Aubergine-egg pant pan fried

Best pan-fried eggplant recipe – A great vegetarian choice of dinner

The purple magic!

Aubergine/Eggplant fry
Eggplant fry

The glossy, purple aubergines could come to your plate in many delicious forms but believe me, this is one of the best dishes! Hardly any oil in these crunchy, delicious aubergine circles and you will come to love them either as a side dish or a starter! It is indeed purple magic!

Aubergines are healthy, versatile, and supremely delicious when prepared with care. The soft middle can absorb a lot of oil like a sponge, so it is wise not to deep fry or add too much oil into any dish you prepare using this vegetable.

I happened to invent this recipe, while casually experimenting on an exciting new recipe with aubergines and was delighted with the outcome. This is a very simple, easy peasy recipe, but you cannot underestimate the well-balanced taste!

Step by step recipe is given below with all the necessary details. So, let’s make it!

Ingredients – omit cumin powder if you prefer a less spicy version

Ingredients:

Aubergines/egg plants2
Red chili powder1tbsp
Cumin powder1tbsp
Turmeric powder1/2tbsp
Salt 1/2tsp
Cornflakes (plain)1 cup
Olive oil2tbsp

How to make:

  • Slice the aubergines thinly
  • Keep aside
  • Crush a cup of plain cornflakes
  • Mix all the spices together
  • Add a little water and make a thick paste
  • Rub the masala paste on both sides of aubergine circles
  • Keep all the slices on a plate
  • Now, dust cornflakes on both sides of aubergine slices
  • Stack all the prepared circles on a plate
eggplant fry
  • Heat a little olive oil in a flat pan and arrange all the aubergine slices and fry both sides, gently turning occasionally
  • Keep the fried aubergines on a stack of tissues for a while and serve immediately!

A Sure Antidote For Diabetes – 4 Delicious Bittergourd Recipes

Bitter gourd, Karella
Karella – Bitter gourd
Bitter gourd/Karella
With just simple basic ingredients: salt, turmeric, chili powder along with onions and tomatoes, you can create wonders with bitter gourd

It is not a secret that Karela is relished by those who are aware of its therapeutic value and innumerable health benefits.  This page is especially dedicated to bitter gourd/ bitter melon recipes.

Karela has active substances such as Charantin with anti-diabetic properties which act as insulin that help to control blood sugar levels!  Diabetic patients could reap the full benefits of Karela by drinking the juice it first thing in the morning to flush out toxins and excess blood sugar.  Consuming Karela on a regular basis will help the body to combat building up excess sugar levels and stay in control of diabetes.

YouTube video with a detailed demonstration of the recipe:

Recipes are listed below:

My Amazon picks;

Recipe No: 1

Bittergourd/Karela Stir-fried with Onions – Delicious side dish

bittergourd, karella stir fry

This recipe outshines all my other Karela recipes for its delicious taste and crunchy texture which is incredibly appetizing.  You won’t believe that there will not be the slightest unappealing bitterness in this dish as the sourness in lemon juice and the sweetness in onions balances all the bitter-sweet taste magically.

You can make this simple recipe and enjoy it at least once a week and keep yourself healthy and toxic-free!

Ingredients needed:

Bittergourd 3 medium
Onions2
Kashmiri Chilli Powder or usual chili powder1 tsp
Turmeric1/2 tsp
Lemon juice1 tsp
Saltas required
Olive oil2 tbsp

Let’s make:

Sliced Karella
  • Wash and pat dry Karella and cut dainty, thin rounds with seeds and skin on (nothing should go wasted)
  • Sprinkle a little salt and keep aside for 15 mins. This will soften the raw Karella
  • Add olive oil and heat up a wide pan
  • Add Karella and stir fry for about 3-4 mins or until tender
  • Push to a side and add a bit more oil and let it heat up. Drop 1tsp full of cumin seeds and let brown
  • Now, Add in the chopped onions and continue stir-frying for a few mins
  • Add chili powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix all together
  • Sprinkle a little hot water around the pan. Cover and simmer under low flame
  • Open the lid, give a good stir and check if the Karellas are soft enough to bite. If not cover, sprinkle some hot water around the pan, cover and simmer through a litte longer
  • Open the lid, squeeze lemon juice, give a good mix and take out of the stove
  • Serve as a side dish with rice or rotis.
  • Delicious!

My Amazon pics;

Recipe No: 2 

Stuffed Bittergourd/Karela – Delicious in every bite!

karella stuffed

I described this recipe as “Karella, at its best” because, nothing of the vegetable is wasted in the cooking process: the whole pod of this vegetable, the skin, seeds, and the ‘fleshy part’, is being used to make this glorious dish; not only is it delicious, but also is rich in medicinal value.

