The first vegetable that comes to mind when we think about diabetes and diet from an Indian perspective is bitter gourd. The gourd which is obviously bitter is said to naturally lower the blood sugar levels in diabetics when consumed. I have seen people in our circles who consume bitter gourd directly or consume the juice. That is going to extremes in my world considering the level of bitterness of these gourds. There are several ways to cook and enjoy bitter gourd if you consume the vegetable and today's recipe is one such simple curry. My mother never tries to mask the bitterness of the gourds using any sweeteners in her recipes where as my MIL used to add sweeteners which made her version, an enjoyable one without any complaints. And so adding sweeteners in this recipe is optional, depending upon ones' ability to handle the bitterness.
Ingredients: (Servings 3)
1 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. chana dal / split yellow chickpeas
1 tsp. mustard seeds
One big onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
3 bitter gourds, chopped finely (about 1.5 cups)
1/8 tsp. turmeric powder
Salt to taste + extra
Red chili powder to taste
3/4 tsp. cumin powder
Jaggery powder / sweetener of your choice (Optional)
* Trim the edges and chop the bitter gourd fine. Sprinkle some salt over the bitter gourd bits and leave it aside for about 10 - 15 minutes in a colander. Then squeeze out the water from the bitter gourd and wash them thoroughly. Squeeze out again any extra water present. This step is optional and is done to cut down some of the bitterness of the gourds.
* Heat oil in a saute pan and add chana dal and mustard seeds. When dal starts to turn brownish, add the onions and fry until they turn golden brown. Next add the bitter gourd, turmeric and salt and cook until the gourds softened and cooked.
* Add chili powder, cumin powder and any sweetener if using to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes more.
* Turn off the stove and serve warm with rice.
This goes to Blogging marathon #60 under the theme 'Healthy Recipes / Diabetic Recipes'. Check the link to see what other marathoners are cooking.