In: Blog, Recipes

We don’t have to extol the virtues of bitter gourd (karela). It is the simple and bitter truth; bitter gourd is good for you!

An article in India Today, says this of bitter gourd: “It is an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, and B3, C, magnesium, folate, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, and has high dietary fibre. It is rich in iron, and contains twice the beta-carotene of broccoli, twice the calcium of spinach, and twice the potassium of a banana, according to Health.com.”

Karela (bitter gourd) stir fry recipe
Karela (bitter gourd) stir fry recipe

We definitely want all that goodness, don’t we? But yes, the bitterness of the gourd could be quite a put off. I remember my mum trying all kinds of recipes to make it something we like. This is one of her recipes that I love and can guarantee will quickly become your favourite too.

The perfect balance of sweet, sour and bitter in this recipe will get your taste buds tingling and your family hankering for a little bit more of … yes bitter gourd! Made in the VillageFair cast iron kadai, the nutritional goodness only gets better and better. Give this good old recipe a try and tell us how you liked it.

Karela (bitter gourd) stir fry recipe
Karela (bitter gourd) stir fry recipe


  • Bitter gourd – sliced round
  • Yogurt – 3 tsp
  • Onion – 2 chopped
  • Curry leaves – one stalk
  • Tomato – 1 chopped
  • Chilli powder – 1 tbsp
  • Jaggery – as per taste
  • Tamarind puree – as per taste
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Turmeric powder –  as needed
  • Chutney powder* – 1 tbsp


  • Cut the bitter gourd and soak in turmeric, salt and yogurt for half an hour. This removes a lot of the bitterness.
  • Heat oil in the cast iron kadai and add onion, curry leaves and sauté.
  • Squeeze out and drain the juices from the karela.
  • Add the karela to the onion mixture, add turmeric and salt and fry for 5 minutes.
  • After 3 -4 minutes, add tamarind puree (soak tamarind in warm water and squeeze the juice into the kadai).
  • Add ground jaggery and leave till the bitter gourd is cooked (about 10 minutes).
  • Add chutney powder* and mix well.
  • Garnish with coriander and a few drops of ghee.

For Chutney Powder:


You can make this and keep it for other dishes or to eat with dosa, idli or anything you like!


  • Groundnut – 100 gms
  • Fried gram – 100 gms
  • Urad dal – 50 gms
  • White Till – 50 gms
  • Dry red chillies – 50 gms
  • Copra – 50 gms grated
  • Jaggery
  • Amchur powder – a pinch
  • Garlic – 1 pod
  • Curry leaves – 1 stalk
  • Salt – to taste


  • Fry each ingredient (except jaggery and amchur)
  • Add all ingredients in the mixer grinder and grind till it is a coarse powder. (Do not add water)

Try out this recipe and tell us how you found it! If you want to buy the Cast Iron Kadai that I made this in, you can check it out here:

Cast Iron Kadai (4 sizes)