September 17, 2011

Alu korola bhaja (Fried bitter gourd with potatoes)

I love bitter taste. Some of my childhood memories are of fighting with brother over the quantity each would get of some bitter dish that was on menu. Or I would secretly ask my ma or dida to give me more of the bitter dish than anyone else. It was amusing for them. When other children were trying to avoid the bitter taste, we were fighting over it. A Bengali lunch in summer typically starts with some little bitter dish. It is good to fight the heat, and tastes very refreshing. It is also a palate cleanser. Therefore, I was elated to eat this nice bitter gourd after long long time. Our Munich trip gave me the opportunity to buy some typical Bengali vegetables from a Bangladeshi store. So, the first weekend after we returned, a simple Bengali platter was served on my dining table. Let us start with something bitter. The simple bitter gourd fried with potatoes and the subtle mustard flavor.

You can print the recipe for your kitchen here: PRINTABLE RECIPE

(Serves 4) 

1 big bitter gourd
2 medium potatoes  
1tbsp mustard seeds
1pinch turmeric powder


1. Cut bitter gourd in quarters lengthwise. Scrap out the seeds. Cut the bitter gourd into thin slices.
2. Cut potato into similar thin slices.
3. Heat oil in a wok and add mustard seeds. Let it crackle.
4. Add bitter gourd and potato, pinch of turmeric and salt to taste. Stir well.
5. Cook covered on low-medium heat until almost done.
6. Remove cover, increase heat and cook till done.

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