Bitter Melon Tarkari
(Bitter Melon Curried in Yogurt)

INGREDIENTS
4 cups bitter melon, sliced in 1-in. length
1 cup onion, finely diced
1 cup red pepper, sliced in 1-in length
5 dried red chilies
3 fresh red chilies, minced
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 cups yogurt
3 tablespoons cooking oil
Salt and Pepper
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (for garnish)

DIRECTIONS
In a large pot of well-salted boiling water blanch bitter melon slices for a few minutes and transfer to ice bath. Blanching in heavily salted water reduces the bitterness of bitter melon. In a non-stick sauce pan, heat oil and fry mustard seeds and red chilies until dark. Add onion and green pepper; fry until light brown. Add turmeric, curry powder, chilies, garlic and ginger; mix for a minute or so. Add the blanched bitter melon and stir fry for five minutes. To the bitter melon mixture, add yogurt and salt; mix well to incorporate all ingredients. Cover and cook on medium heat for ten more minutes. Once a desired consistency of stew has been achieved, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with steamed rice.

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