My friends loved the kakarkaya which my mom made. It's a long procedure but it tastes really good. Friends who did not eat kakarkaya because of the whole reason that it was bitter loved this one. I've improvised the lengthy version to a smaller version but the quicker version is comparitvely bitter. So people who love the bitterness can stick to the short method. Again these recipes use approximation
The long-lengthy process
Onions - 2
Bitter Gourd - around 6-7
Gud (Bellam/Brown Sugar)- 4-5 small marble chunks depending on how sweet you want it or how much less bitter you want it
Chillies - 4
Chilli powder - 2 tbsp
Buttermilk - 1-2 cups
Cut the kakarkaya into thin circular slices. Soak them with the buttermilk and a little salt. This is the first step to remove the bitterness. You can soak them overnight and next day boil them slightly in hte same mixture. You should see the buttermilk beginning to boil and that should do. Let it cool and then squeeze out the pieces so you get rid of the buttermilk from them and put aside.
In a deep dish pan add oil and then deep fry the pieces. You do not want to deep fry until they are crisp, they should be still a little soft. Be careful while deep frying them as they have water content and might splash. Keep them aside in a dish. Use a paper towel underneath the dish to absorb any extra oil.
In a pan, fry the seasoning(urad dal, jeera, mustard seeds), curry leaves, onions, green chillies and fry. Add the deep fried kakarkaya pieces into it. Fry for 10-15 min. After it cooks. Add chilli powder and then add Bellam(gud) according to your taste. If you want less sweet add very little.
Garnish with corriander.
The quick process
This needs to be fried for a little longer than the previous process.
Instead of deep frying the bitter gourd pieces this is a short process. Fry seasoning, curry leaves in oil. Add onions, green chillies and let fry for a while. Cut the bitter gourd into really small pieces and then add it to the onions.
Fry the whole thing for atleast 15-20 min until the bitter gourd is cooked. Add chilli powder and gud (Bellam) just before removing. Garnish with corriander.