Thursday, November 30, 2017

Masala Stuffed Midhi Pavakkai - Spicy Baby Karela/ Bitter Gourds

MASALA STUFFED MIDHI PAVAKKAI
Pavakkai / Karela / Bitter gourd has been one of our family favourites even before articles about its health benefits had started hitting the head lines. We relish Pavakkai in various dishes like Pitlai, Theeyal, Varuval, Sambar and Porial. I was utterly excited when our green grocer supplied us with fresh Midhi Pavakkai or Baby bitter gourds on the other day. Midhi Pavakkai becomes a delicacy when stuffed with spicy masala. It is so irresistible that my sister-in-law picked up a Masala Stuffed Midhi Pavakkai  and eagerly stuffed it into her mouth before the serving dish could even reach the dining table!

INGREDIENTS


Baby bitter gourds/ Midhi Pavakkai/ Baby karelas - 8
Sesame oil - 3 to 4 tbsps
Coriander seeds - 2 tbsps
Bengal gram dal - 2 tsps
Black gram dal - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 6
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Tamarind - a small ball the size of a marble,(soaked) 
Powdered jaggery - 1/2 tsp
Onion - 1 big (Chopped)
Salt - 1 tsp
METHOD
1. Wash the Midhi Pavakkais thoroughly and snip off the stem.
2. Slit lengthwise using a sharp knife keeping both ends in tact.
3. Hold the Pavakkai in between your thumb and forefinger and apply pressure so that the slit opens up.


4. Scoop out the seeds and steam the Pavakkais in the pressure cooker for 15 minutes and set aside.
TO MAKE THE MASALA
5. Heat a drop of sesame oil in a kadai and roast coriander seeds, bengal gram dal, black gram dal, and red chillies till the dals turn golden in colour.
6. Add cumin seeds and asafoetida and roast till you get a pleasant aroma.
7. Cool the roasted ingredients and grind them into a powder.
8. Add the chopped onion, soaked tamarind, salt and jaggery and grind them into a thick masala without adding water.
STUFFING THE MIDHI PAVAKKAI
9. Stuff each steamed Pavakkai with the thick masala till it gets fat and firm.


10. Heat the remaining oil in a kadai and gently place the stuffed Pavakkais one by one without piling them up together.
11. Gently turn each Pavakkai using a spatula so that it is coated with oil.
12. Cook on low flame turning them now and then till they emanate a very pleasant masala aroma and turn light brown in colour.


Enjoy the MASALA STUFFED MIDHI PAVAKKAI with plain rice or rotis or relish them as they are!