This particular cooking method stems from Punjabi cuisine, which later on spread its way across India, favoured by many cultures for its unique taste, enriched with numerous health benefits.

Although stuffed Karela is normally deep-fried in some recipes, I took steps to keep its rare medicinal value intact: I steam them, with little olive oil sprayed all over.  Hence, Karela comes with its best to your plate!

Scrape the skin off

  • Wash Karella and scrape the skin off
  • Slit in the middle, take the seeds out from the cavity using a small spoon
  • Chop the skin and seeds very thinly, sprinkle 1 tbsp of salt and keep aside for 1/2 hr
  • Rub salt inside the cavities of Karella and keep aside at the same time.
  • After 1/2 hr, wash both Karella cavities,  chopped skin and seeds and squeeze, drain the water away using a sieve

Prepare the filling

  • Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan
  • Splutter cumin seeds and Hing
  • Add chopped onion and saute until golden
  • Add ginger-garlic paste. Fry
  • Add all the spices and fry
  • Add gram flour and mix all thoroughly
  • Add salt and check the taste
  • Toss some chopped coriander leaves
  • Your filling is ready!

Fill Karella

  • Fill cavities of each Karella with the filling.
  • Spray olive oil around the pan and arrange Karela side by side.

Stream

  • Toss a bit of oil on top
  • Cover and let the Karella cook in the steam under low flame while turning occasionally, not letting them burn
  • Finally, sprinkle little olive oil on top, toss some coriander leaves and serve warm with rice or rotis.

Recipe No : 3

Bittergourd/Karela Curry – Juicy and flavourful curry inspired by Panjabi cuisine

karella curry

This juicy Karella/Bittergourd curry, inspired by Panjabi cuisine is a delicious blend of the bitterness of Karelas and the natural sweetness of onions and tomatoes.  You will be surprised to learn that, to produce such a delicacy you will need only 3 main ingredients; Karela, Onions, and tomatoes

By adding each of the ingredients proportionately, you can produce a mouth-wateringly delicious dish.

karavila

And only 3 main spices :

  • Chilli powder
  • Turmeric
  • Salt

What you will need;

Bitter Gourd/Karella/Karavila3 medium
Onions(Indian Onion)4 large
Juicy tomatoes4 large
Chili powder1/2tbsp
Turmeric1/2 tsp
Salt1/2 tsp
Olive oil3 tbsp

Let’s make it:

  • Cut the Bitter gourds in thin rounds. Do not wash before cutting.
karavila-300x203
karavila-3-300x263

Sprinkle Salt liberally, about 2 tbsp, and leave for up to 4 hrs.  This will take out some of the bitterness of Karella and make them soft enough to cook.   If you are serving this dish to a diabetic patient, leave only for 2 hrs in salt or not salt at all, so that most of the bitterness which is the antidote for diabetes,  is intact.

  • Wash Karella in a colander under a cold water tap.
  • Squeeze out water.
  • Heat up  Olive oil in a wide pan.
  • Add the round Karella pieces and fry them until they turn Brown/Golden while turning constantly. (Pls. see the pic for the colour)
karella-300x215
  • Meanwhile cut tomatoes in small chunks and onions thinly. (Adding more onions and tomatoes make this dish juicier and larger in quantity.
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  • Once the Karella pieces turned into brown/golden colour, add tomatoes, onions, chili powder, turmeric and 1 & 1/2 tsp of salt, all at the same time.
tom-300x224

Now mix everything together and cook under medium fire, uncovered.  Remember to stir every now and again allowing it not to touch the bottom of the pan.  Do not lower the flame to a minimum or cover the pan as the curry will become too watery.

  • The Karella will take about 1/2 hr to cook properly
  • Taste and add more salt if required
  • Slit three green bullet chilies in the middle and drop
  • Cover and lower the flame to the minimum and cook for about 5 min.  This will allow the juices to run
  • Let the curry rest for a while before serving (make it the day before for a juicier version)
  • Serve with hot white rice or chapatis

Recipe No: 4

Bittergourd/Karella Stir-Fried With Fresh Coconuts

Karella stir fry

I love the crunchiness of the Karella slices in this dish despite its mild bitterness and the fresh coconut in it contributes to a very pleasant sweetness.

The best news is that while making this stir fry, Karella is in its natural form and intact with all its medicinal values. Well known as the world’s best antidote for diabetes, bitter gourd,  eaten raw or half-cooked like in this dish, flushes out the excess sugar and toxins in the system and purifies it.

