Bittergourd curries taste too delicious for bittergourd lovers. On the other hand, bittergourd curries taste too yucky for bittergourd haters 😉 These facts cannot be denied. But, if you are wishing to include bittergourd in diet due to the health benefits, deworming & detoxing effects, then this bittergourd curry can be your first choice. This is my MIL’s recipe and this is the best bittergourd curry, I have ever tasted in my life. This is so easy to make and suits bachelor’s cooking as well as busy mom’s morning cooking routine. There are 5 tastes in this curry – bitter, salt, sweet, sour & spicy. Already I have posted this bittergourd curry recipe in my instagram page(@Myhealthykiddo) and got many comments and messages from many readers that their families enjoyed this. So, I am very confident that this bittergourd curry will amaze you. Do try and enjoy !!
Preparation – How to make Bittergourd Curry?
- Bittergourd - 4
- Tamarind - Small lemon sized ball
- Sesame oil - 2 to 3 tsp
- Mustard seeds - ¼ tsp
- Urad dal - ¼ tsp
- Curry leaves - Few
- Small onions - handful
- Garlic cloves - 5
- Tomato - 1
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder - ⅛ tsp
- Gravy powder/Curry powder - 1 tbsp or as per spice level
- Coriander leaves - Few
- Jaggery - 1 tsp
- Soak a small lemon sized tamarind in ½ cup hot water for 10 mins.
- Wash the bittergourds, cut out the corners (just the protruding tails) & discard them.
- Cut the bittergourd lengthwise into two halves, then cut out the central seed parts and discard them. If the seeds aren't too thick, you can skip this step.
- Join the two halves and thinly slice them into wedges as seen in the pictures.
- In a pressure cooker, add 2 to 3 tsp sesame oil.
- Once hot, add ¼ tsp mustard seeds. Once it starts to splutter, add ¼ tsp urad dal.
- Once urad dal starts to change color, add few curry leaves, handful of small onions, and 5 garlic cloves.
- Once onions & garlic start to change color, add 1 chopped tomato, ½ tsp salt & ⅛ tsp turmeric powder.
- Once tomatoes are mushy, add bittergourd wedges and fry for a minute.
- Then add any homemade gravy powder/kulambu podi(my gravy powder recipe link in the tips section below) & give a quick stir. If your gravy powder doesn't thicken the curry, you can add ½ tsp to 1 tsp coriander powder too.
- Mash the tamarind well in the soaked water and strain through fingers. Discard the pulp. Add this tamarind water to pressure cooker.
- Add more water, if required. But water should be just till the level of bittergourd. Don't add more water.
- Check for salt and add more, if required.
- Add few chopped coriander leaves and cook in high flame for 3 whistles.
- Open and let it start to boil.
- Add a teaspoon of jaggery and switch off once thickens..
- Serve with hot rice.. Yummm 👌 Just a papad side will do.. You shall also serve with any non-spicy stir fries to go with this spicy & tangy bittergourd tamarind curry.
2.If your gravy powder is less spicy, you can add ½ tsp to 1 tsp plain chilli powder too.
3.Do not skip jaggery as it balances all the flavors and subsides the bitterness in the curry.
4.Sesame oil tastes best for tamarind-based curries and so don't use other oils.
5.You can avoid pressure cooker and make it in closed pan but requires more water and cooking time.
6. This curry should be thick and not so watery.