Friday, July 21, 2006

Bitter Gourd & Green Mango Curry


One green mango & three bitter gourds

I learnt this curry only last week from my mother-in-law, who has come with my father-in-law to visit us here in Germany. I knew that this time again I'd learn some more recipes from her. It has always been like that. Just when I start thinking that I know all of Konkani cuisine, she comes up with a few dishes that I have never even heard of.

But hey, let me tell you, I too have served her at least a dozen new dishes this time. All thanks to you fellow bloggers. :) Which means that both of us - my MIL and me - have our own little treasure chests now, a drawer of which we open for each other, every time we meet. Isn't it exciting?

Back to the curry now. Bitter gourd and green (unripe) mango is an unusual combination for me. To be honest, I was a little sceptical when I started off. But believe me, if you like bitter gourds and the aroma of garlic, there is nothing that can stop you from liking this curry. :) And it is very very easy to make. You'll know once you see the recipe.

Recipe for Bitter gourd & Green Mango Curry

Serves 3-4.


3 bitter gourds (Karela)
1 green/unripe mango
½ tsp chilli powder or to taste
3 tbsp jaggery or to taste
salt to taste

1 tsp oil
5-6 cloves of garlic, peeled (Less, if the garlic cloves are fat)


1. Cut the bitter gourds vertically in half. Take out hard seeds, if any, and discard. Slice the bitter gourds, and put the slices onto a kitchen paper as shown in the picture below.


Karela slices about to be wrapped in kitchen paper

2. Sprinkle salt over the bitter gourd slices, and wrap them tightly in the kitchen paper. This makes the bitter gourds * more tolerably bitter *. (I hope you know what I mean. :))
3. Once the bitter gourd slices are dryish (or the kitchen paper is too wet to take any more of their juice), chop the green mango without removing the peel in bite-sized pieces. Do not take the seed, though.
4. Now heat ½ cup water in a pan, and add the bitter gourd slices to it. Cover and cook for a few minutes. Once they are softer, add the mango pieces and cook further. Add some more water (about ¼ cup), if necessary.
5. Once the mango pieces are cooked too, add chilli powder and jaggery. Taste the curry, and add salt, if required. (Please keep in mind that we added salt to bitter gourd slices at Step 2.) Also, please check whether you'd like to add more jaggery.
6. Let the curry simmer gently. At the same time, heat a ladle for Tadka. Add oil. Crush the peeled garlic cloves (but please do not make fine pieces or paste). Once the oil is hot, add the crushed garlic, and let it brown a little. (Your kitchen will be filled with wonderful garlic aroma by now. :))
7. Add the Tadka to the curry and cover the pan immediately. Turn the heat off, and let the flavours blend.

Serve this deliciously bitter-sweet-sour-garlicky curry with phulkas or with rice & dal.


'Karaate Ambuli Randhai' (What my MIL calls it)

For a change, you could also add broken red chilli pieces to the Tadka. You could omit the chilli powder then.

I hope Anthony will accept this 50th post of mine to his Curry Mela. Off to the Bachelor Cooking Blog then. Tschüs.


Shammi said...

Vaishali, what a different recipe this is... I've got karela, now for some green mango and I'm SET to try it! :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Vaishali,
Sounds like nice combo mango and bittergourd. Never tried them together. Thanks for the recipe.

Anonymous said...

Hey Vaishali --

You've been busy making magic in the kitchen!

I have been a little intimidated by bitter gourd, but when you salted the slices to make them 'more tolerably bitter' I knew exactly what you meant -- that is the treatment I give big purple eggplants (very nasty eggplants without that salting!).

Thanks for this recipe -- it sounds great with all the garlic. Next time I see karela I'm going to get daring ;)

RP said...

First time hearing about combining bittergourds with mango. Sounds yummy! My husband loves bittergourds and I love mangoes. So this is something meant for us. ;)
Looking forward to see more recipes from your MIL.

Mamatha said...

I love bittergourd and I think I like this dish already :)

When are you posting another quiz? Love all the anecdotes and the food-origin info you provide with your recipes.

Anonymous said...

Wow.. this is a super concoction!! This is the only bitter thing in life which surely tastes as good as Guinness ;-)

KA said...

Karela & mango curry.. definitely an unusual combination..
I do follow the same method to certain extent for most of my dishes with karela only to reduce the bitterness of bittergroud. Just to store bitter gourd for longer times I cook bittergourd in buttermilk along with mango slices or amchur, after the bittergourd is cooked I dump the water and store bittergourd in freezer for later use(*makes my life easier)

Meeta K. Wolff said...

YUMM! Kerala! My mum used to fill hers with chatpatty spices and make it with tons of onions. It was gorgeous. How I mis that! Your's with the mango sounds different yet nice too Vaish.

I am sure your in-laws are lickin their fingers!

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of this dish Vaishali. Looks very nice to me. BTW..I have become a bit tolerant to bittergourd these days, so I guess I will have to try this :). Thanks for sharing.

Anupama said...

Interesting recipe vaishali but sadly for Bitter Gourd there is a No Entry Sign in my house

Vaishali said...

Shammi, it is indeed a very different recipe. That's why I chose it for my 50th post. :)

Madhu, if you try it out, you will certainly like it.

Thanks a lot for those kind words, Linda. Hey, and I am glad that you understood that word jumble of mine. :)

RP, I wish I knew this recipe a few months earlier. I could have posted it when the JFI-Mango mania was on. :)

Faffer, another quiz? mind is working on it already. ;-) And thanks for the appreciation. :)

TOA, where were you all these days? I missed your comments. :)

Hey Arjuna, thanks a lot for that great tip. Why don't you please do a post on it, so that all of us benefit from it? Or maybe a post full of tips itself? (I still remember your egg-poacher as Idli-stand idea.)

