Bitter gourd fry(Karathe fry)

Bitter gourd or karathe(konkani) or Haagala kaayi(kannada) was never part of my cooking until recently. But I knew one or the other day I would start cooking it. Beleive me, this dish and the others which I am going to post soon, never had any bitter taste. We didn’t even know it was bitter gourd.

This recipe is from my sis-in-law Rashmi. Since I could not get the Indian bitter gourd, I used the Chinese bitter melon. If I started liking bitter gourd after eating this, I am sure anybody will love it (I am saying that because I hate this vegetable like anything and I was hesitant to try anything with bitter gourd).

Bitter gourd (cut into long thin pieces) 1 cup
Mustad seeds 1/2 tea spn
Red chilli powder 1 tea spn
Turmeric a pinch
Oil 1/2 tea spn

Add salt to bitter gourd and keep it aside for about half an hour. Squeeze out the water out of the bitter gourd pieces.
Heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they start popping, add turmeric and red chillies. (Since salt was added before, no need to add it again at this step). Fry till the pieces are cooked and crispy.

Serves : 3
Preparation time : 45min (including the initial half an hour)

17 thoughts on “Bitter gourd fry(Karathe fry)”

  1. hi shilpa, a good one.. I do them too..i actually learnt this from my MIL. I usally store them for about 3-4 days..They taste very good..But somehow im not able to find the bittergourd here.. ;-(. Thanks u for sharing…

  2. Thanks Sudha. Just try in Chinese stores if you any any near to your place. They are called Bitter melon in those stores and look a bit different (dont have spikes on them and are perrot green in color)

  3. Shilpa

    I prepared the same last sunday with two karelas and a onion. Cut the onion same way as Karela and fry them. You will get a different aroma due to use of onions. It is famous in the Punjabi community in India and they call it Karela fry. Give it a try. I got the karelas in the Indian store here, but the colour was light green as you mentioned in your last comment …..aruna

  4. no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you have to try with the real indian bitter to the core one!! 🙂 chinese bitter gourd is like 1% bitter only….compared to our indian nah!nah! that won’t work!! 🙂 Just kidding.. 🙂

  5. Thanx Shilpa for visiting my blog….Sorry that u had some incovnenience in reading the posts…unofortunately blogger has been giving me a lot of probs…publishing has become a pain now…Well,.let me see… I can now try your konkani style of cooking bitter gourd…thanx for sharing….

  6. Aruna, thanks for the recipe. I will try your version soon.
    Thanks Vineela
    LG, last time i went to Indian store, I bought 1 (the smallest one)bitter gourd, I was thinking, it will go waste and no one will eat any bitter gourd dishes. But for the first time, we liked the 2 dishes that I prepared. Since it was not possible to go to Indian store again (it is very very far), I used the chinese bitter melon :).
    Shynee, you have many very good recipes in your blog. only problem is the layout.

  7. Try chopping the karathe into really fine pieces, apply salt and keep in a colander to drain the bitter water (altho it would be wise to collect this and drink – the bitter water does have health benefits for diabetics and small children). As children, we were forced to drink this by my mom, but somehow I began to love the taste of it, Anyway, to continue the recipe, squeeze out all the water. temper some oil with mustard, add these karathe pieces and keep frying until they turn brown and crisp. Add some sugar or jaggery and continue to cook. Lastly add finely chopped onions and coriander leaves… you will love karela for ever after this.. sometimes I also add a little besan while frying to amke it more like “Zhunka”..

  8. I saw yr recipe for Karathe kosumburi which is similar to the recipe I sent earlier. Forgot to mention, that I add green cjhillies to my version..

  9. I tried preparing this yesterday. Had bought white karathe. Kept it aside for 30-35 mins after adding salt as u had mentioned. Prepared the fry too as given above.. But the fry tasted so bitter that we could not even have a single piece.. Can u please lety me know what would have gone wrong. and wat needs to be done next time.

    Shilpa: Did you squeeze out all the juice properly after your added salt and let it sit? If you want to remove all the bitterness(and with it all the nutritions), you can add some water to it and squeeze again. That way most of the bitterness goes off.

  10. I am a little confused with all the different versions of this recipe. I am going to try this with some of the different versions. —If anyone can tell me different Punjabi recipes, I’d be so glad. I just married a Punjabi man and have never cooked any kind of Indian food before. I have gotten Gohbi, aloo mutter and aloo Methi and chicken Karahi.. I don’t need to look at those recipes anymore..but after a month of those being my ‘big’ Punjabi dishes, I think my husband will kill me if I serve them again! If anyone can give me different dish ideas THANK YOU (((and my husband thanks you too!)))

  11. Hey,

    i was looking for a Kerela fry recipe and bumbed into your site. I am just going to prepare it and hope that it comes out good.. 🙂 Thanks a lot fr the recipe!

  12. Hi,

    I was looking for Karela receipe and saw u r post. I am going to prepare and hope it will be delicious. Keep posting some more receipes and thanks a lot.

  13. Hi Shilpa,

    Thanks for the recipe. Yesterday I bought 2 Chinese bittergourds. After keeping it with salt for half an hour, I squeezed the water as mentioned by u in this recipe. Alongwith one tsp of chilli powder i added sakthi sambar powder. Then after frying for 10-15 minutes I added some gram flour and 2 tsps of jaggery and further cooked for 2-3 minutes. I had this curry for lunch. It was delicious.

    Your blog has delicious recipes.

  14. Hi Shilpa,

    My mom usually prepare this karela fry, but after frying karela. she adds fried onion and cocunt to it, it tastes great, no bitterness.

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