Bitter gourd popularly known as karela is something that is not liked by many owing to its sharp bitter flavour. Although it has some of the biggest health benefits, bitter gourd is not enjoyed by most people. But when combined with the right and aromatic spices, the taste of bittergourd will make you fall in love with it. So here are a few recipes to give a tasty twist to the karela:

  1. Bitter gourd fry

Ingredients:

· Bitter gourd – 250 gm

· Oil – 2 tbsp

· Cumin – ½ tsp

· Asafoetida – just a pinch

· Green chilli – 1 slit

· Sauf powder – 1 tsp

· Red chilli powder – 1 tsp

· Turmeric powder – just a pinch

· Coriander powder – 1 tbsp

· Salt – as per taste

· Onion – 1 chopped

· Curry leaves – 1

· Lemon juice – 1 tbsp

· Coriander leaves – 1 handful

        Directions:

· Wash and slice bitter gourd thinly

· In a frying pan, heat oil saute cumin until they crackle and add hing

· Now add chopped onions and curry leaves until they turn pink

· Add bitter gourd slices and sprinkle salt for 2-3 minutes

· Cover and cover over low medium flame

· When half cooked add fennel powder, coriander powder, red chili powder and mix everything

· Add coriander leaves and squeeze lemon juice

· Transfer to a serving bowl and serve bitter gourd with rice or chapati

2. Karele ka achaar

Ingredients:

· Bitter gourd – 1 kg

· Salt – 2 tbsp

· Salt – ¾ cup

· Haldi – 1 tbsp

· Ginger – 1 tbsp

· Chilli powder – ¼ cup

· Sauf – 2 tbsp

· Lemon juice – 2 cups

· A sterilized jar

          Directions:

· Remove the rough surface of the bitter gourd, slit lengthwise on one side, rub all over with salt and keep it aside for 3-4 hours

· Squeeze the bitter gourd to get rid of the discarded juices, scoop out the seeds and wash then squeeze again

· Then mix a little bit of lemon juice into the masala and stuff the filling firmly into the bitter gourd and tie each one to secure the filling

· Place the filled bitter gourd into a sterilized jar and pour 2 cup lemon juice to cover

· Keep it outside for sun for about 3-4 days and eat after a week

3. Masala bharwa karela

Ingredients:

· Bitter gourd – 4

· Mustard oil – 2 tsp

· Salt – as per taste

· Cumin seeds – ½ tsp

· Fennel seeds – ½ tsp

· Onion paste – ½ cup

· Grated tomatoes – ¼ cup

· Grated ginger – ½ tsp

· Green chili paste – 1 tsp

· Turmeric powder – ½ tsp

· Dried mango powder – ¼ tsp

· Coriander = ¼ cup

· Oil – deep frying

            Directions:

· Peel the bitter gourd, slit each in lengthwise creating a hollow in the centre

· Apply a little salt to the inside and outside of the bitter gourd and keep it aside for 10 minutes

· Wash the bitter gourd and pat it dry using a kitchen towel and keep it aside

· In a non-stick pan, heat mustard oil and add cumin seeds and fennel seeds

· After a minute, add onion paste and saute over medium-low flame for 3-4 minutes

· Add tomatoes. Green chili paste, ginger, turmeric powder. Dried mango powder, garam masala, salt and coriander, mix well and cook for about 2-3 minutes

· Now divide the mixture into 4 equal portions

· Fill a portion of the prepared mixture into each slit bitter gourd and tie with a thread all over

· In a non-stick pan, heat oil and add the tied bitter gourd and cook on a medium flame till they turn golden brown in colour from all sides

· Let it cool and cut the thread and cut each bitter gourd into 5 pieces

· Serve warm

4. Karela dahiwala

Ingredients:

· Karelas – 6-8

· Salt – as per taste

· Hung curd – ½ cup

· Turmeric – ½ tsp

· Coriander powder – 1 tbsp

· Ginger powder – ½ tsp

· Chilli powder – ½ tsp

· Roasted cumin – 1 tsp

· Asafoetida – 1/8 tsp

· Fennel seeds roasted and coarsely pounded – 1 tsp

· Fenugreek seeds roasted and coarsely pounded – ½ tsp

· Mustard oil – ¼ cup

          Directions:

· Scarpe off the rough surface of the bitter ground, chop into rounds and rub all over with 1 tsp salt and keep aside for about 30 minutes

· Now mix yogurt, ginger powder, turmeric, cumin roasted, asafoetida, fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds

· Squeeze the bitter gourd to remove the bitter juice

· In a frying pam, heat oil and add spice mix

· Now add, bitter gourd and mix well

· Cook them covered till tender and until browned

· Serve warm with chapatis

5. Kareela peel kadhi

Ingredients:

· Bitter gourd – ¼ cup

· Curds – 1 cup

· Besan – ¼ cup

· Oil – 2 tsp

· Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

· Asafoetida – ¼ tsp

· Chopped garlic – 2 tsp

· Onions – ¼ cup

· Turmeric powder – ½ tsp

· Chilli powder – 1 tsp

· Coriander cumin seeds – 1 tsp

· Salt – as per taste

· Sugar – 1 tsp

        Directions:

· In a large bowl, combine curds, 2 cups of water, besan and whisk till no lumps remain

· In a pan, heat oil and add cumin seeds and asafoetida

· After a few minutes, when the seeds start to crackle, add garlic and onions and saute for 1 minute

· Then add bitter gourd peels, turmeric powder, coriander-cumin seeds powder and chili powder and saute for another 1 minute

· Now add prepared curd-water mixture, sugar, and salt and cook for 5 minutes

· Stir well, serve hot

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