This combination of aromatics and coconut milk suits many vegetables, but bitter gourd adds unique base notes to the creamy mixture. Together, coconut and bitter gourd tame spices and heat, so the chillis and ginger become comparatively mild.
It’s not handy to use half a box of frozen peas, but more is too much. When you buy the box, squeeze it to be sure the peas are individually frozen, not melted into an icy block. Without defrosting, pour out half and return the rest to the freezer. Freeze half the coconut milk too. Or double everything and have a party! For a vegetable meal, pair the dish with almond-raisin pilaf.