This is a tweaked up recipe from the original, courtesy G's MIL; and thanks to G who generously shared the recipe! The roots are Bihar, bordering Bengal! It is laborious but well worth the effort and as moi started going through the recipe and realized that it can be 3 separate dishes from one !
Bitter Gourd: Scrape off the ridges from the bitter gourd and keep them aside,
Make a lengthwise slit and using a gentle hand, de-seed the bitter gourds.
Parboil /cook the bitter gourds in just enough water until done but firm, drain and keep aside.
Channa Dal: Pressure Cook the Channa Dal with salt, until done but not mushy; drain and keep aside.
Filling:Heat about 1 1/2 tbsps of oil in a pan,
Saute the onions and garlic until soft,
Add the bitter gourd scrapes and saute for a few minutes,
Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander and chilli powder.
Add the tomatoes and fry until the moisture evaporates,
Add the cooked Channa Dal and roast well, coarsely crushing part of the dal to mix well with the onion-tomato mixture.
Dish No.1 Kayapakka Upperi/Bitter Gourd subzi
Stuffing and Frying: Using a spoon, gently stuff the bitter gourds, making sure that the seams close, Tie several times over with thread. The next step depends on whether you want to deep fry or shallow fry the stuffed bitter gourds.
Heat a kadai/wok or a pan. Pour enough oil for your method of frying. Fry until dark golden brown. Gently remove the threads. Serve as a dry dish garnished with finely chopped fresh corainder.