Bitter Gourd or Bitter Melon is one best plant food which helps to improve the diabetic conditions. As the name suggests it is very bitter in taste. Love it or hate it but this is one important vegetable used in Asia especially in India. I started eating bitter melon in my diet early in my childhood. My grandmother is one great cook of these bitter babies. She used to prepare variety of vegetarian dishes with it. I love stir fry, roasted bitter gourd chutney, stuffed bitter gourd, bitter gourd chips, fritters and curry with coconut gravy the list goes on. Just thinking about it makes my mouth watering. There is one unique recipe my grandmother used to prepare, it had this tangy and sweet taste. I called this unique because here instead of green young bitter gourd, ripe ones are used. You have to pick pale yellow skinned soft and ripe bitter gourd for this recipe. Once you open it you should be able to see the blood red seeds then you can call it perfect. My grandmother called this recipe- ”Thipra” I don’t know the meaning of it most probably she doesn’t know either. This sweet and tangy recipe tastes best with plain rice and yogurt.
- Fully ripe bitter gourd- 1
- Mustard seeds- 1 tbs
- Black gram- 1 tbs
- Curry leaves- 4
- Green chillies- 2
- Turmeric- 1/4 tbs
- Tamarind extract- 1/4 cup (one small lemon sized tamarind is used)
- Jaggery- 2 tbs, grated
- Oil- 2 tbs
- Wash and clean the bitter gourd. Cut it and discard the seeds, chop into small pieces.
- Take a frying pan add 2 tbs of oil, mustard seeds, black gram, curry leaves and green chillies
- Fry these items well for 3-4 minutes before adding bitter gourd pieces and salt
- Keep frying the bitter gourd until they are cooked well (takes around 10 -15 minutes depending upon the thickness of the vegetable)
- Now add turmeric, tamarind extract and jaggery. Mix well and let the mixture cook well for 4 minutes to absorb the flavors
- Serve it with plain rice and curd
Note: Use only well ripe bitter gourd for this recipe or there will be variation in the taste. If you use unripe on there will be more bitterness in the recipe.
Brahmi or waterhyssop is one important herb in Ayurveda, it is known as Brahmi after ”Brahma” the creator God of the Hindu Pantheon. In Karnataka we call it as ”Timare” or ”Vondelaga”. It is mainly used in hair oil where it has medicinal values and prevents hair fall. I remember grandma preparing herb oil by mixing brahmi along with coconut oil and many other herbs. It is said that giving Brahmi to kids can increase their memory power. It is proved effective for anxiety and ADHD. As a kid I always loved Brahmi leaves in chutney and tambuli (a curry made from yogurt and green chilly) I remember helping my mom to collect leaves from our backyard. Recently when I was walking through the market I saw fresh Brahmi leaves and I couldn’t stop buying.
- Brahmi leaves- 1 cup
- Grated coconut- 1 cup
- Grated ginger- 1 tbs
- Tamarind- 1 small pea sized
- Green chilly- 2 (you can add more if you want it to be more spicy)
- Salt to taste
- Grind above mentioned ingredients into smooth paste
- Serve it as dip for dosa or idli. It also tastes good as vegetable dip
When I am bored of curries and stir fries, I prepare Badane gojju or mashed eggplants. Its just delicious and tastes awesome with plain rice and curd.
Eggplant- 1 big sized (serves 2)
Green chillies- 2-3
Tamarind- pea sized
Tampering- Ghee, garlic. mustard
Wash and boil the whole eggplant (sometimes I grill it or burn it on gas until it becomes soft, it adds extra flavor and nice smell) then peel the skin after it cools. Now mash it and add chopped onions, green chillies, tamarind water and coriander leaves mix it well. Now tamper it and serve it with rice and curd. My mom makes it really tasty by grilling the eggplant in wood fire.
Ridge gourd or Heerekayi is best suited for chutney than any other recipe. You can prepare palya, curry and many other things but chutney is the best. My mom prepares ridge gourd ‘Dosa’ and it is damn tasty, and whenever she prepares dosa she makes chutney out of ridge gourd’s skin (for preparing Dosa, ridge gourd skin is peeled and only inside flesh is used). But today for this recipe I have used everything including skin so there is not much work of cutting and sorting the vegetable.
Ridge gourd- 1 big sized
Coconut- Freshly grated, 3/4 cup
Green Chilly- 3 to 4
For tampering- Garlic cloves, curry leaves, mustard and urd dal
Wash an clean the ridge gourd and cut into 2 pieces and cook it until it becomes soft. Take it out from the water and grind it with coconut, green chillies and salt. Add little water while grinding to get the smooth paste. Tamper it with Ghee and the ingredients mentioned above. Chutney is ready to be served with Dosa or rice.
Today’s recipe is my all time favorite potato gojju. I prepare it at least once in a month. It goes well with rice but if you want to just eat it and get the feel of mashed potatoes, then minus the chilly from recipe.
Potato- 2 medium sized ( serves two)
Green chilly- 2 to 3 ( according to your taste)
mustard – 1/2 teaspoon
Garlic- 3-4 cloves
Yogurt- 5-6 spoon
Coriander leaf for garnishing
Peel the potatoes and boil it until it becomes mushy. Let it cool before you mash it into smooth paste then add finely chopped onion and vertically cut chillies avoid fine chopping of chillies because you may find it very spicy to eat) mix it well with yogurt. Now add little water to bring the consistency of paste. Tamper it with garlic and mustard (I used Ghee instead of oil for better taste and smell) and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Now serve it with hot rice or curd rice.