This dish could be eaten on its own or as a side dish with steamed rice.

So, let’s make it:

Ingredients you will need;

karavila2-300x175
 Light green, very tender bitter gourd3
Freshly scraped/grated coconuta handful
Salt to taste 
Pepper powder1 tsp
Onions1 large
Curry leaves and two pinches of turmeric 
Oil1 tbsp

 Let’s make;

Recipe 5

Bittergourd/Karella Salad

Bitter gourd salad

This beautiful salad, cleverly balanced its bitter and sweetness is highly appetizing, one can finish the whole dish on its own!

However, it is usually served as a side dish with steamed rice in tropical Sri Lanka. While deep frying, one can argue that its natural goodness is lost, but, we must not forget that all nutrition values are not lost. For a change, this is the best way to entice someone who is put off by the bitterness of Karella.

Ingredients needed:

Karella3
Red onions1
Green chili1
Lemon juice and salt to taste
Tomatoes1
Pepper powder

Let’s make it:

  • Cut Karella into thin rounds
  • Dry fry until the wetness dries off
  • Deep-fry under medium flame until crispy
  • Take out from the frying pan and drop on to a kitchen paper and let the excess oil drain out
  • Thinly slice onions, tomatoes and green chillies
  • Add lemon, salt and pepper powder. Give a good mix
  • Now add the fried Karella and fold all together
  • Serve fresh

Beetroot Rice – A Colourful And Healthy Rice Dish for the weekend

Beetroot rice

Serve this pretty dome of flavourful Beetroot rice to any kid with fussy eating habits and witness how delightfully he/she will polish the plate off in minutes!  Make a cheerful food art blending several other colours and kids will go crazy!

This is definitely a very clever way to include beetroot into your kid’s diet.  The vibrant glossy red colour, the natural sweetness of the beetroot and the most uncomplicated way of making it preserve all the goodness, flavours and colour in the dish.

What is special in this recipe is that it tastes simply the best on its own without any accompaniment.  However, I add a sliced boiled egg and scatter some poppadums when I serve it for older kids.  For little ones, just serve as uncomplicated as it is!

Gather the following ingredients:

Cooked Rice1
Beetroot1 large or 2
Onion1
Garlic3 cloves
Olive oil or any kind of oil1 tbsp
Butter1/2 tbsp
Curry Leaves (optional) 
Salt and Pepper powder 

Let’s make :

  • Grate the beetroot finely (Use a fork to hold the pieces to make it easier)
  • Heat oil in a wide wok
  • Saute’ chopped onion
  • Add chopped garlic and stir fry a little
  • Break the curry leaves into small pieces and drop
  • Add all the grated beetroot and stir fry a minute
  • Add salt and pepper powder
  • Drop a dollop of butter for a buttery taste (You can omit this for a healthier version)
  • Add rice little by a little while mixing rapidly
  • Give a good mix and adjust the taste
  • Serve in a bowl or as a dome on a pretty plate
  • Yum!
Beetroot rice

Vegetable Rotis – popular vegetarian street food in Sri Lanka

vegetable roti
vegetable roti

These dangerously addictive vegetable rotis are the most sorted street food in Sri Lanka! They are spicy, delicious, and wholesome! Whosoever tasted, would naturally want more! However, you can make a healthier version of these at home, keeping the same taste and appearance but with less oil and more fresh vegetables.

It is a bit of a cumbersome task to knead the floor to bring to the right texture but when it is being achieved, the rotis are soft and perfect in taste. I have used a generous amount of veggies and very little oil in this recipe to keep it healthy and appetising at the same time.

So, let’s make it,

1st Step: Make the dough for Rotis

You will need :

 All-purpose flour 3 cups
 Salt 1 tsp
Oil 1 tbsp
 Sugar 1 tsp

Knead

  • Rub flour, sugar, salt and oil together
  • Add lukewarm water little by little and knead for about 5 – 8 mins until the dough doesn’t stick on to your fingers
  • Divide into equal sized balls giving an extra kneed to each ball
  • Rub oil on each ball.  Place on a tray a little apart from each other
  • Cover with a cling film and let them rest at least an hour (ideally, 2hrs)
Groti

2nd Step: Make the vegetable filling.

