Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Lunchbox Movie Delivered Dish – Bitter gourd Curry (Karela ka Subzi)

Over the last decade, I have never watched any Hindi movies on big screen because DH does not understand the language, hence didn't give much interest in taking me to theater to watch it.  However, I watch the blockbusters on net or television but barely get a chance to watch it continuously.   I hardly get the remote on my hand when both DH and Jr.H are at home and the news channels and cartoon channels take the higher priority or else I would be called upon frequently for something or other. 

Sometime back, I saw “The Lunchbox” movie on a flight journey; the reason for saying this is I watched the film uninterruptedly :-) .  Wow..what an incredible movie .... It is the story of a typical Indian woman who tries to save her failing marriage by trying out new dishes in her cooking.  This might sound something funny or this statement would make someone frowning but this is how we have been raised.  We have been told from childhood that cooking is the first thing that will help a woman to take the charge of whole family. 

Switching back to movie, the film knocked my socks off.  The dishes that the woman tried were all drooling.  One such was bitter gourd curry.  For a normal eater/foodie, this must be a dish which would just get added to their try list but a food blogger like me, my mind was racing with the different variations that the recipe could be made and what variations would be a hit list at home.  The next time when I went to market place, I bought the medium-sized bitter gourds and tried this at home.  It was a big success.  DH and Jr. H asked for second serving which lighted a 1000 watts bulb on my face :-D

This process is quite elaborative one but definitely a worth to try.  The original recipe called for frying out the stuffed bitter gourds but I avoided it as I know DH will complain about the excess oil.  Instead I shallow fried the vegetable on low flame but it is equivalently tasty.  The bitterness is tamed with the addition of spice powders and onion.  

Bitter gourd – 1/2 kg
Onion – 2 medium sized
Oil – 6 – 8 tablespoon

For the powder mix:
Fennel powder – 2 tsp
Coriander powder – 3 tsp
Puliogare powder – 3 tsp ( I used MTR Brand)
Chilly powder – 3 tsp
Salt – To taste

1. Remove the outer skin of bitter gourd as shown in the picture. 

2. Make a small slit on one side and remove the seeds carefully.

3. Slice the onions

4. Make Fennel powder by grinding some fennel seeds in the mixer.  Let this be a bit on the coarse side.
5. Mix all the powders given in the ingredient section.  Adding fennel powder is a must because the light sweetness in fennel powder would suppress the bitter taste.  Addition of puliogare powder will further suppress the bitter flavor.  The   along with sweetness will produce a delectable flavor twist.

6. Stuff the bitter gourd with the powders carefully.

7.  Heat a wok with oil and add the onions.  Adding little salt to the onions would cook the onions fast. 

8.  When the onions have become brown, add the masala powder stuffed bitter gourd, add little turmeric powder.
9. Carefully turn the bitter gourd then and there so as to make sure it is not burnt.

10.  Close the wok with a lid and cook in low flame carefully giving gentle twists and turns when needed.  It would approximately take 20-30 minutes to get cooked.

 11.  When it gets cooked fully, the color turns in fact, add the remaining left over powder (if any).  Cook further for 5 more minutes until the masala blend with the vegetable.

12. Finally serve with love which will further reduce the bitterness  :-) :-)


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