Peanuts are roasted and are coarsely ground with spices and toasted sesame seeds. The freshly prepared spice powder is stuffed inside the bitter gourds and cooked on low heat till soft inside and crisp outside. Serve peanuts stuffed bitter gourd with plain steamed rice.
Makes: 6 Peanuts Stuffed Bitter Gourds.
Bitter Gourd 6 Small
Raw Peanuts 1/4 Cup
Sesame Seeds 4 Tbsps
Whole Red Chiles 2 – 3
Tamarind 2 inch Piece
Salt to taste
Oil 1 Tbsp + 1/4 tsp
Method of preparation:
Heat a pan on low heat, add raw peanuts and roast them till they turn golden brown on all sides.
Remove the peanuts from heat, add sesame seeds.
Toast the sesame seeds for few seconds and remove from heat.
Heat 1/4 tsp of oil in the same pan, add broken red chiles and fry till aromatic or until they are crisp and turn dark.
Cool the ingredients to room temperature.
Grind roasted peanuts, sesame seeds, red chiles, tamarind and salt into somewhat coarse powder.
Lightly scrape, wash, remove ends and make a vertical slit in the stomach of bitter gourd keeping its ends intact.
Remove and discard seeds to hollow the bitter gourds.
Stuff each bitter gourd with few tablespoons of prepared peanuts sesame powder.
Heat a tbsp of oil in a nonstick pan on medium low heat, arrange the stuffed bitter gourds in the pan.
Cook covered on low flame for bitter gourds to soften and starts to turn golden brown (around 8 minutes).
Uncover, make sure to carefully turn the bitter gourd to uncooked side and cook covered for few more minutes.
Uncover and turn the bitter gourds on the uncooked sides and fry till they are completely cooked and starts to turn dark brown.
Serve peanuts stuffed bitter gourd with plain steamed rice.
Notes: Choose small thin bitter gourds which aid in proper stuffing and frying.
Suggestions: If bitter gourd is not cooked properly, put them back on heat, sprinkle few drops of water if necessary and cook covered till done. If using large bitter gourds, either deep fry them or increase the cooking time. Add more oil while frying for a crispier version of stuffed bitter gourds
Variations: To reduce the bitterness, apply a tsp of salt all over and inside the bitter gourd. Leave aside for an hour or two and wash under running water before stuffing them.
Other Names: Peanuts Stuffed Bitter Gourds.