You will need :

Salt 1/2 tsp
Ground black pepper and chili powder 1/2 tsp each
Garlic chopped 3 cloves
Green chili slit 1
Onion chopped1 large
Boiled potatoes1/2 cup
Carrots – cut into thin strips 1 cup
Spring onions chopped or leek cut thinly1/4 cup
White Cabbage – shredded thinly 1 cup
Turmeric powder/Mild curry powder1/2 tsp each
Oil1 tbsp

Stir fry :

  • In a large wok, add 2 tbsp of oil and heat up
  • Add garlic and brown the chopped onion
  • Add carrots stripes, shredded cabbage and start stir-frying until they wilt slightly
  • Add the slit green chilli and leek and continue stir-frying for a min or two.  Do not overcook the veggies
  • Toss salt, turmeric powder and curry powder
  • Now add mashed boiled potatoes, leaving a few small chunks
  • Add a generous amount of ground black pepper.  Check the taste
  • Give a good mix, cover and keep aside

3rd Step: Fill and bake the Rotis

  • Heat up a non-stick flat pan and spray oil all over
  • Rub oil on your kitchen top and hands
  • Take a dough ball, flatten it by pressing down lightly and then drag from sides being careful not to tear it.
  • Place a heap of the veggie mix in the middle
  • Fold from sides, covering the veggie mix to shape it up as a rectangle
  • Place gently on the pan
  • Repeat the same steps with other dough balls
  • Arrange them around the pan and baking them, filliping over every now and again until the outer cover turns golden
  • Bake all the sides by tilting them up
  • Leave to cool
  • Serve warm with sliced raw onions or ketchup
  • Delicious!

Upma – A silky soft veggie semolina Upma

nfd

It is interesting to know that South Indians’ have a variety of light dishes for breakfast but their most loved choice is Upma. Upma is light, silky and healthy as it is mainly made out of semolina.

This could be made plain, omitting the vegetables, but by adding any veggies of your choice could make it healthy and very appealing too.  

Ingredients you will need:

Semolina / Rulang / Sooji1 cup
Hot water2 cups
Yellow split lentils – chana dhal1 tbsp
1 Carrot – cut into tiny cubes 
4 Green beans – cut into tiny pieces 
Curry leaves 
Green chilli – split in the middle1
Mustard seeds 1/4 tsp
Onion – chopped1
 Olive oil 1 tbsp
nfd

Let’s make :

To get the soft and silky texture,  stick to the following proportions:

2 cups of water to 1 cup of Semolina.  A little more water could turn it into a lumpy mess.

  • First, dry roast semolina for a min or two being careful not to change its colour and keep aside
  • Heat oil in a non-stick pan and crackle mustard seeds
  • Throw a handful of crushed curry leaves and chana dhal.  Slightly brown
  • Add the chopped onion and saute until golden and add the green chilli
nfd
  • Now, add the chopped carrots and beans.  Stir fry a bit
  • Pour 2 cups of hot water and add salt to taste and let it boil away
  • Then, slowly add half of the roasted semolina while stirring rapidly, otherwise, it will give lumps
  • Add the other half while stirring
nfd
  • Mix all together, check for salt,  close the lid and let it cook under very low fire for exactly 3 mins
  • Open the lid, let the steam escape, squeeze 1/4 of lemon give a good mix
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot

Tips:

  • To make it look more attractive, you can fill into a  glass bowl, press down and turn upside down on a plate, then remove the bowl slowly, leaving a dome in the middle. Yippee!
  • You can add a pinch of saffron to make it look subtly golden colour while cooking.
steamed veggies

Streamed Vegetables – A perfect healthy dinner for everyone

boiled vegetables

An assortment of vegetables in vibrant colours, stir-fried mushrooms and a couple of fried fish fillets to go with them, has the culinary potential to be a favourite choice for a complete and healthy dinner.

Rather than boiling veggies, they are steamed here to keep their natural goodness intact.  Also, mushrooms are stir-fried lightly in soy sauce so that they enhance the taste of this platter.

I have introduced garlic into this, because of its invaluable health benefits as a cholesterol buster and a purifier of the whole system of internal organs.

Now prepare the veggies:

  • Take any choice of veggies, wash and cut them into any shape you prefer. Just peel the garlic cloves. (Broccoli, Cauliflower, Green beans, Carrots, Peas, Okra, Cabbage or any other of your favourite vegetable will go just right with this platter)
  • Place all the veggies and garlic cloves in the steamer and steam until the veggies are soft but their colour should be intact.  If you steam a longer time, their natural colours turn dull
  • Heat a wide wok and drop a teaspoon of butter and let it melt
  • Toss the veggies in butter, season them with salt and pepper

Prepare the mushrooms :

  • Slice up the mushrooms into chunks
  • Heat up a little bit of olive oil in a wok
  • Toss the mushrooms until they are soft
  • Sprinkle some soy sauce and stir fry a little. (do not overcook)
  • Sprinkle two pinches of sugar and toss a little longer
  • Mushrooms are done!

