Bitter Gourd /Karella/Karelia/Karavila curry – Inspired by Punjabi cuisine

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This is a definite diabetes buster; it is bitter, yet Juicy and delicious, if you get the ingredients and their proportions right. Bitter Gourd, also known as karella or karawila,  can be turned into a variety of dishes, depending on the type of cuisine you like to follow.

The type of dish that I describe is the Punjabi way of cooking; believe me, it is really delicious. I am grateful to Munaza, my Pakistani friend and her mom, for her dedicated culinary guidance in preparing me for this great, magical dish. The other amazing fact about this dish is that it only needs a few easy-to-find ingredients, despite its rich taste.

What you need:

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Bitter Gourd/Karella/Karavila 4
Onions(Indian Onion) 3 large
Chili powder 1/2 tbsp
 Riped and Juicy Tomatoes 3 large
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Olive oil 3 tbsp

Let’s make it:

  • Cut the Bitter gourds in thin rounds. Do not wash before cutting.

karavila-300x203 Sprinkle Salt liberally, about 2 tbsp and leave for up to 4 hrs.  This will take out some of the  bitterness of Karella and make them soft enough to cook.   If you are serving this dish to a diabetic patient, leave only for 2 hrs in salt so that most of the bitterness is intact. karavila-3-300x263

  • Wash Karella in a colander under a cold water tap.
  • Squeeze out water.
  • Heat up  Olive oil in a wide pan.
  • Add the round Karella pieces and fry them until they turn Brown/Golden, while turning constantly. (Pls. see the pic for the colour)

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  • Meanwhile cut tomatoes in small chunks and onions thinly.

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  • Once the Karella pieces turned into brown/golden colour , add tomatoes, onions, chili powder, turmeric and 1 & 1/2 tsp of salt, all at the same time.

tom-300x224 Now mix everything together and cook under medium fire, uncovered.  Remember to stir every now and again allowing it not to touch the bottom of the pan.  Do not lower the flame to minimum or cover the pan as the curry will become too watery.

  • The Karella will take about 1/2 hr to cook properly.
  • Taste and add more salt if required.
  • Cover and lower the flame to the minimum and cook for about 5 min.  This will allow the juices to run.
  • Let the curry rest for a while before serving.
  • Serve with hot white rice or chapatis.

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