I am on an epic quest to cook every single one of my mother’s dishes at least once (See the previous recipe for aloo and string beans.) And I’m inviting you Aerogrammers to tag along. Today we make karela (bitter melon) with ground turkey. It takes a while to make, but it’s worth the effort. I promise. According to my mother, it’s a Pakistani delicacy. Here we go!
- Karela (bitter melon)
- Ginger Paste
- Serrano Peppers
- Cumin Seeds
Step 1: Strip the Seeds & Slice It Up
You start by trimming both ends and splitting the karela in half. Scoop out all of the pulpy seeds inside the karela. It’s fun work.
Slice each karela into little pieces. Aren’t they gorgeous?
Step 2: The Magic of Salt
Rub the entire mixture with salt. I used sea salt because I ran out of regular salt, but regular salt is preferred. Let sit for a few hours.
Return to the karela and rinse out the salt.
Step 3: Pick Your Protein
Chop a quarter of a large onion. Throw in pan along with some vegetable oil on medium heat. Add minced garlic. Cook until translucent. Add some garlic paste, cumin seeds, tumeric, cloves and salt to taste.
Add your ground turkey/beef/chicken/imitation meat product/protein of choice.
Cook through until the ground meat is browned. In a separate pan throw in your salt-treated karela.
4. Let’s Get This Party Sautéed
Sauté the kerala for at least 30 minutes on medium heat. The karela should go from a bright green color to a dull green. Toss in the chopped tomatoes.
After the karela has softened, add two to three sliced serrano peppers and one-half chopped onion. Stir for a few more minutes. (You want the onions to be crunchy.) Add turkey.
5. Serve With Naan Or Roti. Enjoy!
Find Kishwer Vikaas on Twitter at @phillygrrl.