Karele ki sabzi

Karele ki Sabzi (bitter gourd)

Karele ki sabzi or bitter gourd vegetable is rarely liked by family members. It is almost an impossible task to make kids eat this. I have hardly seen a family where all family members love to eat and they demand Karele ki Sabzi (bitter gourd) in their lunch or dinner menu.

Not boasting, but I was always an obedient daughter and used to eat whatever my mom used to cook. Probably that’s how I slowly developed taste for all vegetables. I remember till 5th or 6th class my daughter Apoorva also used to eat every thing. But slowly she also became fussy and I just couldn’t make her eat a few veggies, including bitter gourd.

I love karela in any form – whether it is prepared as sabzi or in stuffed form. It tastes really good if onions are also added, but it is not compulsory. I like bitter gourd with hot parathas or as a side dish with simple daal – chawal.

There are many ways to cook bitter gourd. To eliminate its bitter taste you can peel it and smear it with salt and keep it like this for 2 hours. Later wash it and cook it.

I don’t want to wash away all nutrients of bitter gourd this way. So I never peel it. I just wash it and chop in small pieces and cook it with onions. To reduce the bitterness you can add dry mango powder (amchoor), grated raw mango or lemon juice.

Try this extremely nutritious vegetable in my way, probably you might develop a taste for it …

I have a few more posts on vegetables in the blog. You can take a look…Vegetables (Curries)


Bitter gourd(karela) 200 gms

Onions 2 big size

Oil 3 tbsp

Rai  (small mustard seeds ) 1/4 tsp

Cumin seeds (jeera) 1/4 tsp

Asafotida  (hing) 1/8 tsp

Coriander powder 1+1/2 tsp

Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

Red chili powder 1 tsp

Coarsely grounded fennel seeds 2 tsp

Finely chopped green chilies 2

Salt  as per your taste

Water  2 or 3 tbsp

Dry mango powder/grated raw mango/lemon juice


Peel, wash and chop onions.

In a wok heat 1 tbsp of oil and add chopped onions. Keep the heat on sim and let the onions turn light brown. Keep tossing them from time-to-time.

Wash and chop bitter gourd in round shape.

In another wok heat two tbsp oil and crackle rai, hing and jeera. Add chopped bitter gourd and rest of the spices, except dry mango powder. Mix everything nicely, cover it and let it cook on sim heat. In between keep turning them upside down a couple of times. If you feel that sabzi is sticking to the bottom of the wok, add little water and let it cook till it is tender.

Onions would be ready by now – so, switch off heat.

Once bitter gourd is cooked, add onions and 1 tsp dry mango powder or 1 tbsp grated raw mango or 1 tbsp lemon juice. Mix it well, cover it and on sim heat and let it cook for 2-3 minutes more.

Karele ki sabzi is ready to be served.

Bitter Gourd

Bitter gourd

Published by

Deeksha Pathak

I like reading, watching movies, listening to music, doing some art and craft, cooking, baking and exploring new ideas. Baking is my new passion!!

133 thoughts on “Karele ki Sabzi (bitter gourd)

      1. Certainly,I shall let you know as early as possible.We have a different recipe of Karele sabzi ,a head of a big fish like Rohu or Katla cooked with few Kareles having a stew like white soup or gravy and that is my son’s favourite .Thanks .🙏

    1. Thanks a lot 😊
      I can understand. But still try once with smearing it with salt and by adding grated raw mango. Sourness of raw mango will take over the bitterness. You might develop a taste!

  1. Hey Deeksha, well my family is an exception, where all of us love karela. They relish it in any form. Haven’t made this style as yet. So will surely try. I am sure we are all going to enjoy it 😊

    1. Sunith. I liked your perception ‘with age bitterness has mellowed’ .It fits so well in life as well as for bitter gourd😉
      Thank you very much🙂

      1. Haha… I’m realistic traveler not idealistic 😋 as long as you can find dal roti chawal it’s fine. And that is the most easiest to manage.

  2. I like bitter gourd. Although bitter gourd is bitter, but its properties are very sweet. According to this recipe, its bitterness will be greatly reduced.🤗😊🎆🌻
    Awesome recipe ma’am👌👌💐

    1. Agreed Yogesh, karela has many nutritious properties.That’s why in this recipe bitterness is just covered up with mango powder.
      Thanks a lot for your kind words😊

  3. I have just looked up “bitter gourd”. Seems like it is very healthy. It helps with diabetis and strengthens the immune system. I will have a look at supermarkets in town on Monday, if I can find it. In our village they don’t have it. And I will try the mango curry again, buy the mango on the same day, so it does not have a chance to ripen too much.

    1. Don”t buy much for the first attempt Stella. Though it is very healthy vegetable, usually people ignore( specially male members of the family).
      All the best with your mango curry.Here mangoes are now rarely seen now. In many states monsoon has reached.

