Indonesian Stuffed Bitter Melon (Kemnu Paria)
bitter melons 2 tbsp salt 8 tbsp freshly grated coconut 2 tbsp vegetable oil 4 shallots, thinly sliced 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced 50g minced beef, chicken or pork (optional) ½ tsp chilli powder or ground
white pepper pinch ground nutmeg pinch ground turmeric 2 medium-sized potatoes, cooked
and mashed 1 egg, beaten 600ml coconut cream
Cut the bitter melons in half length-wise and remove the seeds. Sprinkle with the salt, and leave upside down in a colander for an hour, then rinse well with cold water. Boil for 4 minutes and drain. Stir-fry the grated coconut in a wok or frying pan without oil, until golden brown, then grind it finely. For the stuffing, heat the oil in a wok or pan and fry the shallots and garlic for a minute, stirring constantly. Add the minced meat and stir, then the ground ingredients and stir again. Add the mashed potato and beaten egg, mix thoroughly, season and when cool, stuff the bitter melons. Put the stuffed melons in a large saucepan and cover with the coconut cream. Sprinkle the roasted coconut over the top and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the sauce is thick. Serve either as a snack or to accompany a rice dish.