I hate bittergourd.
I throw up the most ingenious of tantrums the moment bittergourd turns up on my lunch plate.
Thankfully bittergourd is never served for dinner.
But Grandma is not one to submit to my stubbornness.
And even when I fuss beyond reason, she doesn’t relent.
She, with all her sagacious wisdom, wins me over through love.
One lazy morning.
The bittergourd vine is a bloom with fruit.
I have been casually observing this for some days now.
And secretly praying that birds make meal of the bittergourd.
But bittergourd doesn’t seem to excite even my feathered avian friends.
I know yet another showdown is looming on the lunch table.
And the inevitable happens.
Bittergourd features for lunch one sultry listless summer afternoon.
See what Didi has cooked for you my Princess, Grandma tells me, a radiant smile lighting up her face.
Didi hovers around in the background.
I make faces.
Try it. If you don’t like it, I promise I shall not coax you. Grandmas voice rings.
I try a bite. With a dollop of rice.
And become a convert forever !!!
Bittergourd paired with sinfully caramelized onions and red pumpkin.
What an unbelievably delicate balance of flavors !!!
Simple and earthy. Yet divine.
This morning though it’s yet another of Grandmas bittergourd delicacies that I grew to adore.
The Jhinge Shukto. A recipe from Sylhet. Her Sylhet.
Jhinge Shukto. A light curry of ridgegourd and bittergourd. Lentil dumplings thrown in. The warmth of ginger. The earthy aroma of radhuni / celery seeds. The fragrance of ghee.