Finally here I am with one recipe that I had been procrastinating to post for this long. Pavakkai/bitter gourd/bitter melon,a vegetable reputed for its bitterness is one vegetable I resent to buy or cook,though my husband does not have any problem eating this vegetable,I don’t even go near this. My taste buds have matured since childhood but bitter gourd has not yet won over :).Then one day I decided I should at least cook it for my husband (ahem ahem,blog 😛 ) and bought few. I have already blogged about pavakkai fry here almost an year back and that was when I last cooked it,you see I told you,I don’t like this veggie :). This time I wanted to try pitali,a very famous recipe from Tamil cuisine,but I did not have all the ingredients handy,so made this simple no grind kootu.This is a very simple basic recipe for kootu,bitter gourd and toor dal with mild seasoning,topped with grated coconuts.Now I cannot go long and long telling how this would taste,I did not even bother to check the seasoning and salt here :D. But my husband liked this,at least he said so.If you are not like me,if you would prefer a vegetable for its nutrition more than taste (of course I do prefer veggies for their nutrition with only very few exceptions) and can handle mild bitterness,then here is the recipe for easy no grind vegan bitter gourd stew for you.See notes to cover the bitterness to an extent.
Pavakkai kootu recipe
Star ingredients: Bitter gourd,toor dal
Time:20 minutes (pressure cooking)
1 large bitter gourd,washed and chopped fine
3/4 cup toor dal
1/4 cup channa dal
1 teaspoon grated jaggery
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons freshly grated coconut
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon urad dal
2 dried red chillies
1 green chilli
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
Oil to temper
1.Soak channa dal in water for 10 minutes.Pressure cook bitter gourd along with toor dal,channa dal and turmeric powder until soft and mushy.(3-4 whistles).
2.Once the pressure is released,add salt and simmer for 5 minutes.
3.Heat some oil in a kadai and temper from mustard seeds through curry leaves.
4.Add to the simmering stew along with the oil.Simmer for 5 more minutes,add the grated coconut,mix well and remove from flame.
1.Bitter gourd will be bitter no matter how much you try to mask.But we can do some things to just decrease the degree of bitterness
2.Adding coconut reduces the bitterness to a level.
3.You can add tamarind extract,that will also remove the bitterness.
4.You can try to squeeze the water from bitter gourd after cooking to reduce the bitterness.