I usually make a trip to my parental home in June and July when Hari has his annual break. This year, my break extended to a forced vacation when I had dengue like viral fever (all the symptoms of dengue, with a drop of platelet count but dengue showing negative in blood tests).
And so I have had the good fortune of being nurtured with my mother’s food, that has helped me to recuperate and rejuvenate.
My mother dons many hats and leads a very busy and active lifestyle. Amidst all her hectic activities she breezes in and out of her kitchen, rustling up delicacies with great speed.
Bitter gourd pickle was a quick dish she rustled up yesterday, within a matter of minutes.
Most people have a love and hate relationship with bitter gourd. If you are someone who doesn’t like bittergourd and want to introduce it to your diet, you can start with this pickle recipe.
Many traditional cultures use bitter gourd as a medicine. It is highly revered in Ayurveda and bitter gourd is known to be tridoshic meaning balancing to all the three doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha. In fact, it cleanses the entire circulatory system. Bitter gourd also balances blood sugar and maintains blood glucose metabolism, making it very good for diabetics.
However, bitter gourd is best avoided during pregnancy.
This pickle is delicious with hot rice or as a condiment to a meal. It provides the bitter component to the 6 rasas or tastes that are required for a balanced meal- sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent.
Savouring this pickle with my family, is a memory I’m going to caddy for a lifetime!
It is very quick and easy to prepare and one of the best ways to eat bitter gourd. If you happen to make it, do share it in the comments section here or on social media with the hashtag #divinetaste and don’t forget to tag me @anushruti
Bitter Gourd Pickle Recipe
Fresh bitter gourd with chili, asafetida and turmeric.
1 cup bitter gourd, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp chili powder or to taste (replace with black pepper for an Ayurvedic recipe)
juice of 2 limes
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp hing
In a bowl put in the chopped bitter gourd and all the spices. Squeeze in the lime juice.
In a wok, heat some oil. Add mustard seeds and when they pop, stir in the asafoetida. Mix well.
Refrigerate and use within 15 days.