Sunday, May 09, 2010

Bitter Melon Tomato Curry

Some say that it is a smart healthy move to incorporate AT LEAST ONE TOMATO in AT LEAST ONE DISH, EVERYDAY. So here comes. Not the usual bittergourd egg drop soup or bittergourd stir-fried with eggs or braised bittergourd but this bittergourd (bitter melon) with tomatoes inspired from Indian-Style Bitter Melon Curry. For me, an easy and delicious fresh new spin on familiar foods.

Tomatoes give this dish tangy flavors: so if tangy is what you love, I don't see why you don't enjoy this...unless you seriously dislike bitter melon. It is an acquired taste. I enjoyed bitter melon even when I was a kid (I must be one of those few). And somehow because of the tomatoes, the bitterness is subtly masked. I made this bitter melon dish the same way I made this okra, using some of my favorite spices.

If you are making an attempt to make your kids eat a variety of vegetables and plants (including bitter melon - 苦瓜,凉瓜 ), I wonder if this tomatoey-spin on bitter melon works? Plus, the mild spices may also slowly season your kid's palate to spices. I have more tips on bittergourd here. Check the precious nutrition out which is also said to be 2x more beta-carotene than broccoli, 2x more calcium than spinach and 2x the potassium of a banana. Additionally, this melon also contains an insulin-like compound known as polypeptide P, thus sometimes considered a vegetable-fruit that helps improve diabetic conditions. Well, if it goes the Chinese saying: 良药苦口, literally meaning: A good medicine tastes bitter; that may just sum up the virtues of bittergourd. 

Bittergourd (Bitter Melon) with Tomatoes (Bitter Melon Curry)
Ingredients: 3 gloves garlic, minced; 3 shallots, thinly sliced, 1 medium-sized tomato; bittergourd, remove center core of seeds and thinly sliced (Note: To reduce bitterness, add some salt into water, and soak strips/pieces of bittergourd in the water ~5min). The longer you soak, the less bitter it will be); 1/4 tsp of ground cumin; 1/4 tsp of turmeric; 1 tsp curry powder; salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Heat 1tbsp of oil in a frying pan. Add garlic and shallots and saute till fragrant. Add tomatoes and bittergourd, mix well; add cumin turmeric, curry powder, then some water, and allow it to simmer at low heat for 10-15 minutes till bittergourd is cooked. When cooked and bittergourd starts to turn tender, add salt and black pepper to taste. Serve with steamed rice or prata/naan.

Side Dish Showdown Blogger Event Bitter melon is considered a mid-Spring to late-Summer harvest so by now you should be able to see them? Have you? This is just in time for Side dish showdown - May: Anything Goes with Secondary Theme of Spring Vegetables.

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