This bitter gourd fry South Indian style satisfies both bitter gourd lovers and non-lovers together. This is a south Indian style recipe with tomatoes, which provides an excellent blend of bitterness with mild tanginess to the dish.
Some of us would prefer bitter gourd for its bitterness, But others do not prefer it. My family belongs to the second group and myself belongs to the first group. So, you can very well understand that this bitter gourd fry recipe is in between the two and satisfies us both.
This Indian bitter gourd curry recipe is perfect for onion sambar. Piping hot Steamed Rice, Sambar, More Kuzhambu or podi dosai with this side dish..hmmmm..yummy...you need to try this and experience.
What is bitter gourd?
This is vegetables which taste extremely bitter, originated in South India and later introduced to the other countries. Still, it is one of the important vegetables in the Southern states of India.
This has a unique bitter taste and makes it stand out from many of the other vegetables. And the people love and some other hate for its taste. I make at least once a week. And one of the must vegetable I buy from the Indian store every week just to make this bitter gourd fry.
This recipe is also called as ‘pavakkai varuval’ in Tamil.
What are the benefits of eating bitter gourd?
Healthline says, Bitter guard is rich in source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium. Anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Not only fascinated with its medicinal benefits, but I was also drawn towards its unique taste, that is the reason I make this bitter gourd fry often. The recipe is simple and straightforward and not with difficult steps.
Where to get?
Bitter gourd is not available in regular stores in the USA. But you can get them in your local Indian store or Asian store. There are many varieties available; the bitter Indian gourd are looks thin, and sleek than the Asian varieties.
How do you make bitter gourd without bitterness?
As we have discussed already, the people have a love-hate relationship with bitter gourd. I like to eat this in the way as it tastes. But my family asks me to make by minimizing down its unique taste.
So If you are like my family, you can bring down the bitterness in many ways. One of the important and healthy ways is complimenting it with tanginess. Like in this bitter gourd fry recipe we cooked with tomato.
Similarly, cooking this vegetable with ingredients like tomato, tamarind, dry mango powder will help you to make this without bitterness.
Cook 50% in plain water and then discard the water to remove bitterness. But mind that you are taking away all the health benefits as well.
How do you cut bitter gourd?
do not peel the skin, the outer texture looks like cluster and rough. But the skin is edible and best to be eaten.
They may be available with soft or hard seeds inside. The seeds are also edible, slice them finely. These seeds add crunchy, crispy texture to the dish, which makes it overwhelming.
Slice finely with a sharp knife for the bitter gourd fry.
How to make in the microwave oven?
Though it is theoretically possible to make this Indian bitter gourd fry in the microwave, I would advise making this in the stovetop method. As the cooking is elaborate and the cooking part is done mostly in the simmer to medium flame.
• Tomatoes are added in this recipe to counteract the natural taste of the bitter gourd. You may swap it with lemon juice, tamarind paste, or dry mango powder.
• Frying with onion makes the side dish thick and wholesome. You may skip using it.
• Add curry leaves for more flavor in bitter gourd fry.
• You may add finely chopped potatoes when serving for a crowd.
• Add cooked split chickpea/chana dal at the end gives a beautiful texture to this recipe.
• Add grated coconut or sliced coconut, adds a beautiful texture to this dish.
You may like other spicy stir-fry recipes like,
Printable recipe card
Bitter gourd fry
- Slice thinly the bitter gourd. Also finely chop onion and tomato.
- In the pan add vegetable oil,fennel seeds, chopped onions, and cook it till onions become pink.
- Add tomatoes, bitter gourd, red chili powder, turmeric powder, salt and cook it covered in the slow flame.
- Add another teaspoon of vegetable oil, if the mixture sticks to the bottom of the pan.
- Cook if for around 20 minutes in simmer flame.
- When it is cooked completely, garnish with grated coconut.
- And serve hot with the plain steamed rice.
- Serve along with hot rice, with sambar rice, rasam rice, curd rice, mixed rice like tamarind rice, lemon rice.
- But it beautifully pairs up with sambar and curd rice.
Do not forget to check out another nonvegetarian side dish recipe of Chettinad Sukka Prawns, here in PepperBowl.