Eating bitter melon is an acquired taste,some like it some don't I happen to like it. My mom always made phulkas and chapatis and a little rice for dinner accompanied by dal,veg curries,potato curries,egg etc.Bitter melon made it to the dinner table atleast once a week. The days potato,veg or egg made it I would be all excited,dal was okay but bitter melon days I would be mumbling and pushing food from one side to another till that day my mom sat with me and showed me how to eat them. She showed it two ways she mixed very little of the dry fry to hot rice added some ghee mixed well she ate some and fed me some I liked it she also gave me some to taste with chapati I liked it again. Over the years have made quite a few versions of it and have enjoyed them. Thanks to my loving mommy no more mumbling and pushing bitter gourd from one corner of the plate to another.
1 cup dry bitter gourd vathal
1 large onion cut in four and thinly sliced
1 tsp garlic minced
1-1/2 tsp ginger minced
1/2 cup tomato puree
3 tsp Cayenne powder or as per taste
2 tsp coriander powder - optional
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
Chopped coriander leaves-optional
Few curry leaves
Salt to taste
Fry the vathals in oil till they get roasted and set aside. Heat oil in another pan add cumin seeds and curry leaves. Add the sliced onions,salt,ginger,garlic and turmeric powder. When the onions turn golden add the fried vathals and on low heat let the onions carmelize(will give subtle sweetness) with the bitter melon-cover cooking them. Add cayenne powder,coriander powder and tomato puree, chopped leaves, mix to blend well adding some water if needed and finish cooking till the raw smell disappears. Enjoy hot!!