Smear the bittergourd slices with a little salt. Keep aside for 10 odd minutes, rinse and pat dry.
Coarsely grind 1 tsp celery seeds in a mortar and pestle, keep aside.
Drain the motor dal from water, grind coarsely with very little water. Add salt, give it a hearty mix.
Heat 2 tbsp oil, make small dumplings of the lentil paste and shallow fry till golden brown. Keep aside on a kitchen absorbent towel.
Add the bittergourd to the same oil, saute till light brown. Keep aside on a kitchen absorbent towel.
Add the remaining oil to the pan, throw in the mustard seeds and 1 tsp celery seeds. Allow the spices to splutter.
Now add the ridgegourd and a sprinkle of salt, saute for 4-5 minutes. Cook over a moderate flame till the water released by the ridgegourd has almost dried up.
Add 1 tbsp ginger paste and poppy seed paste and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Add sugar, ground celery seeds, the fried bittergourd slices, lentil dumplings. Pour 2 cups of warm water. Continue to cook for another 5-7 odd minutes till the ridgegourd and bitter gourd is perfectly cooked. (Take care though that the ridgegourd does not become too mushy.)
Add the remaining ginger paste, give it a good stir, adjust seasonings and finish with a generous dollop of ghee.