Friday, July 12, 2013

Karela Sabzi / Bittergourd stir fry

Thinking about what to cook everyday is not as easy as it sounds…All through my childhood, I would hear my mother say " Such a tough job it is to chalk out menus every single day ".. I now know, how true she was !! Anyone reading this will agree too !!

A few days back , when I chanced upon bitter gourds at the vegetable shop , I grabbed them with both hands ( literally !!  ). Its been such a long time since I have used them. So , to bring a little variety in my daily menu and also because, it is such a healthy vegetable , I decided to make something out of it. The bitterness should not drive you away. There are always ways to make it palatable (not to mention tasty :) ). So go for it…pamper your taste buds and your health too :)

Recipe source : Mummy

Ingredients :

Karela ( bittergourd )                                 3 medium sized
Onion, finely chopped                               1 medium
Tomato, finely chopped                             1 medium
Dry red chillies                                           3-4
Garlic cloves                                               3
Coriander seeds                                          1 tbsp
Cumin seeds                                               1 tsp
Tamarind, soaked in water                         2 inch piece
Mustard seeds                                             1 tsp
Curry leaves                                               4-5
Turmeric powder                                        a pinch
Jaggery                                                       2 tbsp  (increase or decrease this as per the desired
Oil                                                              1 tbsp + 1 tsp ( to roast the ingredients for the masala)
Salt                                                              to taste

Method :

1.  Wash and cut the karela lengthwise..Deseed and chop into fine pieces. Rub salt and set aside in a
      bowl. The karela will let out water after sometime. Squeeze out the water from the karela
     and keep aside. This will remove the bitterness of the karela.
2.  Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat about 1 tsp oil. Roast the dry red chillies. Remove the chillies from the
     pan and then roast the coriander and cumin seeds together in the same pan. Cool. Grind this
    (chillies+ coriander +cumin ) with the tamarind soaked in water (use the water to make a fine
     paste ) and garlic cloves.
3.  In a thick bottomed pan, heat 1 tbsp oil. Splutter the mustard seeds and then add curry leaves.
4.  Add chopped onions and sauté till golden brown.
5.  Then add the chopped tomatoes and sauté again till the tomatoes are cooked.
6.  Now, mix in the karela and add salt, turmeric powder and little water . Stir on medium high flame.
    Then, close the lid and let it simmer on low flame till the karela is cooked.
7.  Now, add the ground masala and jaggery. Stir well on medium flame and let it simmer for about
     a minute or so . Check if any raw smell of the masala still persists. If it does, let it
     simmer for few more seconds * ( See notes )
8.  Sweet and sour karela sabzi is ready to devour !!
9.  Serve with dal rice or roti and a glass of buttermilk.

Notes : The karela will not cook well if the ground masala is added in the initial stage since it has
             tamarind in it. Hence, it is added in the end after the karela gets cooked.



  1. The sabzi looks very delish! I just usually do a stir fry with some onions and all - But I must try out your version next time :)

  2. Thanks for the encouraging words Priya….Yes, do try it and let me know how you like it :)

  3. love the simplicity of this recipe and picture. keep posting and sharing your thoughts.

  4. Thank you so much for the encouraging words Nags :)

  5. one of favorite.. Thanks for linking to my event

  6. Love the color of Karela Sabzi. Would love to try it :)

  7. Do try it Avika ..m sure u would love it :)