Using a sharp knife, peel away the skin of the bitter gourd, cut them into thin slices and deseed them, as shown in the picture
Place all the bitter gourds in a colander and add a tsp of salt and rub in. Allow this to sit for 30-45 minutes. Once the time is up, wash the salt out with cold water and squeeze the bitter gourds VERY well, using your hands. You want the bitter gourds to be a minimum 90% dry as all the water we are squeezing out is the bitterness.
Heat a cup of oil in a pan. Fry the bitter gourds till lightly golden, as shown in the picture. Careful not to overcrowd the pan – fry in batches if needed
In the same pan, take out all but about a quarter cup of oil. Add one onion, garlic, ginger and cumin seeds and saute till golden
Add the tomatoes, a few splashes of water, some of the sugar (add half now and reserve the other half for later if needed) and all the spices. Cook till the tomatoes loosen up and a masala forms.
Add the meat. Saute it on high in the masala till it no longer remains pink, then add 2 cups of hot water. Cover and simmer on low for 50 minutes for lamb and an hour for mutton.
Once that’s done, add one sliced onion, the fried bitter gourds, a handful of coriander and a few splashes of water if the curry is looking dry. Adjust the spices if needed. Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes.