Bitter gourd or bitter melon is an amazing vegetable known for its terrific health benefits. With a thick green scaly skin and soft white flesh, it goes by many other names: bitter cucumber, balsam-pear, bitter apple, or bitter squash. In Japan it is called nigauri, while the Chinese refer to it as ku-gua. In India, it is called karela.
Bitter gourd is a known to be rich source of antioxidants, flavonoids, and other polyphenol compounds. Here’s a pulao (pot rice dish) recipe that uses bitter gourd and bengal gram.
Bitter Gourd and Bengal Gram Pulao
- 1½ cup basmati rice [soaked in water for 30 mins]
- ¾ cup finely chopped bitter gourd
- ¼ cup channa dal [Bengal gram]
- 1 medium sized onion
- 1 small tomato
- 2 green chillies
- 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- ½ cup mint leaves
- 4 tbsp curd
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- ¼ tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- Salt to taste
- Mix little salt and 1 tbsp lemon juice with chopped bitter gourd and keep aside for 20 mins. Meanwhile, pressure cook dal with 1 cup water for two whistles. Remove from the heat and keep aside. Wash chopped bitter gourd and keep aside.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Add chopped onions and green chillies. Cook for a minute on low-medium flame. Add chopped mint leaves and stir well.
- Add chopped tomatoes and mash pulp. Add ginger-garlic paste and stir well. Add cooked dal with left over water and mix well. Add bitter gourd and cook it covered for five mins.
- Add turmeric powder, chilli powder and garam masala. Stir well and add yoghurt. Cook it covered on low flame for 5 – 8 mins.
- Add 3 cup water and allow to boil. Add drained rice and salt to taste. Mix well and cook it covered on low-medium flame till rice is done. Sprinkle lemon juice at the time of serving and serve hot with any curry of your choice.
This was first published in the July 2015 issue of Complete Wellbeing.
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