My Mother used to make Pavakkai (Bitter Gourd) Kozhambu (gravy). I made a little alteration by adding Chick Peas and it turned out to be a very tasty dish.
Medium Sized Bitter Gourd – 2 Nos
Oil – 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Fenugreek Seed – ¼ tsp
Mustard Seed – ¾ tsp
Red Chilli – 2 (broken)
Tamarind – small goose berry size
Curry Leaves – from 1 twig
Onion – 1 (cut into cubes)
Sambar Powder – 3 tsp
Asafoetida – 1/8 tsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/8 tsp
Jaggery – 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Tomato – 1
Garlic Pods – 3 to 4
Soak the Chick Peas for 8 hours. Wash and rinse. Pressure cook with a cup of water and salt for 7 to 8 whistles till the Chick Peas become soft (Not mashy). Keep aside.
Soak the Tamarind in a cup of water. Extract the pulp and keep aside.
Chop the Bitter Gourd (Pavakkai) into round slices. If the seeds are hard, discard the seeds.
Grind the Tomato and Garlic into a fine paste without adding any water. Also, grind two tbsp of the boiled Channa and keep aside.
Heat one tsp of Oil in a pan. Sauté the sliced Pavakkai pieces for 4 to 5 minutes in medium flame. Transfer to a small bowl and keep aside.
Add t tbsp of Oil in the same pan. When the Oil becomes hot, add Fenugreek and Mustard Seeds. When they splutter, add the Curry leaves and the broken Chilli. Stir for few seconds. Add the chopped Onion. Sauté till the Onion become translucent.
Add Sambar Powder, Salt, Asafoetida and Turmeric Powder. Stir for a minute.
Add the ground Tomato Puree. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes in medium flame.
Add the Sautéed Pavakkai and the boiled peas.
Mix well and then add the Tamarind water, Jaggery, ground Chick Peas. Add 2 cups of water or as required.
Cover the pan with a lid, simmer for 8 to 10 minutes in low flame.
Serve with steamed rice. Roti etc.
Note: You can skip adding the Chick Peas and make this recipe only with the bitter gourd.