Bitter Gourd Kozhambu

Bitter Gourd is the only vegetable, which I disliked with a passion when I was growing up!!
But today, my kitchen has a dish made out of Bitter Gourd atleast once a week if not more!!!

Bitter Gourd or Bitter Melon as its name suggests is a vegetable which is bitter in taste.    
It is consumed mostly in asian countries, cooked with a blend of different spices to suit the individuals’ palate! 
The health and nutritional benefits of this vegetable surpasses the bitterness and should be consumed atleast once a week!  

It is a traditional vegetable which may be the basis of a new drug for type 2 diabetes according to a recent research.  Bitter Gourd juice is a natural wonder medicine for diabetes!!

Ingredients to serve 6 people

1 Bitter Gourd
1 handful of small dry black beans (garbonzo beans )
1 Lime size Tamarind (soaked in a cup of hot water)
2 Tbs Gingili Oil
1 Tsp Mustard Seeds
1 Tsp Fenugreek Seeds
¼ inch Piece Asafoetida or
½ Tsp Asafoetida Powder
¼ Tsp Turmeric Powder
1 Small piece of Jaggery or
2 Tsp Brown Sugar
A Few Curry Leaves
1-2 Tsp. Salt
2 Cups Water
3 ½ Tsp. Sambhar Powder

Bitter Gourd Bitter Melon Kozhambu

Bitter Gourd Kozhambu

Soak the tamarind in hot water for about 10 minutes.
Extract the tamarind juice and keep aside
Slice the bitter gourd lengthwise, take out the seeds and the pulp
Chop it into medium sized moon shaped pieces and keep aside
Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds
When the mustard seeds crackle, add the fenugreek seeds, dry black beans, curry leaves, turmeric powder and asafoetida.
Fry till the fenugreek seeds turn golden brown
Add the chopped bitter gourd and fry for 3-4 minutes
Pour in the extracted tamarind juice, sambhar powder, jaggery or brown sugar and the salt
Cook for 15 minutes on a medium flame till it reduces to half the quantity

The Kozhambu is now ready to be served. It tastes delicious with any lentil dishes and snacks like Pongal
The Dry beans used in this recipe is called Kondai Kadalai in Tamil and Black Kabuli Channa in the northern parts of India.