Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spicy Bitter Melon with Tomatoes 印度式辣苦瓜番茄

Following the Spiced Roasted Bitter Melon comes this "dry-curry" bitter melon creation that is inspired by my friend's mom (who is Indian) - oh...I enjoy Indian dishes so much! So why not take the opportunity to learn the ropes? One fine day, I had the chance.

No substantial gravy intended

Oh, what curry is that? I better call it Spicy Bitter Melon with Tomatoes

Bitter melon cubes! Look at those fresh jade-green bitter melon.

Spicy Bitter Melon with Tomatoes-印度式辣苦瓜番茄
Ingredients: 1 small bitter melon, core and seeds removed, cubed (Note: soak in salted water for about 15 minutes to reduce the bitterness. The longer you soak the melon, the less bitter it will be); 1tbsp finely diced red onions, 1 clove garlic finely minced; 2 thin slices of ginger finely minced; 1/2 big tomato, into cubes similar to melon; 1/4 tsp cumin seeds; dash of coriander powder, turmeric powder, red pepper powder, five-spice powder, 1/2 tbsp masala powder, sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Directions: Toast the cumin seeds in the pan, then add the onions, ginger, spices and fry briskly, followed by garlic, then tomatoes. Add 4-5 tbsps of water (adjust accordingly) and let the onion-tomato spiced mixture come to a simmer. When simmering, add the bitter melon and allow it to cook at low-medium heat. Takes about 10-15 minutes. Once the gravy almost dries up and the bitter melon has absorbed all the flavors, the dish is done. Dish out and serve. Best with steamed rice or any Indian breads.

Bitter melon is no doubt a magnetic allure for me. Adore adore adore. So different, so bitter (bitter compared to other fruits - yes, it is actually a fruit treated like a vegetable in Asian cooking) - but I embrace with an open heart, open arms (and open mouth!)

The Chinese variety of bitter melon used for this Indian-inspired dish. 

Recent bitter melon recipes:
Bitter Melon Egg Drop Soup
Spiced Roasted Bitter Melon

Enjoy this unique taste of life!

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