Stuffed bitter gourds

This is an interesting and wonderful way to cook bitter gourds. Here, the natural bitterness of the bitter gourds is mellowed to a great extent by the spices and onions, making the bitter gourds really moreish. Serve this as a side dish.

Makes 8 stuffed bitter gourds

8 medium bitter gourds
1½ teaspoons salt
1 lime
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra for shallow-frying
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons besan
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon amchur
½ teaspoon asafoetida
½ teaspoon garam masala powder

1. Scrape the bitter gourds and place the scrapings in a bowl.

2. Slit each bitter gourd lengthwise. Remove the pith and seeds and add to the bitter gourd scrapings.

3. Place the bitter gourd in another bowl. Add 1 teaspoon salt and lime juice and mix well. Set aside for 45 minutes.

4. Grind the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds to a smooth powder, using a spice grinder.

5. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook until well browned.

6. Add the besan and stir until fragrant.

7. Add the bitter gourd scrapings, and internal pith and seeds. Stir to combine.

8. Add the ground spices, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, amchur, garam masala and the remaining salt and stir until fragrant. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

9. Drain and discard the liquid accumulated in the bowl.

10. Fill the mixture in the bitter gourds and tie with a thread.

11. Heat the oil in a pan and shallow-fry the bitter gourds, turning frequently, until uniformly brown and tender.

12. Serve hot; remove and discard the thread before eating.


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4 thoughts on “Stuffed bitter gourds

  1. Steven September 10, 2014 at 7:45 AM

    Wow. I’ve never seen a recipe for bitter gourds like this: I’ve never used the pith. I’m really curious now. If they’re still in season I’m going to make this on Friday.

    Thanks for the inspiration, recipe, and great photo.

  2. Annapoorna Prabhu September 10, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    Steven, Thank you. Happy Cooking.

  3. Steven September 21, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    I wanted to let you know that I made these this evening. They were exceptionally delicious. The fennel adds a sweet fragrance, the amchor put back in a little pucker. Most surprisingly, the seeds gave the dish a nice mouthfeel. I will be making these again. 🙂

    Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Annapoorna Prabhu September 22, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    Steven, I’m really glad to know you liked this dish. Thank you very much for letting me know 🙂

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