Masala mixture stuffed in Kerala or Bittermelon making a perfect lipsmacking side dish which goes well with chapatis or dal rice.
1/2 cup split chickpeas
2 tablespoons tamarind
3 teaspoons salt
1.5 teaspoons red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander cumin seeds powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur)
2 teaspoons coarsely ground fennel seeds
2 tablespoons tamarind pulp
1/4 cup sesame oil
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon asafetida
Process : Soak overnight the split chickpeas. Next morning wash and dry the bittermelon, slit in half and remove out all the seeds. Keep a big pot of hot water to boil. Once the water starts boiling drop the bittermelon wiith salt. Cover and cook for 10 minutes on low heat, remove the lid and add the tamarind. Cook for another 5 minutes. Check with the knife if the melons are tender but still firm and looks slightly green.
Remove the melons and empty in a bowl, discard the water. soak some tamarind with hot water and set aside (for the pulp). Discard the water from the soaked chickpeas, wash it well and blend it with 1.5 tbsps of water. Make sure the paste is not runny. In a small skillet add some portion of the sesame oil, once hot then add the asafetida, keeping heat on low. Add the paste with the powdered spices, remaining sesame oil and salt, cook for few minutes by continuously stirring it.
Add the tamarind pulp, cook for another 5 minutes and then add the coarsely ground fennel. Cook for few minutes and then turn off the stove. In a big saucepan and skillet add sunflower oil and heat it, by that time stuff the bittermelons and also smear some paste on the outer skin it. One by one place them in the pan and cover with a lid . Cook on low heat on all the sides and top part until the color changes and the stuffing is cooked completely. This will take around 15-20 minutes.
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