Karela – Recipe for Bitter Gourd – 2 May 15


I would like to give you today the recipe for a vegetable which non-Indian readers may only have seen in Asian shops, wondering what kind of thing that was. Karela is a green vegetable with spikes – and it is bitter and very healthy, especially for people with diabetes! So next time you walk by that Asian shop, you can go ahead and buy some Karela because now you have the recipe!

Karela – Bitter Gourd

Prepare a vegetable dish with a delicious bitter note that is also great for your blood!

How long does it take to prepare Karela?

Preparation Time:
Cooking Time:
Total Time:


500 g Karela
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1/4 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
1/2 tsp black Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp Ginger Powder
1/4 tsp Mango Powder

Salt according to taste

How to prepare Karela

Start by washing the vegetables well and then cut them in finger-long stripes.

There is a way of preparation that reduces the bitterness of the karela but unfortunately also the nutritious values. If the dish is too bitter for you in the regular way, you can try mixing a big tablespoon of salt into the vegetable stripes and let them stand in the salt for two hours. After that, you wash the salt away – and with it the bitterness!

For a healthier version, however, you can skip the above step and simply continue in the following way:

Heat up the oil in a deep pan and turn the heat down to medium, once the oil is hot. Add fenugreek seeds, mustard, cumin, coriander powder, turmeric, garam masala and ginger powder one by one into it. Stir to keep the spices from burning and let them get roasted, developing a great aroma and a darker colour.

Once this has happened, you can add the bitter gourd pieces and stir well to mix the spices with the vegetables. At this point you can also add a little bit of salt. Turn the heat low and place a lid on top of the pan for the next 20 minutes. Stir from time to time.

After 20 minutes, lift the lid and see whether your karela is soft. If not, simply let it cook another five minutes. When it is soft, however, you sprinkle the mango powder on top of it, mix, and serve it warm!


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