Saturday, January 26, 2013

Butter Karela Masala - Republic Day Cooking

I came home thinking that I had to make something which reflected the colors of the Indian flag to honour Republic Day. I came home to see Karelas aka Bitter Gourd. So that was my green component. For saffron I immediately thought of butter panneer masala or the likes. For the white I thought of making some ghee rice. In the end, I decided to incorporate all the colors in one dish - butter karela masala. It was awesome and over in minutes. We had it with romali rotis - to add another white dimension.

Ingredients (Serves 2 as a side dish):

  1. 2 medium karela/bitter gourd
  2. 1 large onion
  3. 6 cloves of garlic - biggish ones
  4. 1 inch fresh ginger
  5. 4 small to medium tomatoes
  6. A small handful of cashews
  7. 1 tsp khus khus/poppy seeds
  8. 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  9. 3/4 tsp coriander powder
  10. 1/4 tsp garam masala powder
  11. 1/4 cup milk
  12. 1-2 tbsp fresh cream/malai
  13. salt to taste
  14. Oil - 1/4 cup
How I made it :
  1. Soak cashew and khus khus in little hot water for 15 minutes.
  2. Clean and finely slice the karela into rounds. Salt and keep aside to let the bitterness out. I skip this part in order to get the most out of the karela as I believe that salting it takes out some of its goodness.
  3. Grind the onion, ginger and garlic to a fine paste.
  4. Grind the tomatoes separately along with cashew and khus khus.
  5. Heat oil in a kadai.
  6. Fry the karela pieces till cooked.
  7. Take out and in same oil, add the onion paste.
  8. Fry till raw smell goes away - about 3 to 4 minutes
  9. Add the tomato paste.
  10. Add the red chilli, coriander and garam masala powders.
  11. Fry till fat separates - about 5-7 minutes
  12. Add the milk and fry for a minute.
  13. Add salt to taste along with the karela pieces.  Watch the salt if you had salted the karela pieces earlier.
  14. After a minute or so, add the fresh cream. Mix well and turn off heat.
  15. Serve hot with rotis.