My wife bought this green knobbly thing this afternoon from a tiny shop that reminded her of the impossibly small shops in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
It is a kerala – the Indian sub-continent variety of the bitter melon.
The shopkeeper – who is Indian – advised her to peel it, soak it in salt water for several hours and then to pour away the salt and fry the melon.
As far as the name of the fruit is concerned, it seems more than coincidence that Kerala is also the name of a region in South India.
I hope it tastes good, but I wonder whether the full recipe might read like this:
1. Peel the kerala
2. Soak in strong brine for several hours
3. Pour away the brine and slice the kerala thinly
4. Fry lightly
5. Take the slices to the pedal bin and tip out.
I will take a photograph of the whole fruit and add that here. I was so mesmerised by the knobbly bits that I forgot to do so earlier.
I googled for images of the kerala, but none of the images has the graceful sweeping curves of the one in the kitchen here…
Click the image and then click again to see a bigger version