24 September 2010

Bittergourd, Chicken & Tomato Curry

As a child, I disliked bittergourd for its bitter taste and would shun whatever dish my mum whipped up with bittergourd. However, recent years I began to appreciate and like the bitterness of the fruit and more importantly, the health benefits. Sign of getting old? LOL!

Previously when I was still working, I never cook bittergourd since hubby doesn't like it. But since I'm now a SAHM, I have every opportunity to use ingredients that hubby doesn't like for my own lunch. It's also a chance for me to experiment certain dishes and if good, add on to our dinner menu list.

After trying the Stir Fry Bittergourd with Roast Pork, I searched the net for recipes using bittergourd and came across this very interesting dish, Bitter Melon Tomato Curry. I knew I have to give it a try, can imagine the flavours of tangy tomato with spicy curry!

The original recipe uses bittergourd and tomato only. As I want to make it a one-pot dish, I added chicken and pineapple. I thought the addition of pineapple might give the curry a tinge of sweetness. In fact, I think veggies like okra (lady fingers) and brinjal could be added as well =D

 Ingredients (serves 2-3 pax)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4-5 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tomato, cut into wedges
  • 1 small size bittergourd or 3/4 medium size bittergourd
  • 1 slice pineapple, cut into slices
  • 5-6 pieces of chicken fillet, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp tumeric powder
  • 3 tsp curry powder
  • Salt, black pepper, mixed herbs to taste
  1. Remove centre core of bittergourd and cut into thin strips. To lessen bitterness, soak in salt water for at least 5 mins.
  2. Marinate chicken pieces with some salt and pepper.
  3. Heat 2 tsp of oil in a pot, add garlic and shallot. Fry till fragrant. Add chicken pieces and fry till chicken turns colour. Add the tomato, bittergourd and pineapple.
  4. Stir-fry for 3 mins, then add cumin, tumeric and curry powder. Fry till all the ingredients are coated with the powder.
  5. Add enough water to cover 1/2 to 3/4 of the ingredients. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally.
  6. Once the ingredients are bubbling, turn to low heat and simmer for about 10 mins or till bittergourd turns soft (I like it soft). Add salt, black pepper and mixed herbs to taste.
  7. Serve hot with rice, prata or naans.

Instead of rice, I had my curry with prata.

I think I could have added a tad too much water as the curry became slightly watery. Nevertheless I love this soupy version and was slurping up all the curry =) I guess one could not go wrong with the wonderful aromas and tastes of spices. I thought all the ingredients were well complemented by the curry and the curry was in fact not spicy at all due to additions of tomato and pineapple.

Shall let hubby try and see if he likes it as well. And next time I could explore with more ingredients like okra and brinjal too. Meanwhile, will be searching for more recipes using bittergourd. Stay tune!

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