Saturday, May 28, 2011

Karela rice

I suppose I should be embarrassed about even considering this a recipe - and I suppose I am, a bit. But if I didn't write about it, there wouldn't be a post. There needs to be a post, and many more posts, if I am to reach my target of 500 posts. Not 500 posts this year (I wish!), but 500 posts in total since I started this blog. Looked at it that way, my output isn't particularly noteworthy, really. But it's all I have.

Anyway, I wish I could remember which blog it was where a commenter had mentioned that she always mixed raw karela with some yogurt and microwaved it for 3 minutes before going on to cook the vegetable on the hob.. and this way the karela was NEVER bitter.

I thought I’d try that out too, but I’m not sure how much it helped, if it did at all. Maybe it reduced the bitterness a little - but then I don’t have a huge problem with the bitterness of the vegetable when it’s shallow fried, especially as a side dish with rice. In any case, unless you try it cooked with yogurt and without, and compare the two side-by-side, it’s pretty hard to quantify any reduction in the level of bitterness in any useful way. Next time, maybe.

The karela rice only happened because I forgot to make sambar or any other kuzhambu, and I didn’t have any paruppu podi or thogayal ready – and only realized this when I got hungry for my dinner.

No problem – I mixed the karela dry-fry with the rice and called it “karela rice” and had that with yogurt, thereby getting around the problem of the missing sambar. Inspired innovation? Or merely good spin put on a pathetic situation? You decide.

Recipe for: Karela rice
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Ingredients:

1 cup basmati rice, cooked and cooled
2 medium karela (bitter melon/gourd)
2 tbsp yogurt/curd
1 tsp mustard seeds
5-6 fresh curry leaves
2 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
3 tbsp vegetable spice mix

Method:

1. Halve the karela lengthwise, then slice it into thin half-moons.
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2. Toss the pieces with the yogurt/curd until they are evenly coated. Microwave, covered, for 3 minutes. Reserve.
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3. Heat the oil in a pan and add the curry leaves and mustard seeds. Let the seeds pop on meium-high heat, then add the karela pieces and stir well.
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4. Let the karela cook on low heat for 8-10 minutes, till they are soft and cooked. Then turn the heat up to medium so that they can become a little crisp and brown. Add salt to taste and mix in.
5. Now add the 3 tbsp vegetable spice mix and stir well.
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6. Now mix in the rice gently with the karela, so as not to break the grains. Turn the heat down to low and let the rice heat up thoroughly. Serve hot with raita and papad or potato chips.

RECIPE: KARELA RICE

Ingredients:
1 cup basmati rice, cooked and cooled
2 medium karela (bitter melon/gourd)
2 tbsp yogurt/curd
1 tsp mustard seeds
5-6 fresh curry leaves
2 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
3 tbsp vegetable spice mix

Method:
1. Halve the karela lengthwise, then slice it into thin half-moons.
2. Toss the pieces with the yogurt/curd until they are evenly coated. Microwave, covered, for 3 minutes. Reserve.
3. Heat the oil in a pan and add the curry leaves and mustard seeds. Let the seeds pop on meium-high heat, then add the karela pieces and stir well.
4. Let the karela cook on low heat for 8-10 minutes, till they are soft and cooked. Then turn the heat up to medium so that they can become a little crisp and brown. Add salt to taste and mix in.
5. Now add the rice to the karela along with 3 tbsp of the vegetable spice mix. Mix it in gently so as not to break the rice grains.
6. Turn the heat down to low and let the rice heat up thoroughly. Serve hot with raita and papad or potato chips.

2 comments:

Hari Chandana said...

Looks yummy !!
Indian Cuisine

chitra said...

I have a lot of fun reading your blog! It's never about just food :-)