Serve :

  • Now arrange all veggies and mushrooms in a wide plate attractively
  • Bon appetite !!

thosai

Thosa With Creamy Tomato Curry And Green Sambol

Thosa
thosai

Thosa is a big peg of South-Indian cuisine jigsaw and has been quite popular in the Indian sub-continent and beyond.

They are made from a combination of Urind flour and Rice flour with an unquestionable potential for a healthy meal. Green chili coconut chutney and tomato gravy is the best accompaniments in order to make the meal an unforgettable culinary feast.

Ingredients needed;

Urind whole1/2 cup
Basmati rice (raw)2 cups
Fenugreek sees1/2 tsp
Onions1 medium
Curry leaves, a few red chili whole, garlic chopped
Saltto taste
Bicarbonate of soda3 pinches

 Let’s make:

Soak Urind and Rice

  • Wash and place both Urind, Basmati rice and fenugreek seeds in a wide bowl and fill it with water at least two levels above the grains.
  • Leave it overnight – uncovered.  If you cover, the grains become slimy.

Grind to a paste

  • Next day morning, drain the water and grind the grains into a smooth paste using a glass or two lukewarm water

Ferment

  • Place it in a wide bowl, cover with a tea towel and then a heavy lid on top
  • Let it ferment near your stove, where enough heat generates during other cooking

Season

  • Around 5 p.m. open the lid and mix more warm water, a tsp or two salt and 2 pinches of bicarb
  • Close the lid again.  Let it rest

Let’s make Thosa

  • Around 7pm your batter is ready to make Thosa
  • Now, make the tempering that will enhance the taste and aroma

Cut the onion into small pieces, crush curry leaves, break red chili whole into small pieces and shake off the seeds, cut a garlic clove into small pieces, keep ready 1/4 tsp of mustard seeds ready.

Heat up 2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan and toss mustard seeds first.  Let it crackle and toss the rest .  Let all fry and turn into brown colour.  Be careful not to burn them.  Now pour everything on to the batter and give a good stir.

Thosa5
  • Heat up a flat non-stick pan and spray oil on to it
  • Take a ladle full and slowly drop it on the pan and quickly spread it around the pan with  the back of the spoon being careful not to let the spoon touch the bottom of the pan
  • Bake both sides until golden
  • Place all cooked ones on a foil sheet

Make the accompaniments

Tomato curry 

tomato curry

How to make;

  • Chop two large juicy tomatoes and a large onion
  • Heat up oil in a pan, crackle some mustard seeds
  • Add curry leaves and the chopped onion. Brown them
  • Add salt, chili powder, a little curry powder, turmeric and continue stir frying
  • Add chopped tomatoes and a slit green chili, stir fry until all comes together as thick
  • Pour water, about 1 and a 1/2 cup.  Mix all, cover and cook under medium flame
  • After 3-4 mins cooking , open the lid and mix 2 tbsp of Maggi coconut milk powder or fresh coconut milk-thick version.  Stir, cover and lower the flame
  • Cook under low flame about 3 mins until the gravy becomes thick and aromatic
  • Spread some crushed curry leaves on top
  • Sprinkle two pinches of brown sugar.  Adding sugar will beautifully balance the flavours in this gravy
  • Done!!

Green Sambol

green chili sambol

How to make;

  • Place two chopped green chilies, Some crushed curry leaves, a handful of fresh coconut, chopped half an onion, salt and crush all together using a hand blender
  • Mix freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Adjust the taste
  • Ready!

coconut rotis

Pol Roti Recipe – Most popular SRI LANKAN Coconut discs

coconut rotis

I am not wasting many words to describe how much the native Sri Lankans love these creamy coconut discs. They are a staple in the Sri Lankan diet and loved by adults and kids alike. Tourists from various countries who tour around the island never forget to taste these.

The most popular version of these is the plain creamy version made by mixing plain flour and scraped coconut together with salt and a dash of chili powder. However, I prefer to toss some chopped onions, curry leaves, grated carrots, and chopped green chilies into the dough and kneed with an ample amount of scrapped coconut and bake them on a traditional cast iron pan.

