It is not a secret that Karela is relished by those who are aware of its therapeutic value and innumerable health benefits. This page is especially dedicated to bitter gourd/ bitter melon recipes.
Karela has active substances such as Charantin with anti-diabetic properties which act as insulin that help to control blood sugar levels! Diabetic patients could reap the full benefits of Karela by drinking the juice of it first thing in the morning to flush out toxins and excess blood sugar. Consuming Karela on a regular basis will help the body to combat against building up excess sugar levels and stay in control of diabetes.
Recipes listed below:
My Amazon picks;
Recipe No: 1
Bittergourd/Karela Stir-fried with Onions – Delicious side dish
This recipe outshines all my other Karela recipes for its delicious taste and crunchy texture which is incredibly appetizing.
You can make this simple recipe and enjoy it at least once a week and keep yourself healthy and toxic free!
|Kashmiri Chilli Powder||1 tsp|
|Lemon juice||a few drops|
|Olive oil||2 tbsps|
Important: Do not wash Karela before cutting
- Cut dainty, thin rounds with seeds and skin (Nothing should be wasted)
- Sprinkle 1 tbsp of salt and keep aside for 20 – 30 mins
- Add olive oil and heat up a wide pan
- Add Karella and stir fry for about 3-4 mins or until slightly tender
- Drop chopped onions and continue stir-frying for a few mins or until Karella gets soft
*Add turmeric, salt and Kashmiri chili powder
*Cover and lower the flame. This will allow uncooked bits to cook evenly and all the spices to blend. Up to 3-4 mins are sufficient
*Open the lid, squeeze a few drops of lemon juice and give a good mix under medium flame
*Enjoy the delicious, crispy Karela stir fry as a side dish with your main meal
My Amazon pics;
Recipe No: 2
Stuffed Bittergourd/Karela – Delicious in every bite!
I described this recipe as “Karella, at its best” because, nothing of the vegetable is wasted in the cooking process: the whole pod of this vegetable, the skin, seeds, and the ‘fleshy part’, is being used to make this glorious dish; not only is it delicious, but also is rich in medicinal value.
This particular cooking method stems from Punjabi cuisine, which later on spread its way across India, favoured by many cultures for its unique taste, enriched with numerous health benefits.
Although stuffed Karela is normally deep-fried in some recipes, I took steps to keep its rare medicinal value intact: I steam them, with little olive oil sprayed all over. Hence, Karela comes with its best to your plate!
Scrape the skin off
- Wash Karella and scrape the skin off
- Slit in the middle, take the seeds out from the cavity using a small spoon
- Chop the skin and seeds very thinly, sprinkle 1 tbsp of salt and keep aside for 1/2 hr
- Rub salt inside the cavities of Karella and keep aside at the same time.
- After 1/2 hr, wash both Karella cavities, chopped skin and seeds and squeeze, drain the water away using a sieve
Prepare the filling
- Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan
- Splutter cumin seeds and Hing
- Add chopped onion and saute until golden
- Add ginger-garlic paste. Fry
- Add all the spices and fry
- Add gram flour and mix all thoroughly
- Add salt and check the taste
- Toss some chopped coriander leaves
- Your filling is ready!
- Fill cavities of each Karella with the filling.
- Spray olive oil around the pan and arrange Karela side by side.
- Toss a bit of oil on top
- Cover and let the Karella cook in the steam under low flame while turning occasionally, not letting them burn
- Finally, sprinkle little olive oil on top, toss some coriander leaves and serve warm with rice or rotis.
Recipe No : 3
Bittergourd/Karela Curry – Juicy and flavourful curry inspired by Panjabi cuisine
This juicy Karella/Bittergourd curry, inspired by Panjabi cuisine is a delicious blend of the bitterness of Karelas and the natural sweetness of onions and tomatoes. You will be surprised to learn that, to produce such a delicacy you will need only 3 main ingredients; Karela, Onions and tomatoes
By adding each of the ingredients proportionately, you can produce a mouth-wateringly delicious dish.
And only 3 main spices :
- Chilli powder
What you will need;
|Bitter Gourd/Karella/Karavila||3 medium|
|Onions(Indian Onion)||4 large|
|Juicy tomatoes||4 large|
|Olive oil||3 tbsp|
Let’s make it:
- Cut the Bitter gourds in thin rounds. Do not wash before cutting.
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 or not salt at all, so that most of the bitterness which is the antidote for diabetes, is intact.
- 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)
- Meanwhile cut tomatoes in small chunks and onions thinly. (Adding more onions and tomatoes make this dish juicier and larger in quantity.
- 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.
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 a 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
- Slit three green bullet chilies in the middle and drop
- 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 (make it the day before for a juicier version)
- Serve with hot white rice or chapatis
Recipe No: 4
Bittergourd/Karella Stir-Fried With Fresh Coconuts
I love the crunchiness of the Karella slices in this dish despite its mild bitterness and the fresh coconut in it contributes to a very pleasant sweetness.
The best news is that while making this stir fry, Karella is in its natural form and intact with all its medicinal values. Well known as the world’s best antidote for diabetes, bitter gourd, eaten raw or half-cooked like in this dish, flushes out the excess sugar and toxins in the system and purifies it.
This dish could be eaten on its own or as a side dish with steamed rice.
So, let’s make it:
Ingredients you will need;
|Light green, very tender bitter gourd||3|
|Freshly scraped/grated coconut||a handful|
|Salt to taste|
|Pepper powder||1 tsp|
|Curry leaves and two pinches of turmeric|
This beautiful salad, cleverly balanced it’s bitter and sweetness is highly appetising, one can finish the whole dish on its own!
However, it is usually served as a side dish with steamed rice in tropical Sri Lanka. While deep frying, one can argue that its natural goodness is lost, but, we must not forget that all nutrition values are not lost. For a change, this is the best way to entice someone who is put off by the bitterness of Karella.
|Lemon juice and salt to taste|
Let’s make it:
- Cut Karella into thin rounds
- Dry fry until the wetness dries off
- Deep-fry under medium flame until crispy
- Take out from the frying pan and drop on to a kitchen paper and let the excess oil drain out
- Thinly slice onions, tomatoes and green chillies
- Add lemon, salt and pepper powder. Give a good mix
- Now add the fried Karella and fold all together
- Serve fresh