Entries from May 16th, 2014

Sweet Mango and Bitter Gourd Curry



Sweet Mango and Bitter Gourd Curry


From past few weeks I haven’t spent too much time cooking or blogging. My already busy life has gotten a little busier. I’ll talk about that some other day.

I am lucky to have a very good cook who comes over every evening to cook us delicious meals. I consider myself fortunate to be able to feed by family freshly cooked food every single day no matter how busy we all are. I have been happy to just eat whatever is cooked by her. I rarely stepped into the kitchen and If I did, it would be to make a cup of tea of bake a batch of muffins. My kids and I came to my parents’ place for a little break and once again I am happy to be eating my mom’s food. Strangely I didn’t miss cooking much at all.


Sweet Mango and Bitter Gourd Curry


I woke up today morning and went into the kitchen to help my mom. She sent me out to the garden to get her a few springs of fresh curry leaves. As I was walking around in her garden looking for young fragrant curry leaves, I suddenly felt the urge to cook something. It hit me that I haven’t picked up my camera to take pictures of food for quite a few days now. I was so consumed by my family and work that I didn’t even realize that I missed it all!

It was refreshing to feel excited about cooking and shooting once again. I was relieved to realize that I wasn’t blogging just out of habit. I actually love it.


Sweet Mango and Bitter Gourd Curry


I quickly went back into the kitchen to discuss our lunch menu today. After a quick look into the vegetable basket we decided to cook a bitter gourd and sweet mango curry. Both bitter gourd and mangoes came from our farm.


Sweet Mango and Bitter Gourd Curry


We are in the middle of peak summer, the mango season! Here at my mom’s place not a single day goes by without consuming mangoes in some form or the other. Our kitchen right now has several big baskets full of mangoes of different kinds. Some came from our own farm while the others were generously gifted by neighbors, relatives and friends. The most common variety of mangoes are the small wild green mangoes. They never turn yellow when they are ripe and are not fleshy and sweet. Instead they are fibrous, sour and very juicy. While some of us enjoy eating them as they are, most people like to cook with them.


Sweet Mango and Bitter Gourd Curry


Unlike most traditional mango curries, this curry here is cooked with bitter gourd. My late great grandmother apparently loved to cook her mangoes this way. It’s a fairly simple recipe with just a few ingredients but the addition of bitter gourd makes it very unique.

Fresh mango juice forms the base of the curry and sharp sour taste of it is balanced by a little bit of jaggery. A few fresh green chilis are used to spice it up a little. Bittergourd adds a new dimension to it by providing a touch of bitterness to this otherwise fruity curry.

Simple delicious food at it’s best, this curry has all seasonal, local, organic ingredients. Serve it with some rice for a comforting meal.


Sweet Mango and Bitter Gourd Curry



There is no replacement to these sour juicy wild mangoes. Unfortunately more popular sweet fleshy mangoes will never result in the same taste.

It can be prepared without any bitter gourd too.

Here’s another delicious recipe using wild mangoes – Mavinahannu Saaru or Wild Mango Clear Soup


Sweet Mango and Bitter Gourd Curry



  • 4-5 little ripe wild mangoes.
  • 1 cup finely chopped bitter gourd
  • ¼ cup jaggery
  • 1-2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1-2 fresh green chilies
  • slat to taste
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 dry red chili
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic


Boil the bitter gourd pieces in 2 cups of water and drain fully. This gets rid of the bitter taste of the vegetable a little.

Peel the ripe mangoes and squeeze them with your hands to release all the juices.  Place all the mangoes (juice and pits) in a container and add a cup of water. Add some salt and cook it till it comes to a boil. Let this simmer for 5 minutes.

Now add the cooked bitter gourd and boil it all together once. Now add the tamarind paste, jaggery and slit green chili and continue to simmer. Taste the curry at this point and adjust the flavors the way you like.

To temper – place the coconut oil in a little pan. Add the black mustard seeds when the oil is not and let it splutter. Add the crushed garlic pods and fry till it’s light golden. Add the dry red chili and turn off the heat. Add the tempering to the curry and it’s ready to be served.

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