First, sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of salt into a bowl with the bitter melon, mix and set aside. This helps take out some of the bitter flavors.
Now you're ready to cook! Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until lightly brown. If the contents are sticking to the bottom of your pan, add a bit of water to caramelize them.
Add the ground beef and cook until it is browned, using your spatula to break up the beef into small pieces to ensure no lumps.
Add garlic, ginger, tomatoes, and green chili peppers and continue cooking for a few minutes. Add the spices and salt as well as the yogurt. Lower the heat, cover, and let this mixture cook.
Meanwhile, wash the salt off of the bitter melon by rinsing through a strainer. Squeeze or blot the bitter melon with a tissue to remove excess water. Heat some vegetable oil and fry the bitter melon for about 5 minutes, or until it is cooked and crisp around the edges.
Add the fried bitter melon to the beef mixture, being careful not to add any excess oil. Lower the heat to the lowest setting, cover and let this mixture simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add the sprinkle chopped coriander and squeeze the lemon (if using) over the dish.
Serve with roti, rice, bread or anything your heart desires!
*If using the Indian variety, you will need to scrape the bitter melons, slit them, and then deseed them.