Monday, February 10, 2014

Bitter Melon- Karela Sabzi 2

Karela in hindi stands for bitter gourd or bitter melon. I have another recipe that I posted back in 2011. That one is my most favorite way of cooking this bitterly delicious vegetable. Here's another one that I learned from Priya, and I totally fell in love with it. This recipe does not use any aromatics, and is perfect for pure vegetarians, who do not like onions and garlic in their food.

You Need (for 2 people):

1. 4 Karela (bitter gourd/bitter melon). I prefer the Indian bitter gourd available in the Indian store for this recipe. Chinese bitter melon would work OK too.

Karela (Indian Bitter Gourd)

2. Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

3. Cumin seeds 1 tsp

4. Coriander seed powder 4-5 tsp

5. Red Chilli powder 3-4 tsp (obviously this is per level of heat you like)

6. Aamchur (dry mango powder) 1/2 tsp (again, if you like sour, then you can add more)

7. Peanuts- a small handful

8. Salt per taste

9. Cooking oil about 3-4 tbs (you gotta use a good amount of oil for this if you want it to be tasty!)


1. Wash and peel the karela roughly, and cut into discs.

If you are more the adventurous kind, or want to eat karela for its medicinal properties, then skip the peeling step, and straight go to step 2. 

Sprinkle turmeric powder all over, and a pinch of salt and mix up the chopped karela. Set aside for 1/2 hour.

Science involved here: The salt drains out the bitter liquid from the karela. The turmeric, I believe, cuts the bitterness down (?).

Thereafter, squeeze out the bitterness out of the karela with the help of your hand.

Ready to be cooked
2. In a kadhai (wok) pour in oil, get the heat going, and fry peanuts. Remove the peanuts, and set them aside in a bowl, lined with paper towel to drain off excess oil.

Fried peanuts

3. In the remaining oil in the kadhai, crackle 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds, and throw in the karela. Start frying the karela.

4. Add salt per taste and the coriander powder and continue frying, while keeping the flame on medium. You don't want to burn it. After about 10 minutes of frying, check to see if the karela has cooked according to your liking.

Note: For this dish, the karela needs to be nice and crispy. You can add a tablespoon of water, if you'd like to fasten the cooking process in the beginning.

5. Add the aamchur and the red chili powder, and give it all a good stir. Adjust the seasonings according to taste, and if satisfied, switch off the stove.

6. Finally roughly crush the fried peanuts (I use my pestle and mortar) and mix it into the cooked karela. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves/cilantro and serve with hot parathas. YUM!

Karela Sabzi 

Check out more on the karela here. I know that not many people are fond of this vegetable, but really, give it a chance, and try to incorporate it into your diet. I promise it is good for you! :)

No comments: