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As a kid like everyone else I used to hate Bitter melon because of the bitterness. When ever this was in the menu , I wouldn’t eat food and will get blasting hehehe…It changed few years back , once I realized what is healthy, what to eat and what not to eat. From then I started getting these atleast once in a week. I had influenced few of my friends also 😀 Seeing me bring this bitter melon/ bitter gourd dish ( I prepare it 2 ways, one recipe is here ) every week for my lunch to office , one of my friend prepared it herself and told me that her husband liked it so much. Yay! its great when you can share some healthy prospect to your circle.

Bitter melons is one more low calorie vegetable. Its an excellent source of iron and vitamins, minerals. Its a great medicine for those with diabetes, kidney stone, psoriasis, piles(haemorrhoids). Also it is told that, secret of Okinawa Islanders longevity is due to this bitter gourd/melon.

Sambar is not a big deal for any Indian. But I would like to spread this healthy vegetable to everyone around. Lets go with the recipe.

 

Pagarkai_Sambar.gif

Ingredients:

Bitter Melon/Bitter gourd/Pagarkai : 2 large

Onion : 1/2 of large

Green chili : 1

Pigeon pea lentil / toor dal : 1/2 cup

Tomato : 1

Garlic : 5 pods

Turmeric powder : 1/4 teaspoon

Red Chili powder : 1/2 teaspoon

Corriander powder : 1 1/2 teaspoon

Fenugreek seeds : 1/2 teaspoon

Tamarind : lemon size

Cilantro leaves : to garnish

For seasoning :

Cumin Seeds : 1/2 teaspoon

Mustard seeds : 1/2 teaspoon

Urad dal : 1/2 teaspoon

Red pepper : 3 to 4

Asafoetida : 1/2 teaspoon

Oil : 1 teaspoon

Curry Leaves : few

Method:

Cut the bitter melon to round pieces. Chop onion and garlic, cut tomato, green chili to pieces.

Pagarkai_Sambar_ingPagarkai_Sambar_ing_1.gif

Clean the lentil. Add everything together in a pressure cooker. Include red chili powder, corriander powder, turmeric powder, fenugreek seeds. Add 4 cups of water and pressure cook it for 6 whistles or 20 minutes. You can do normal cooking as well without pressure cooker. Just wait until the vegetable is full cooked. Stop and then add salt.

Pagarkai_Sambar_heating.gif

Make pulp out of tamarind. In a pan heat oil. When it is hot enough, add items in to garnish. When it crackles, add the cooked lentil and vegetable mix to this. After 3 mins, add the tamarind pulp to this. Leave it for 3 to 4 minutes until the tamarind pulp mixes with the vegetable. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

With lentil , tamarind pulp the bitter taste reduces, so its not quit difficult to eat.  Because of its health benefit I wouldn’t mind the bitterness 🙂

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