A few months ago I was at the Patel Brothers grocery store in Jackson heights and I saw these unusual looking vegetables. I wasn’t sure what they were, but I always kept them in the back of my mind as something I’d like to try out. Recently I was on an Indian food kick and I went back up there to go shopping, and when I bought these I made sure I wrote down their name: karela, also known as bitter melon. I should have recognized it from all of the Iron Chef (Japan) that I’ve watched. I did a lot of online research about how to cook it, and I followed the advice of someone who said that you should blanch it to reduce some of the bitterness. Actually, I tried a bit of it raw and thought it tasted the way that I imagine burnt rubber tastes. After blanching it and then stir-frying it with onions and curry powder it tasted like… curried rubber. Still, I’m glad that I tried it and satisfied my curiosity.