Bitter Gourd and Tomatoes

By: Esther Vasa

BITTER GOURDS: These bitter vegetables are nothing but a mine of nutrients. As the name suggests they are bitter but when cooked with a right choice of spices and flavors they turn out to be very delicious. They are loaded with B-complex and C vitamins, folate, iron, calcium, potassium, beta-carotene and zinc. This is a wonderful vegetable for those of us actively fighting MS.

Bitter Gourds - 4
Large Onion - 1 (diced)
Medium-sized Tomatoes - 4 (diced)
Juice of a Lemon or Lime
Red Chilli Powder or Cayenne Pepper - a few pinches
Jaggery or Brown Sugar - 1 tsp
Garlic Cloves - 4 (minced)
Himalayan Salt per your taste
Olive Oil - 1 tbsp

Heat up the oil in a large wok and add the onions; allow them to cook for a minute and then add the cut bitter gourd (you could first cut in lengthwise and then make bite-sized pieces). Let these cook for ten minutes with salt and pepper; stir thoroughly every minute. By this time bitter gourds should be tender. Add jaggery and lime or lemon juice and stir well. Allow it to simmer for another two minutes. Switch off your stove and then garnish with garlic and mix in the tomatoes after thirty minutes. For this dish, tomatoes should not be cooked. You could enjoy it with a piece of gluten-free bread made at home without yeast.

For a variation, you could use peppers of all colors instead of tomatoes. A friend of mine, Janet Selman - Cole shared the idea with me!

Serves: 3-4