This past week has been super exciting for us and kind of full to the brim with busy schedules. However there were plenty of time to take long breaks, which is what summer break allows us to do.
I went to town with that long break to re create one of my favorite dish from Sri Lanka, some might call this as a side dish. I recall when I was a kid I did not like this as much, but when I got older I love having this with rice for lunch.
Bitter gourd is a vegetable you can find in south east Asia in local markets. This vegetable has many benefits to health such as controling the blood sugar. I don't know how much that is believed in western medicine, but I simply love this fried sambol. You might wonder where can you get this, you can get bitter gourd from an Indian supermarket or an Asian supermarket.
1 lb bitter gourd
1 - 1/2 purple onion
4-6 birdeye green chillies (according to your pallet)
few grape tomatoes if you have them
1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
dried sprats if you can find them ( I did not)
2tsp salt (to presoak bitter gourd)
salt to taste
Oil for frying
Wash and clean bitter gourds, and thinly slice them. Add this to a bowl and add 2 tsp’s of salt. If you want you can add more. It is almost like giving a salt water bath to sliced bitter gourd, you will notice it will produce more water and becomes a bit softer to handle. Some believe this process takes the bitterness out of the bitter gourds. After few minutes squeezed the salt out of sliced bitter gourds using both hands as much as you can.
Deep fry the sliced biter gourd until golden brown and set a side to drain excess oil. Meanwhile, slice onions very thinly, chillies, and add the halves tomatoes to onions and chillie mix. Finally add crushed pepper flakes, lime juice, and salt. Taste and mix well to incorporate all ingredients. Now add the fried bitter gourd slices and mix loosely and enjoy with white / brown rice yum!
This what summer allows us to do!