Meeta, all of us here are getting bigger. :) All of us are foodies, and all of us are treating ourselves to great breakfasts and lunches. If you wanna check, do drop in sometime. :)

You will like this one, Shilpa. Just try it out.

Anupama, your household is one of 'those', huh?

Krithika said...

kya combination hai bhai ! Definitely need to try this. I am planning to use Chinese Bittergourd since they are less bitter.

Vineela said...

good idea of mango and bitter gourd curry.
Hope to try this when i get bittergourd.
Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

>>Do not take the seed, though.

What did you mean..Add the seed also to the dish?

Ashwini said...

Ooh am I a happy cat that your MIL is here :-)
I have never never seen this combo but I am sure I am so going to like this.

Neelu said...

hi Vaish
Nice veggie, I have never heard of kairi and karela together Will deifinitley try. I love karela in al lstyle wheather stir fry or stuffed one. Wil llet u know how it turns, But I will have to struggle to find raw mango here :)

Tanuja said...

Hi Vaishali,

Ur karela slices looks so cool feel like eating as it is(kacha chabajavu) both the combination is new to me have to give a try this time,thanks for sharing this dish.

indianadoc said...

that's indeed a good combo...i have seen in telugu preparations bittergourd mixed with tamarind...where the bitterness is balanced by the tanginess of tamarind...I believe the same principle works should definitely be a good dish...thanx for sharing

Revathi said...

The recipe is very new to me. MIL in town...Enjoy !! Guess you must be busy -

Menu Today said...

Hi Vaishali,
Nice recipe.Thanx for sharing.

Smita Dhall said...

Hi Vaishali,

I've always made bitter gourd with raw mango (learnt it fm my mom) or in its absence with dry mango powder (amchoor). The recipe is diiferent. Please do try this.:

Take around 6-7 pieces of karela. Slit each piece from centre. sprinkle salt in it and on it and leave aside for 2-3 hours. Rinse thoroughly. Put oil for deep frying and fry these karela in it, till each piece turns brownish. take out and keep aside.

Now peel and grate the raw mango. Add some salt (some must be remaining inside karelas from the earlier process), a pince of red chilly poder, a tsp full of dhania powder, 1/2 tsp jeera powder and some gram masala powder - if you like it really spicy.

Put this filling inside the already slit and fried karelas and in an empty pan/karahi, roast it again for the filling to set in.

Serve with rotis / parathas.

My mom used to wrap each piece with a long string of thread to keep the filling intact inside.

I also use the same filling to fill inside green chillies (de-seeded) and roast them along with karelas.

Do try. This dish can be made and kept in the fridge and will last for at least a week-10 days easily. One karela everyday will also keep your blood sugar under control.

Vaishali said...

Krithika, I'll ask you for feedback once you've tried out Chinese bitter gourd. I have seen it often at the SriLankan store here, but never had the courage to go ahead and buy it. :)

Vineela, my MIL has lots of good food ideas. Will share them as and when she shares them with me. :)

Sorry, LG, if I wasn't clear here. You are not supposed to take the seed. Only the flesh of the green mango cut in pieces is to be added.

Ashwini, happy cat ? :) :)

Neelu, yes, finding raw mango might be a difficult task. But if you lay your hands on one, then please do try out this preparation. Also because it has almost no fat! :)

Tanuja, you want to eat those kaccha Karela slices? Brave you! :)

Shaynee, yes, you are right. Tamarind and green mango have more or less the same effect of toning down the bitterness. Btw, I have never tried cooking bitter gourd with tamarind. Must do that some time.

Revathi, sure I am busy. :) But it is nice to have company at home. It gets so boring at times, when it is just my husband, my daughter and me.

Thanks for stopping by, Menu Today.

Smita, thank you so much for taking the time out to write a detailed recipe here. I appreciate it. And yes, you are absolutely right, that bitter gourd helps lower blood sugar levels. Actually, that is the only good thing that my dad does. All other measures that he should take to keep his blood sugar level low are seemingly 'unnecessary' for him. :)

Ashwini said...

Hey V glad you liked uddamethi and tambli (you have made me a bit anxious...did your MIL approve?
This blogging is so good coz it is like having a never ending supply of recipes. I wont be bored of my own cooking ever again.
I tried you flower matar cha rassa - I now know why everyone in your family likes the dish so much. It was super! Def goes to my keeper list

Nandan said...

very interesting combination indeed. If I could, I would rename it as 'Kadoo aaNi goD' (bitter and sweet). :-)

indosungod said...

what a great recipe, I am always on the lookout for nrw recipes for Karela, this is a must try.

Jayashree said...

Vaishali, this is an unusual combo for me as well. Haven't come across it before. have to try it whenever I get hold of some raw mango.

Anonymous said...

hi vaishali
normaly i dont like karla. but with ur recipe i will try pls give me ur good luck

ganesh said...

sounds interesting. I am gonna try it today!

Anonymous said...

Nice recipe. After knowing the health benefits of Bitter gourd i have starting loving it. Bitter gourd is rich in vitamin A, B1, B2 and c and contains minerals like calcium, phosphorous, iron, copper and potassium.


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Girl With Big Eyes said...

Hey, just tried this recipe today and it was lip-smackingly good! All the flavours - the bitterness, the tanginess, saltiness and the sweetness just blend in perfectly!
Thanks for sharing.

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