 1 cup + 2 cups of thin tamarind juice
  6. 2 tsp of turmeric powder
  7. 1 1/2 tbsp of red chili powder ( or to taste)
  8. 2 tsp of oil
  9. salt to taste
  10. 1 tbsp of jaggery
  11. For the masala
  12. 6-8 garlic cloves
  13. 3 inch piece of ginger
  14. 3/4 cup of roasted peanut
  15. 3-4 tbsp coconut
  16. whole spices - 1 inch piece of cinnamon + 4-6 cloves
  17. 1 tbsp of coriander powder

  1. Soak the bitter gourd in tamarind juice for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or more.
  2. While the bitter gourd is soaking get the masala ready.
  3. Heat oil in a saute pan, from the masala section - add the whole spices and saute for a minute and remove to the blender follwed by the ginger and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes. Remove to the blender.
  4. Reduce the heat and saute the coconut for a minute, followed by the coriander powder saute for 1/2 minute and remove that to the blender.
  5. Add the roasted peanuts and blend to a fine paste adding 1/2 cup of water. Set aside.
  6. In a wide mouthed pan add oil and when hot add the seasonings. Add the onions and saute till it starts to brown.
  7. Add in the tomatoes and saute till the tomatoes become mushy.
  8. Drain the bitter gourd and add the bitter gourds to the tomatoes. Let the bitter gourd be fully cooked.
  9. Add the turmeric powder, chili powder, salt and the blended masala paste and about 1 1/2 -2 cups or more of water and the tamarind extract. Let it boil in medium heat for about 10 -15 minutes. Check for salt and heat and if required add salt and chili powder. Mix and cook for a minute more and turn off the heat.
  10. Serve with rice or chapathi or paratha.

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  1. Oh, ISG! Here I am back after so long and look what you have made -- I'm wishing for bitter gourd even if I never liked it before :)

    Hope you are all well -- school is about finished so I'm looking forward to catching up all August!

    Best wishes!


  2. Linda,
    You should try it this way, you won't notice the bitterness at all.
    Congratulations on school completion. Have missed you. Will talk.


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