Monday, February 26, 2018

Bitter Gourd with Gongura leaves and fried fish

Bitter gourd is one of those vegetables whose taste needs getting used to. It is supposed to have all these good qualities to enhance health and wellness but a bitterness to match all the goodness. I know a lot of people who eat bitter gourd for its curing properties for diabetes. I have a colleague who eats it sliced like a cucumber. More power to her! I simply only like the bitter taste of it when it is mixed with sour and sweet. In the typical way that I know of, bitter gourd is cooked is with the addition of tamarind for the sourness and jaggery for the sweetness.

But this time I switched out the tamarind and used gongura leaves for the sourness. The fruity sourness of tamarind replaced by the leafy gongura sourness. The gongura leaves are cooked and then blended to a paste and then used here.

Now on to the recipe in pictures,

Saute the green chilies with gongura leaves.
Blend the gongura leaves to a paste.
In a cast iron pan add the bitter gourd, onions and tomatoes and saute till the onions are browned and tomatoes are mushed.
Add in the gongura paste and let it cook till the bitter gourd becomes nice and roasted.
Add in the fried chili fish, saute for a few more minutes.

Bitter Gourd with Gongura Leaves and dried fish
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 - 40 minutes
  1. 6-8 medium sized bitter gourd split in half, seeds removed and sliced thin
  2. 1/2 cup red onion chopped
  3. 1/2 cup tomatoes chopped
  4. 8-10 green chilies
  5. 4 garlic cloves chopped (optional)
  6. 2 cups of packed Gongura leaves
  7. 1 cup (or more) chili fried fish
  8. 1/2 tbsp red chili powder (or to taste)
  9. salt to taste
  10. 1 tbsp jaggery or brown sugar
  11. 2 tbsp oil

  1. In a saute pan add a tsp of oil, saute the green chilies followed by the gongura leaves. Cool and blend to a paste. Set aside.
  2. In a cast iron pan or a heavy bottom pan add about a tbsp of oil. Let it get hot.
  3. Add in the onions, tomatoes and the bitter gourd. Let them cook, stirring them continuously so they stick to the pan. Continue to cook for about 15-20 minutes.
  4. The onions should be browned by now and the tomatoes broken down, add in the blended gongura paste, chili powder, salt and the jaggery, cook for another 10 minutes or so.
  5. The bitter gourd should be fried stage by now, add the chili fried fish and mix it in. Cook for 5 minutes more and turn off the heat.

  6. Serve as a side with rice.

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