My mom is in DC for the beautiful Cherry Blossoms and cooking up a storm – yay! Like everyone, I think my mother’s food is the best. Their hands are just made that way.
Before my parents got here, my sister and I stocked up our refrigerators with our parents favorite food – vegetables! They love any and all vegetables and we knew that would make them happiest. My mom in particular loves karela.
It is not a great smelling vegetable, it’s bitter, and it’s ugly. Kudos to the person that saw one of these for the first time and was like hmm, let me eat that. I sure as heck would not have!
Beyond the bitterness and the smell is this wonderful vegetable with a unique taste that is actually very good. It is also good for you, although what that “good” is differs from aunty to aunty.
My mom’s preparation is fairly easy, and the technique offers a delicious way to bring this vegetable into your diet without being masked with tons of spices. My mom only uses two and it tastes FANTASTIC! I won’t lie. I was skeptical. Again, it’s those magic mom hands.
- 3 8-10 inch long karela/bitter gourd
- kosher salt
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp red chili powder
- 3 tbsp chopped cilantro
- ½ cup cooked ground beef
- To begin, peel the karela and rub a good amount of course kosher salt onto the skin and set on a plate for 30 minutes for some of the bitterness to flush out of the vegetable
- Thoroughly rinse to get rid of the extra salt
- Split the karela in half and remove the seeds and inner flesh and slice in1/4 inch half moons
- Heat up oil in a large nonstick frying pan
- Fry the karela until golden brown
- Add turmeric and red chili powder
- Add the sliced onions and cook until the onions are golden brown
- Add the cooked ground beef and add salt to taste
- Add in the tomatoes and continue to cook until the tomatoes have broken down into the sauce
- Add chopped cilantro and cook for another 2 minutes
- Garnish with extra cilantro and serve warm
I hope you guys try this dish out! It really is good. I used my ground beef recipe for this by the way.
I particularly love it with some hot chapati…mmm…
I hope you try it out! Let me know if you do.
Rehana & Farzana (we rhyme! yay!)