Pol roti / coconut roti

Ingredients needed:

Plain creamy version
Fresh coconut1 cup
Plain flour2 cups
Onion1 chopped into very small pieces
Chilli powder1 tsp
Salt1 tsp
Butter1 tbsp
Lukewarm water to knead the dough1 cup
Flavourful version
Green chili1 chopped
Curry leavesA handful cut into thin pieces
Salt1tsp or to taste
Red chili powder1/4 tsp
Butter/coconut oil1 tbsp
Lukewarm water to knead the dough1 cup or a little more

Let’s make:

The creamy, plain version

  • Mix flour, salt, coconut, chilli powder and butter together and knead by adding lukewarm water little by little. Make a soft dough ball, cover and keep aside for 20-30 mins
roti8

The flavourful version

  • Mix chopped onion, green chilli, red chilli powder, curry leaves, grated carrots, salt and butter with scraped coconut using your fingers and then mix with flour. Add lukewarm water little by little and make a softball. Cover and keep aside for 20-30 mins for all the flavours to combine nicely
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  • From the dough, make equal size balls and place them on a foil sheet
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  • On another foil sheet flatten one ball and cut into a disc shape using a round lid or a cookie cutter
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  • Heat up a flat cast iron pan or a roti tawa and brush a little oil
  •  Place a dough ball on the hot pan taking care not to damage the shape.  The easiest way is to bring the foil itself near and slowly lower it onto the pan
  • After a minute, flip over and keep flipping over and until the disc is baked properly on both sides. If you pan has space you can place two or three discs at the same time. Press gently and if a whoosh sound emits then it has to bake further a few mins as the water has not evaporated fully.
roti5
  • Once out of the pan, let them release steam by placing on a wire rack.
  • Serve hot with a spicy chicken or mutton curry or just a blob of butter along with lunu miris make it simply irresistible.
  • Lunu Miris/Chilli chutney – pound together chilli powder/chilli flakes with salt, some scraped Maldive fish and finally mixing a dash of lemon juice to balance the taste.

Do not forget to sip a plain tea made with sugar and crushed ginger to finish off to give the fullest satisfaction of this meal.

Karela curry

Delicious Bitter gourd/ Karela curry – Inspired by Punjabi cuisine

This juicy Karela dish, inspired by Panjabi cuisine, is a delicious blend of the bitterness of Karelas and the natural sweetness of onions and tomatoes.  You will be surprised to learn that, to produce such a delicacy you will need only 3 main ingredients:

  • Tomatoes
  • Karella
  • Onions

And only 3 main spices :

  • Chilli powder
  • Turmeric
  • Salt

Bitter Gourd, also known as karella or karawila is a sure diabetes buster according to ayurvedic medicine.  This vegetable can be turned into a variety of dishes, depending on the type of cuisine you would like to follow.  However, If you get the ingredients and their proportions right this is simply the best karella dish you can prouduce.

I am grateful to Munaza, my Pakistani friend and her mom, for her dedicated culinary guidance in making this dish.

You will need the following ingredients:

Bitter Gourd/Karella/Karavila3 medium
Onions(Indian Onion)3 large or 4 medium
Chili powder1 tbsp
Juicy Tomatoes3 large or 4 medium
Turmeric1 tsp
Salt1 tsp
Olive oil or any cooking oil3 tbsp

Let’s make it:

  • Wash and cut Karella into thin rounds, slice onions thinly and slice tomatoes
Just three main ingredients will make magic!
karavila-3-300x263
  • Heat oil and drop the Karela rounds. Stir fry under low flame until soft
  • Drop all the sliced onions and diced tomatoes
  • Add chili powder, salt, and turmeric powder
  • Continue frying until all look juicy and sufficiently cooked
  • Cover and cook under very low flame
  • Occasionally, give a good stir and cover again.
  • Drop a couple of bullet chilies, slit in the middle. Lower the flame. Let cook
  • Taste and add more salt if required
  • Switch the flame off, cover, and let the juices run and settle
  • Enjoy with a bowl of steaming white rice or chapatis!

More recipes inspired by Karella

Stuffed Karella 

https://happyrecipes.co.uk/stuffed-karella-bitter-gourd-karavila-karella-at-its-glorious-best/

karella stuffed

Karella stir fry with coconut

https://happyrecipes.co.uk/bitter-gourd-stir-fry-karavila-karella/

karella stir fry
Summer salad

Best Summer salads – Seven cool salad recipes

Greek Salad
Basic French dressing

Kick start summer with a delightful range of salads

Tossing a few ingredients together, you can make many varieties of beautiful, crunchy, healthy, and versatile summer salads within minutes.  You can toss seasonal vegetables together with some chunks of avocado, pomegranates, or apples and combine them all with a delicious salad dressing to make culinary heaven in a bowl!

