Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Pavakkai Gojju - Bitter Gourd in Sweet and Spicy Tamarind Gravy

A combination of Gojju and steaming hot rice topped with a spoon of ghee is one of the best finger-licking meals suitable for a cold day. Pavakkai/Bitter gourd activates the digestive juices resulting in good digestion. Ginger, chillies, sesame seeds and tamarind used in its preparation have heat generating properties which are important for improving metabolism and keeping the body warm. The spice, the tang and the sweetness of jaggery  help to camouflage the bitter taste of the healthy vegetable.

Bitter gourd/ Pavakkai - 2
Tamarind - 1 lemon size ball
Salt - 2 tsps
Sambar powder - 2 tsps
Jaggery ( powdered) - 2 tbsp
Sesame oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds - 1 pinch
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Bengal gram dal - 1 tsp
Peanuts - 2 tbsps
Red chillies - 2 ( broken)
Green chillies - 2 (slit)
Fresh ginger - 1'' piece (chopped lengthwise)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Curry leaves - a few
Roasted and powdered sesame seeds - 2 tbsps
1. Wash and chop Pavakkai/ Bitter gourd into small pieces.
2. Soak tamarind in warm water and extract the juice and keep aside.
3. Heat oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds.
4. When the mustard seeds splutter add fenugreek seeds and Bengal gram dal.
5. When the dal starts to turn golden in colour add the peanuts and stir till they crack.
6. Turn down the heat and add red chillies, followed by slit green chillies and ginger.
7. Add asafoetida, turmeric powder and curry leaves.
8. Stir the seasoning well, increase flame and add the chopped bitter gourd.

9. Stir fry for five minutes and then add the tamarind juice, salt, sambar powder and powdered jaggery.

10. Cover and cook on medium heat till the gojju becomes thick emanating a very pleasant aroma.
11. See that the vegetable is cooked and then add the roasted and powdered sesame seeds.

12. If you do not need a very thick gravy, make a paste with one teaspoon of rice flour and water and blend it into the gojju  while still watery as soon as the vegetable is done.
Enjoy the bitter- sweet, spicy - sour Pavakkai Gojju with rice or relish it with dosas or chapaties.

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