A super simple recipe for Hagalakayi Gojju | Bitter Gourd Curry that requires 6 basic ingredients and involves no grinding or mixing. Which will leave you addicted for sure. This also happens to be my grand mom’s signature recipe and tastes great with a bowl of hot steamed rice.
As a child, I still have distinct memories of how I used to run miles away when I heard the name of BITTER GOURD. While my dad and grand dad could almost live on it every other day I would curl up at the very mention of this vegetable which is quite often used in South Indian households.
Of course, back then little did I know how bittersweet this curry was and how ambrosial it tasted with a hot bowl of rice and an extra slathering of oil with it. Cut to the present, as recently as late 2016 to be precise, I happened to keep my apprehensions aside over a family lunch and just tasted an ounce of it on my plate perhaps. I was smitten instantly, as the flavours reached my taste buds and as I realised that it ain’t that bitter after all, the magic of new beginnings happened 😀
WHY BITTER GOURD IS USED EXCLUSIVELY WHEN PERFORMING CERTAIN RITUALS
As a matter of fact, I should tell you something about why this vegetable is used on certain occasions alone and not during festivities or an auspicious days. The nature of Bitter gourd as we all know it is obviously bitter, that being said, you would not want to eat or savour something bitter on an auspicious day like your birthday, a festive occasion or when you’re celebrating something significant in your life. On the contrary, when there are annual rituals where our ancestors are paid an obeisance, vegetables like bitter gourd, eggplant, citron (heralekayi), etc are used exclusively to remind us that it is a bitter memory that the soul left us on that particular day. You technically don’t celebrate it with sweet-meats and eat minimally to pay due respects through our prayers and good wishes to the departed soul. Hence the dishes made on these days do not involve elaborate cooking or feasting , but they’re rather simple and minimal.
Not to forget the wonders it does to people with diabetes. The juice of bitter gourd is so potent that it apparently reverses the effects of diabetes and keeps thyroid disorders at bay. No wonder our grand dads and grandmoms were so hale and hearty with such good health and fitness without the modern day gym, zumba and crash diet. They knew what they were eating and they enjoyed every bit of their food, life and everything else, they were content to say the least.
BITTER GOURD CURRY – HARDLY BITTER
I first thought the curry would be a vicious venom of a dish loaded with bitterness and nothing else, but when I happened to taste it, I must admit that it got me addicted to it. The perfect blend of spices and flavour that was elevated all the more with home made rasam power gave it the much needed kick. I was stoked to be relishing something so ambrosial that I had abandoned for the longest time. Just couldn’t stop at one morsel and couldn’t help but lick my fingers shamelessly 🙂
It just left me wondering how this shriveled up vegetable that I despised the most, just became my favourite thing to eat with rice ever! Like a love at first bite kinda story 🙂 If only I had cherished eating this as a child I would’ve known how precious it is, just like my daughter 😉
Trust me, it is so easy to make and involves no hassles, no grinding, roasting etc. You just need to get the frying right and the consistency. You’re sorted. Plus, you can store this in the refrigerator for about 15-20 days. And on the counter at room temperature for a week.
If you like curries you might also want to check out:
And this easy HULISOPPU | MIXED GREENS CURRY
Hagalakayi Gojju | Bitter Gourd Curry
A super simple recipe for Hagalakayi Gojju | Bitter Gourd Curry that requires 6 basic ingredients and involves no grinding or mixing. Which will leave you addicted for sure. This also happens to be my grand mom's signature recipe and tastes great with a bowl of hot steamed rice.
- The primary trick to extend the shelf life of this curry is to fry the bitter gourd really well until they turn a bit tender. Doing this will ensure a better shelf life and also enhances the taste as the flavours blend well with the spices.
- The soaking in turmeric and salt water is done to get rid of the bitterness as much as possible.