If you’re like me who loves bitter gourd for its health benefits but hate the taste, well here’s a recipe that will turn you around. This stuffed bitter gourd recipe will make you think twice if it’s the same icky yucky gourd you’ve hated all your life. And the best part- it’s vegan, nutritious and no deep frying.
Stuffed Bitter Gourd Recipe That Won’t Taste Bitter At All
I’ll be honest: I have hated bitter gourd all my life. This has been a favorite meal accompaniment at my home and I could never understand why everybody loved it. I took a leap of faith once, and tasted the famed bitter gourd-bottle gourd juice touted as a weight loss drink and I hated it. Ever since then I had an undeclared animosity with the green vegetable, up until last weekend, when I accidentally tasted the stuffed bitter gourd my mother-in-law made. And it wasn’t anything like the disgusting bitter gourd juice I once tasted. In fact, it didn’t even taste like a bitter melon.
Bitter gourd is famed for the amazing health benefits it offers. A study published by the Journal of Ethnopharmacology concluded that bitter gourd did reduce fructosamine levels in Type 2 diabetes patients. In the Indian culture, it has long been considered for its medicinal properties. Some of the nutritional benefits of bitter gourd are:
- Antioxidants like flavonoids and phenols;
- Vitamins- A, B-1, B-2, B-3, B-9, C, and E;
- Minerals- iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and phosphorus.
If these reasons have convinced you enough to consider incorporating the vegetable into your vegan diet plan, here’s the recipe to delicious stuffed bitter gourds. This is also excellent for your meal prep plan, as it can be easily stored in refrigerator, for more than a week, without changing its taste.
Rinse, peel and de-seed the bitter gourd a night before. Rub salt into it and leave overnight. This takes away the bitter taste of the vegetable effectively and you can rinse it again next morning before cooking.
- 4-5 bitter gourds- rinsed, peeled and rubbed in salt overnight
- Finely chopped medium sized onions- 2
- Asafoetida (optional)- one pinch
- Salt- as per taste
- Turmeric powder- 1/2 teaspoon
- Red chili powder- 1 teaspoon (you can adjust as per your spiciness preference)
- Fennel powder- 1/2 teaspoon
- Roasted cumin powder- 1/2 teaspoon
- Dry mango powder- 1 teaspoon (if you do not have mango powder substitute it with 1 teaspoon lemon juice)
- Freshly chopped cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil to cook
If you can lay hands on garam masala powder at any grocery store, it could enhance the taste of the dish further. Use 1/4 teaspoon while sauteing the onions.
- Rinse the bitter gourd and make vertical cuts on each without separating them apart. Both the ends should be joined together to create a pocket like space which will be stuffed in with onion and spice mix later. Keep slit gourds aside.
- Take a deep woke and heat oil in it. Add asafoetida and onions. Saute for a minute and add salt, turmeric, red chili powder, fennel powder, cumin powder and dry mango powder. Cook till the onions turn light brown.
- Let the onion-spice mix cool a bit. With the help of a spoon, fill in the onion mix in each slit gourd we kept aside in step 1. To prevent the stuffing from spilling out while cooking, tie a cotton thread around the gourds as shown in picture. The thread can be discarded before eating. Save the left over onion-spice mix.
- Heat oil in the same wok and gently place each stuffed gourd in it. Add the left over onion-spice mix to it.
- Cook covered over low flame for several minutes. Gently flip the gourds in between to ensure they cook evenly.
- You’re done cooking when the gourd turns brown and its skin softens up.
- Remove from heat and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves. Best served with a hot bowl of lentil soup and rice.
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