You might prefer a lighter version of a salad for lunch and a more satisfying and sustainable choice for dinner. By adding some roast chicken, steak, tinned sardines – or salmon – or boiled eggs into your salad bowl, you will instantly turn it into a full, healthy meal.

it’s just a matter of being creative to make your own version of a glorious salad, according to your mood of the day! The natural vibrant colours of seasonal vegetables and fruits will invariably please your eyes before it stimulates the tastebuds. If you are struggling to lose a few pounds in order to look great this summer, these salads will definitely come to your rescue. Check your weight after 5 days, eating only salads for supper; you will dance out of joy with an amazing crash of several extra kilos!

So, good luck with your delightful salad-making!

Home-made salad dressings

The salad dressings used here are my own creations. I never buy various salad dressings available on supermarket shelves because they can never live up to the standard of my homemade dressings, which are made with simple and healthy ingredients. In short, you know what goes into your dressing! I believe you will get inspired by these recipes and eventually, make delicious salad dressings with your own signature on them!

The basic ingredients are runny honey, apple cider, and lemon juice which are common in all varieties as they provide the necessary substance to bring the best out of greens and veggies while making the digestive process efficient and easier. Most importantly, always remember to serve any salad, appealing to the eyes, by keeping the natural colours intact.

Tips:

  • You can prepare the veggies in advance to save time: Cut and slice the veggies and greens and put them all into a glass bowl and cover with a cling film. Store in the fridge until mealtime.
  • Always opt for seasonal produce which has the freshness and flavours intact
  • Remember to add the salad dressing just before serving the salad to avoid a watery mess at the bottom of the bowl
  • Most importantly, serve any salad with the natural colours of greens and veggies intact.
  • Always add a few drops of lemon juice into the dressing. Lemon juice helps in absorbing the iron in spinach and red meat efficiently

The choice of what you can add to any salad to make it sustainable, healthy, and more satisfying is unlimited. Some of my favourite choices are listed down here;

  • Sliced boiled eggs
  • Baked or pan-fried chicken breast
  • Steak
  • A cup of boiled chickpeas
  • A cup of black beans or mixed beans in brine
  • Raw spinach and boiled beans
  • Boiled macaroni
  • Mackerel fillets in tomat sauce
  • Croutons – Cubes of bread toasted on the pan or baked in the oven with a dash of butter

How to make croutons

Croutons

Tossing a handful of croutons on any salad could instantly turn it into a full meal. Salads are devoid of Carbohydrates and usually very light and low in calories. However, if you need to add a bit of carb and make it a filling meal, just by adding croutons, you will be able to achieve your desire.

You will need:

  • A few wholemeal or white bread slices
  • A knob of butter

Let’s make it

  • Heat a pan and add the butter. Let it melt
  • Cut the bread slices into squares
  • Drop on the melted butter
  • Keep tossing and turning until both sides are nicely browned and crispy
  • Leave on the pan itself for cooling – This will make it crispier
  • Now, toss on your salad just before serving it
  • Delicious!

1) Greek Salad

Ingredients needed:

Iceberg Lettuce 2 cups
Tomatoes – riped and juicy 1/2 cup
Cucumber 1/2
Red Onions 1/2
Olives Pitted (black and green) a handful
Feta cheese a handful
For the basic dressing  
Apple cider vinegar  3 tbsp
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Salt n black pepper powder A few pinches
Honey  1 tbsp
Dried oregano (optional) 2 tsp
Lemon juice 1tsp
Ingredients for Greek Salad

Let’s make;

Prepare the veggies

  • Shred Lettuce thinly
  • Slice tomatoes
  • Cut the cucumber into thin slices
  • Slice red onions thinly
  • Toss all into a large bowl
  • Drop a handful of black or green olives on top
  • Cover and keep until you make the salad dressing

Make the salad dressing

Basic salad dressing
  • Add Salt and pepper powder, apple cider vinegar, honey into a small bowl
  • Squeeze the lemon juice in
  • Pour olive oil gradually while whisking rapidly
  • Adjust the taste
  • Done!

Toss the salad with the dressing

  • Pour the salad dressing into the bowl of veggies and give a good toss using tongs
  • Drop cubed feta cheese on the top
  • Sprinkle Oregano
  • Your beautiful Greek-style salad is ready!
  • Serve immediately!

2) Spinach and boiled egg salad with wholemeal croutons with French salad dressing

Spinach and boiled egg salad

Let’s toss it:

  • Cut the boiled eggs thinly
  • Make the croutons: Heat a pan, drop a 1/2tsp of butter. Cube two slices of thick wholemeal bread slices and toss into the pan. Toss until well roasted. Keep aside
  • Wash baby spinach and drain water
  • Slice lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, and red onions
  • Now into a large glass bowl, add raw spinach leaves, lettuce, cucumber, red onions and tomatoes
  • Toss some olives.
  • Drop the wholemeal croutons and boiled egg slices
  • Keep aside

Make the French salad dressing:

  • Into a small bowl add apple cider vinegar, runny honey, Dijon mustard cream, salt and pepper and give a good mix
  • Pour extra-virgin olive oil while whisking rapidly
  • Sqeeze a few drops of lemon
  • Adjust the taste
  • Your salad dressing is ready!

