You’ll love the riot of sweet, tangy, spicy, bitter, salty and umami tastes that this bitter gourd curry lets loose in your mouth. Fiery red to look at, intense and full-bodies in flavour and very healthy, kanchala gojju, otherwise known as haagalakaayi gojju is a great way to make your kids eat bitter gourd.
300g10.5 oz bittergourd (2 medium-sized bitter gourds)
1and 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1/2tablespoonsplit black gram
1teaspoonsplit chickpeachanna dal
1and 1/2 teaspoon poppy seedskhus khus
1and 1/2 tablespoons Byadagi chilli podwerroast the full chillies a bit and then grind them
1and 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1medium onion cut in quarters
1”-ball tamarindor a lime-sized ball
3tablespoonsjaggeryor 5 tablespoons palm jaggery
1and 1/4 teaspoon salt
1and 1/2 tablespoons coconut oiluse any other vegetable oil if you don’t have coconut oil in your house
6-7fat garlic flakes with the skin on
Wash then slice the bitter gourd into (1/2 cm wide) circles, then quarter them. Remove the seeds. You could also blitz them in the food processor - but first slice them lengthwise and remove the seeds.
Parboil the bitter gourd with 1/2 teaspoon salt, to reduce the bite of the bitterness.
While the water boils, roast the coriander seeds, raw rice, split black gram, green gram, split chickpea, poppy seeds, 1/4 teaspoon mustard, cumin seeds and onion one at the time. Take care while doing so as the poppy seeds and split black gram burn soon. Let the onions roast for long till they are light golden.
Grind them with half a cup of water finely.
Add the ground mixture to a heavy-bottomed pan, add 1 cup of water and allow it to come to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes — do not put a lid on.
Add the parboiled bitter gourd, and the remaining salt, and keep the heat on until it is cooked — about 5-7 minutes.
Now powder the jaggery and add it to the boiling bitter gourd gravy 2 minutes before you are ready to turn off the heat. You must add it in the end or the gravy becomes very sticky.
In a small frying pan, add the coconut oil, and when it is hot, add the remaining mustard seeds.
After the crackle, add the garlic and turn of the heat as they begin changing colour and you get that smoked garlic smell.
Add the sesame seeds right after you turn of the heat as they tend to turn brown soon.
Empty this tempering into the gravy and mix.
Serving: Let the haagalakaayi gojju rest for 15 minutes before you serve it with hot rice, or neer dosas, or chapatis. A little will go a long way!