Yesterday the homeowner at the veggie plot gave me some bitter melon.  She gave me some hints on how to cook it, so I decide to try it for lunch today.

They look a bit like what I would imagine a dragon’s tail would look like.










To reduce the bitterness I was told to cut them up, remove the seeds, salt them, rinse and drain. So I started cutting it up. Holy cow! She didn’t tell me it would look like an open wound!










I started digging out the seeds but finally just split it length-wise and scooped them out. This one was the only one that was ripe enough to have turned red. Still a little warning would have been nice.











A bit of salt and into the colandar to drain. Meanwhile I minced some garlic (3 cloves), a little ginger, and a medium hot red chile. Then I sliced up a couple small onions. I decided to use turmeric and cumin for spices.











I put about 2 tbs of oil into a pan over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of mustard seed. When they start to pop, add the garlic and ginger.










Cook for a few minutes. add the onion and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of that.

Add the cumin and turmeric (1/2 teaspoon each).











Stir and cook another 5 minutes.










After rinsing and squeezing out the bitter melon, add it to the pan.











I needed some moisture to steam/cook the melon. I had some tomatoes that were prepped for but did not make it into the canner, so I added a few of them, as well as some of the juice.











Cover and simmer over medium heat until bitter melon is tender, about 10 minutes.











It’s all a bit soft, so for contrast I threw in a couple handfuls of unsalted whole cashews.











Time to eat. I served it with rice and some pickled green chilies.











It was bitter as described and I suppose it is an acquired taste. I liked it and would have it again, my dear wife? Not so much.

Not everyone likes dragon tail.

Until next time, Eat Well & Keep Digging!

The Gastronomic Gardener