Now, pour onto the salad and give a good toss. Serve immediately!

3) Chicken breast and veggie salad with Thai sweet chilli sauce dressing

Salad with pan-fried chicken breast

Prepare the chicken breasts:

  • Make a few cuts on the chicken breasts
  • Mix salt, pepper powder, and a dash of soy sauce together and rub on the the chicken breasts. Keep covered for 20 mins
  • Add a dash of olive oil into a non-stick pan and pan-fry the chicken until properly done.
  • Slice into thin stripes
  • Keep aside

Make the Thai sweet chilli sauce dressing:

  • In a small bowl, add apple cider vinegar, a dash of lemon juice, a tiny bit of salt and pepper powder, and a generous amount of Thai sweet chilli sauce. Mix all together using a fork
  • Now add extra-virgin olive oil while whisking rapidly
  • Done!

Pour the salad dressing on top and serve immediately!

4) Green salad with mackerel in tomato sauce

Ingredients: Mackerel fillets in tomato sauce, Thai sweet chilli sauce, apple cider vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper powder and croutons
Green salad with mackerel fillets

Let’s toss it together:

  • Slice cucumber, red onions, tomatoes, and lettuce
  • Wash baby spinach and drain water
  • Add them all into a large glass bowl
  • Toss some croutons and olives
  • On top, drop the whole tin of mackerel fillets with its sauce
  • Drop some croutons
  • Keep aside

Make the Thai sweet chilli sauce dressing:

  • In a small bowl, add Apple cider vinegar, a dash of lemon juice, a tiny bit of salt and pepper powder, and a generous amount of Thai sweet chilli sauce. Mix all together using a fork
  • Now add extra-virgin olive oil while whisking rapidly
  • Done!

Pour over the salad and mix gently with tongs.

Serve immediately!

5) Steak salad with yoghurt dressing

Prepare the steak:

  • Slice steak and rub a dash of salt, pepper powder, mustard cream and soy sauce. Keep aside for 1/2 hr
  • Heat 1tbsp of olive oil and fry both sides until there are no pink bits and they are properly cooked through
  • Cover and keep aside

Make the salad dressing:

  • Add a dollp of yoghurt into a bowl and add salt and pepper propotionately
  • Add apple cider vinegar, runny honey and whisk with olive oil
  • Check the taste
  • Keep aside

Assemble everything together:

  • Slice veggies; cucumber, red onions, raddish, lettuce, spinach leaves, tomatoes and carrots
  • Drop all into a deep glass bowl
  • Add in the steak
  • Pour in the salad dressing
  • Give a good mix just before serving
  • Delicous!

6) Macaroni salad with creamy yoghurt and mayo dressing

Boil the macaroni and make the salad dressing:

  • Boil half a pan of water, add in a bit of oil and salt
  • Drop a two handfulls of macaroni shells and boil until soft
  • Keep aside

Salad dressing

  • Add a generous dollop of Greek style yoghurt or plain yoghurt into a bowl and add salt and pepper propotionately
  • Add apple cider vinegar, runny honey in and whisk vigorously with olive oil
  • Add in a dollop of mayo and mix thoroughly
  • Check the taste and keep aside

Assemble everything together:

  • Slice veggies; cucumber, red onions, lettuce, baby spinach leaves, tomatoes, carrots and bell peppers in all colours
  • Drop all into a large salad bowl
  • Drop the boiled macaroni
  • Pour in the salad dressing
  • Give a good mix just before serving
  • Delicous!

7) Green salad with croutons and Greek Feta cheese

Let’s make the salad dressing:

  • Add honey, lemon juice, sweet chilli sauce and apple cider vinegar into a small bowl
  • Add a tiny bit of salt and black pepper powder
  • Give a good mix
  • Now while gradually pouring extra-virgin olive oil, whisk vigorously
  • Adjust the taste

Let’s get on with the salad:

  • Slice tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber and red onions and add all into a wide salad bowl
  • Drop raw baby spinach
  • Toss some black olives in
  • Drop some Greek Feta cheese on top
  • Pour the salad dressing
  • Toss a handful of croutons
  • Done!
  • Serve immediately!