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Kakarakaya vepudu(bitter gourd fry)

*Bitter gourd - 6 nos(medium sized)
*Onion - 1 medium sized
*Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
*Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
*Curry leaves - a few leaves
*Garlic clove - 1
*Dried red chillies - 4 nos
*Turmeric powder - a pinch
*Oil - 2 tsp
*Jaggery or brown sugar - 1 tsp
*Salt and chilli powder - according to taste

Slice the bitter gourd into very small pieces. Add salt and turmeric powder to the bitter gourd and let it sit for a few minutes. Squeeze them and remove the juice that you obtain by squeezing them. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and add bittergourd pieces to the pan along with salt. Fry them until they turn a little brown.Heat 1 tsp oil in a different pan and add cumin, mustard seeds to the pan. When the seeds start sputtering add crushed garlic, whole red chillies, curry leaves. Add onion and fry them til they turn a little brown; now add the fried bitter gourd pieces to this. Let them cook till they are done and add chilli powder, crushed jaggery(you can substitute this with brown sugar if you don't have jaggery on hand). One thing I have learnt from my mom is not to add chilli powder until the fry is completely done otherwise you will be suffocated by the sharp smell produced by the chilli powder which will leave you sneezing in no time.


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