A Diabetic-Friendly Curry
Bitter gourd (also called bitter melon) is one of my favorite vegetables—and yes, as the name suggests, it does have some bitterness. But if you look at the health benefits of this vegetable and how well it blends with spices to make mouthwatering dishes, you will surely start incorporating it into your cooking. There are certain preparation techniques that will remove some of the bitterness from this vegetable without reducing its health benefits, and I will share those techniques below.
Studies suggest that bitter gourd may be good for diabetics because it seems to have properties that help reduce blood sugar levels. In India, bitter gourd is used as a folk remedy for many health problems.
This recipe for bitter gourd curry with peanut masala is both spicy and flavorful. In terms of preparation, it takes me about 20 minutes of active time and 20 minutes of passive time. You can store this curry in the refrigerator for up to four to five days.
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- 4 bitter gourd (medium-size), slit, seeds removed, chopped in small strips
- 1/4 cup peanuts
- 1/2 cup grated coconut
- 4 to 5 dry red chilies, broken
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 lemon-sized tamarind, soaked in warm water
- 1 teaspoon urad dal (white lentils)
- 1 tablespoon jaggery powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, or as per taste
- 2 teaspoons salt, for removing the bitterness partially
- 2 teaspoons + 1 teaspoon oil (2 teaspoons for making the curry; 1 teaspoon for frying the masala)
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- Wash bitter gourd; then slit it and remove the seeds. Chop it into small strips as per instructions.
- Add 2 teaspoons of salt and mix thoroughly. Set aside, covered, for 20 minutes.
- In the meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a pan. Add peanuts. Once they are crispy, add urad dal (white lentils), curry leaves, and broken red chilies. Saute until white lentils become golden brown.
- Add tamarind and grated coconut. Saute for 1 minute. Turn off the heat. Allow it to cool. Add it to a blender. Grind to get a coarse powder. Set aside.
- Squeeze the chopped bitter gourd for removing the water in it. This process reduces the bitterness of the bitter gourd.
- Cook bitter gourd in a pressure cooker up to 2 whistles and simmer for 3 minutes. No need to add water. Once done, turn off the heat.
- Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a deep-bottomed pan. Throw in mustard seeds and curry leaves. Allow the mustard seeds to crackle.
- Add cooked bitter gourd, jaggery powder, turmeric powder, salt, and the spice powder that you have prepared.
- Keep heat at medium-low. Gently mix the contents and cover the pan for 1 minute. Make sure that the jaggery powder melts. Mix well. Check for taste.
- If needed, add some more salt. Once the spices mix well with the bitter gourd, turn off the heat.
- Your favorite spicy bitter gourd curry with peanut masala is ready! Serve it with steamed rice topped with a teaspoon of ghee. This curry goes well with curd rice also. Enjoy the taste!