Bittergourd is used widely for its medicinal values. Bittergourd and the parts of its plants are useful as traditional medicines for curing of diabetes, stomach complaints, skin diseases, ulcers or cough.
Various types of dishes are made from bitter gourd. Not only in India but it is widely used in Asian cuisine.
In India, the bittergourd preparation varies with region. In North Indian cuisine- they make by stuffing it with spices in the form of curry also known as Bharwa Karele (Stuffed karela). In South Indian cuisine, it is used in the dishes thoran/thuvaran (mixed with grated coconut), mezhukkuparatti (stir fried with spices), theeyal (cooked with roasted coconut) and pachadi.
I will share with you popular Gujarati cuisine preparation of bittergourd. It is made from tender bittergourd and stir fried with the spices, jaggery, cashew nuts, peanuts and sesame seeds. The cashew nuts and peanuts give a crunchy effect to the dish. You can mostly find this dish on the menu during marriage functions. It is served with puri or chapati and aamras. There they generally deep fry the bittergourd .
250 gm bitter gourd cleaned, washes and chopped in semicircles.(you can discard seeds if they are to hard)
1 medium potato chopped lengthwise
4 tbsp jaggery grated
4 tbsp oil
2 tbsp cashew nut halved
2 tbsp peanuts roasted and halved
2 tbsp sesame seeds. Use 2 tsp for garnishing
2 tbsp raisin
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp red chili powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/4 cup coriander chopped. leave a little for garnishing.
salt as per taste