      1. It is flood in a few states and a few are still under heat wave. Now each year some or other state is flooded in India.This year along with corona situation is worse with so much rain.

      2. Yes it is getting more and more extreme is it not? Either there is no water at all, or there is too much. And India as a large continent must experience even more extremes. We are still in a moderate climate, in spite of everything.

      3. Bngalore is on a higher altitude, so we also have very pleasant weather here. But pleasant weather is not enough. Moderate rain should be there.
        You are blessed to have good climate Stella. .Global warming is just doing a lot damage.

      4. Yes that is true! We had a very bad drought where I live in summer 2018, when it did not rain four four months, starting with April. In the south of Denmark they had floods, and here the crops were dying. That is when I promised to never complain about rain again … 🙂 … but then, that also can get too much, when the rivers come rushing down the mountains and wash away entire villages, as they did in India, and I think Italy was also hit.

      5. That’s how it is now. A few countries have learnt lessons from severe drought and now they use a single drop of rain water very carefully. God knows when Indian government will get some sense. Last year it had rained so well in our city, but water just washes out, all waste.

  4. I love bitter gourd as well, nice to learn a new recipe with amchur powder .I also love the way you cut in circles. Wonderful share Deeksha!

  5. That sounds interesting, Deeksha, but I had never heard of it. I can’t imagine this dish being offered at an American restaurant, as very few people would likely chose a dish that has the name “bitter” in it. Maybe I’m wrong.
    In my defense, I hated most vegetables as a child, but there are hardly any now I don’t like. 🙂

    1. Ha ha ha Don’t we all turn into a very healthy adult from a fussy kid!!

      Tanja, I am not sure about American restaurants, but in India it is served with a lot of variations. In southern states people even prepare chips from bitter gourd. Overall, I believe it’s all about getting used to of particular taste.

    1. Thank you very much Kamal 🙂
      I know, it is really difficult to find a liking in a vegetable which has ‘bitter’ in its name😇
      I hope your husband and daughter like the taste of this recipe ☺️
      Have a relaxed Sunday Kamal!

    1. We all hated many vegetables as a kid, isn’t it… Later in life we realize the importance of good food and taste starts developing.
      Thank you very much Adarsh. Have a good week day ahead!

  6. I can so relate to you. I think there is not a single vegetable I don’t eat.😅
    And Bitter gourd is something that I eat thrice in a week. Thanks for the recipe, again. ❤️😇

  7. “Not boasting, but I was always an obedient daughter and used to eat whatever my mom used to cook” loved this line,
    I could see my childhood in these lines. I guess this is the reason that I always loved bitter gourd despite its bitterness.
    Your posts are simply amazing and mouth watering.

    1. Parents put all discipline with their first kid, so Initially I was forced to eat everything. Later it became a habit and liking both. I guess blessings in disguise!
      Thank you very much Sushmita for your generous appreciation😊😊

      1. I guess you are right, I am also the first child and the same thing happened to me as well, initially I used to hate veggies but later on due to my mom’s efforts of feeding me the food which I disliked became my habit, and now I can eat everything. 😅

        It’s my pleasure, to appreciate your delicious recipe along with the interesting stories.😊🌺

  8. This is my all-time favorite! Bitter guard! It is funny that I loved it since I was a kid. I could eat it everyday and never get enough of it.

      1. Everything is same Oscar. Still scary and confined in the house. Cases are increasing as more and more people are coming out for their work. Not everyone is privileged to sit at home and earn.

      2. Ah, my blessing to you and family. Dear Deeksha, we are in a special moment of the earth… the mother earth is changing, and our lives are changing. Same here, I am a little suffering. I want to go home. I am waiting.
        Stay home with family. This is a big fortune!

  9. It’s funny how food, something we all need, can become such a fraught subject, isn’t it? I was pretty horribly picky as a child. As soon as I became old enough to make a sandwich and mother said I could try what was on the table and make one if I didn’t like it, as long as I ate with the family,I started relaxing and eating at least a little bit of everything. (Now I’m curious as to whether I can find bitter gourd here in Brazil!)

    1. Hi Jay, good to hear from you from Brazil😊
      it’s true that in general food is considered as a fraught subject. But courtesy many tv food shows now people are interested to discuss food, ingredients and preparation method. It is strange but this current pandemic has made people respect the home cooking efforts. I hope they continue doing it.

      I guess during our childhood days we all were picky. I was just scared to say no to any kind of food as it was the rule of my mother to eat everything . Gradually I developed taste in everything. Mothers make us learn things through their ways☺️
      I hope that you find some variety of bitter gourd as one of the blogger friend from Taiwan told they get white bitter gourd and they call it bitter melons.

  10. Thank you so much, I’ll definitely look around! It has to be found somewhere! 🙂 And you’re sure, we’re all picky when we’re young, and hopefully become more adventurous as we grow older!

    Have a great day and take care! <3

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