Karela Masala / Bitter Gourd Curry

Masaledar Karela
I like to spend my summer mornings taking a long walk, relaxing and enjoying our pleasant, quiet green surroundings.  Luckily, I have made a few friends, who are food enthusiasts like me.  Today's recipe of this creamy bitter gourd curry is shared by our friendly neighbor Arti Kulkarni.  This way of cooking Bitter Gourd or Karela or Bitter Melon is new to me.  We loved it and hope you guys like it too.

Bitter Gourd/Karela - 3 medium
Onion - 1 medium
Garlic - 4 big cloves
Dessicated (Dry) Coconut - 1/4 cup
Peanut/Groundnut Powder - 1 tbsp
White Sesame Seeds/Til - 1 tsp 
Dry Red Chillies - 4
Tamarind/Imli/Chinch - about 1 tsp
Cumin/Jeera Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cilantro/Coriander Leaves - few sprigs

How to cook Karela Masala:
  • Cut bitter gourd into medium julienne or round slices.  Discard the seeds.  Add about 1 tsp salt, mix and keep it covered for an hour or so.
  • Below is a pic of this vegetable - Karela in Hindi, Bitter Gourd or Bitter Melon in English, Karla in Marathi, Hagalkai in Kannada, Karate in Konkani.
Karela or Bitter Gourd
  • Julienne slice onions and crush the garlic cloves.  Heat about 1 tbsp oil in a pan.  Add onions, garlic and saute till onions turn soft and transparent.  Save them for later.
  • In the same pan, roast coconut, sesame seeds and peanut powder.  Add oil if required.  Saute until coconut turns slightly brown.
  • Grind sauteed onions, coconut, sesame seeds, peanut powder and dry red chillies, tamarind to a fine paste.
  • After an hour, squeeze out excess water from the bitter gourd slices.  Rinse them in water and squeeze water once again.  This will reduce the bitterness. 
  • Heat about 1 tsp oil in a pan and add cumin seeds.  After few seconds, add bitter gourd slices.  Saute for a minute or two at low flame.  Add about 1/2 cup water and cook them covered. 
  • Instead of cooking in water, you can shallow fry or deep fry bitter gourd slices.  Frying further reduces the bitterness.
  • When bitter gourd gets cooked and turns soft, add the ground paste and salt to taste.  Bring it to a boil and cook until you get the desired consistency.  Turn off the heat and add finely chopped cilantro.
Serve creamy Bittergourd Curry with roti or rice.


  1. Super and wonderful chutney !! loved the idea of adding peanut powder and coconut !!

  2. Delicious karela curry,tangy and spicy..nice recipe dear.

  3. Wonderful looking healthy curry, picture itself tempts me a lot..

  4. i love bitter gourd...very healthy dish!!

  5. Never made bitter gourd like this ....looks so yum ..

  6. Never cooked karela in gravy..this recipe sounds new and interesting to me..thanks for sharing! will hv to try this!

  7. different version of bitter gourd..sure gonna try..


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