This bitter preparation is a delicacy on a Bengali platter and relished by most of the Bengalis. It is considered to cleanse the system. It is simply fried on its own or potatoes can be added along with uchche/karela depending on individual choice and availability. Add kasundi paste if a more pungent flavour is desired.
2 medium size Karela (Bittergourd), chopped finely
1 tsp. panch phoron (equal quantity of fennel, cumin, mustard, fenugreek and nigella (kalonji) seeds)
2 whole dry red chilies, broken into two
2 tbsp. mustard oil
salt to taste
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. ghee or 1 tsp. kasundi / mustard paste (opt)
1. Heat oil in a pan and temper with whole dry red chilies and panch phoron. After it stops spluttering, add the chopped karela, salt and turmeric powder and stir fry on low flame till done. (this will take some time, so be patient).
2. When done, add the kasundi, if using, and stir well to combine. Serve with hot steaming rice. If not using kasundi, then treat yourself to some ghee (clarified butter).