Bitter Gourd Curry
2 medium-sized bitter gourds
oil for frying
1 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoons chopped ginger
2 tablespoons Ceylon curry powder
125 ml/4 fl oz/1/2 cup coconut milk
1 stick cinnamon
lime juice to taste
Cut the gourds across into 1 cm (1/2 in) rounds. Rub with salt and turmeric and set aside for at least 20 minutes. Dry well on paper towels, then fry the slices in hot oil until golden brown. Lift out and drain.
In a saucepan fry the onion in 2 tablespoons of oil until soft and translucent. Add garlic and ginger and continue to cook, stirring, until they are fragrant and start to turn golden. Add curry powder and fry, stirring. Add coconut milk with an equal amount of water and a stick of cinnamon, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add bitter gourd slices, simmer for 10 minutes longer. Serve with rice.
Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)