Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bitter Gourd Salad (Sri Lankan Kariwila Sambol)


Let's face it... bitter gourds... it's a pretty ugly and freaky looking vegetable.  If I didn't know what it was... I may think twice about buying it at the grocery store.  My son called it alien cucumbers.  They also live up to their name... they are pretty bitter tasting too.  So now that I have totally turned you off from trying it out, why do I have a recipe highlighting this crazy gourd?  Why....because fried until crispy and tossed in a salad makes it turn from the ugly duckling into a swan.  Well, maybe not a swan.. but a very pretty duck. :)   This is not a salad you can eat on it's own, but it compliments a rice and curry meal wonderfully. 

3-4 Bitter Gourds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
1 tsp red chili powder to taste
2-3 Tbs lemon or lime juice
1 medium red onion sliced
2-3 green chilies sliced
1-2 tomatoes diced

 Wash bitter gourd and allow it to air dry well. Cut ends off and slice 3/4 the way through the gourd and gently open to scrape out all the seeds.  Slice into very thin slices.

 Coat gourd slices with salt, turmeric and chili powder.

Heat oil and fry gourds slices until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel to soak up any access oil. Mix with onion, tomatoes, chilies and lime juice.  Add more salt as needed.  Allow salad to sit for 20-30 minutes before eating to soak up all the flavors. Eat with rice and curry meal.  Enjoy.

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  1. What a delightfully unique salad!! I love it!

  2. Wow so much fantastic flavors in this, sounds great :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  3. You can't go wrong with anything fried, in my opinion =) This salad looks delicious!

  4. never seen a bitter gourd is a little scary looking but fried makes almost everything delicious!! it looks so cool after you cook it!

  5. It's remind me of my mom,she really like this bitter gourd, I have that long time ago,but i do like to try this version is different :)

  6. Love this colorful salad, Ramona! It looks so delicious and easy to make!

  7. This is such a unique salad my friend, I love the flavours in it but only you could make bitter gourd work so well :D


  8. Ok, this is totally unlike anything I've seen before! I don't know that I've ever even heard of bitter gourd but I'm going to start keeping my eyes open now! Looks great!

  9. Never heard of bittergourd salad Ramona....does look yumm...So was it bitter? :-)

  10. Wow alien cucumbers is right! So very brave Ramona - I would've ran for the hills if I saw those in my grocery store! But, as frying does make everything delicious, I bet this little side salad is a beautiful swan indeed heehee ;)


  11. I have had bitter gourd in so many avatars but never imagined a salad! Odd as it may sound to many, I love bitter gourd and this salad is beckoning me :-D

  12. I love bitter gourd, I just lightly sauté it with onion garlic and serve with quinoa and sliced boiled eggs


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