Friday, April 19, 2013

Karela Bhaja- Bitter Gourd Curry(dry)

Karela or the Bitter Gourd is of course bitter. But what if i just compress its bitterness and present it to you.
I always frowned whenever my mother prepared the karela/bitter gourd curry back home in India. But not any more. I found ways to minimize the bitterness and also thereby preserving the goodness of karela in it.
There are several ways this bitter gourd or karela is prepared. One of my favorite is the stuffed karela. I  like it very much but it being too rich in fat ,i cook it occasionally. I also like the bitter gourd pickle which is not bitter at all and is quite tasteful. Apart from this there are famous south Indian bitter gourd masala chips, they are just awesome in taste. 

Bitter Gourd Curry

This Recipe
Serves- 4
Preparation - 5 minutes
Cooking- 10 to 15 minutes
Total time- 20 minutes
Level of difficulty- medium

  • Bitter gourd- 2 large in size, washed and then sliced.
  • Potato- 2 large, peeled and sliced thinly in strips
  • Turmeric powder- 1.5 Tsp
  • Cumin powder-  2 Tsp
  • Coriander powder- 2 Tbsp
  • Onion- 1 large, sliced
  • Salt as per taste
  • Green Chilli- 1 (optional)
  • Oil- 2 Tbsp
  • Paanch phoren or Cumin seed What is Paanch Phoren?
  • Tomato- 1, chopped
  • Marinate the bitter gourd by applying oil, salt and turmeric keep aside for 10 minutes. In 10 minutes bitter gourd will release some water which is basically its bitterness.
  • After 10 minutes. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a kadai or skillet in medium high flame.
  • Add the bitter gourd, do not add the released water from the bitter gourd. Keep that water aside for use later.
  • Fry until the color of bitter gourd turns little golden brown. Take them out on a separate bowl
  • Add another 1 Tbsp of oil in the same skillet.
  • Add the paanch phoren or the cumin seed. Let them crackle.
  • Add the onions and saute until translucent.
  • Now add the potatoes and season with salt. Cover and cook for 1 minutes. Stir in between to avoid burning. You can lower the flame to medium heat.
  • After 1 minute add the fried bitter gourd.
  • Now add rest of the masala's or spices.  Add the chopped tomatoes. Add the leftover water released by bitter gourd marinate.
  •  Cover and stirfry frequently until the tomatoes are done and the oil separates from them. 
  • Once done Turn off the heat.
Your Karela Bhaja / Bitter gourd Curry(dry) is ready to be served . Serve it hot with Chapati or rice and enjoy.

Happy cooking :-)

By-Sushmita  Pandit.


  1. Right on, right to our table please. We are over healthy in what we eat and this is the best remedy for diabetes. That's a good idea for adding potatoes because I suppose it drowns the bitter taste.

  2. Oh my! I am imagining the flavors..yummy


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