bittergourd/karela recipes

Delicious Bittergourd /Karella/Karavila Recipes – A Sure Antidote For Diabetes

Recipe No: 1

Bittergourd/Karella Stirfried with Onions – Delicious side dish

bittergourd, karella stir fry
karella

Despised for its bitter taste,  karela is not favoured by many.  However, 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 bittergourd recipes due to the amazing medicinal values in it.

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 with diabetes.

This recipe outshines all my other Karela recipes for its delicious taste and crunchy texture which is incredibly appetising.  Unbelievably, the few lemon juice drops added to the stir fry at the end, enhance the taste in a great deal and make it quite pleasant to the taste buds too.

So, please make this simple recipe and enjoy it at least once in two weeks and keep yourself healthy and revitalized.

Ingredients needed:

Bittergourd 4 medium
Onions2 large
Kashmiri Chilli Powder1 tsp
Turmeric1/2 tsp
Lemon juice a few drops
Saltas required
Olive oil2 tbsps

Let’s make:

Important: Do not wash Karela before cutting

  • Cut dainty, thin rounds with seeds and all (Nothing should be wasted)
  • Sprinkle 1 tbsp of salt and keep aside for 20 – 30 mins
  • After 20 mins, place karela in a colander and wash under a cold tap until salt is removed
  • Squeeze dry and keep aside
  • 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 crispy

*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

*Done

*Enjoy the delicious, crispy Karela stir fry as a side dish with your main meal

Recipe No: 2 

Stuffed Bittergourd/Karella – Delicious in every bite!

karella stuffed

I described this recipe as “Karella, at its best” because, nothing of this 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 tradition, which later on spread its way across India, favoured by many cultures for its unique taste, enriched with numerous health benefits.

It has been renowned as a super diabetes buster for ages.  New findings through extensive research have proved that the seeds of Karella form a robust fighter against cancer cells, which guaranteed its rank among super vegetables provided by nature.

Although stuffed karella 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, I can assure you that according to this recipe Karella comes with its best to your plate!

You will need the following ingredients;

Bittergourd (medium) 6
Large onion 1
Ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp
Chili powder 1/2 tsp
Coriandar powder 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Mango powder (amchoor) 1tsp
Cumin seeds whole (Jeera) 1 1/2 tsp
Lime juice 1/2 tsp
Salt 1tsp

Let‘s make it;

Scrape it

  • 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.

Stir fry it

  • 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 it

  • Fill cavities of each Karella with the filling.
  • Spray olive oil around the pan and arrange Karella side by side.

Stream it

  • 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/Karella Curry – Juicy and flavourful curry inspired by Panjabi cuisine

karella curry
karavila

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;

  • Karella
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes

And only 3 main spices :

  • Chilli powder
  • Turmeric
  • Salt

Bitter Gourd is known as a  sure diabetes buster according to ayurvedic medicine.  This vegetable can be turned into a variety of dishes, depending on the type of cuisine you would like to follow.  However, If you get the ingredients and their proportions right this is simply the best Karella dish you can produce.

So, let’s make it;

What you will need;

Bitter Gourd/Karella/Karavila4 medium
Onions(Indian Onion)3 large or 4 medium
Chili powder1/2 tbsp
Riped and Juicy Tomatoes3 large or 4 medium
Turmeric1 tsp
Salt1 tsp
Olive oil3 tbsp

Let’s make it:

  • Cut the Bitter gourds in thin rounds. Do not wash before cutting.
karavila-300x203
karavila-3-300x263

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)
karella-300x215
  • Meanwhile cut tomatoes in small chunks and onions thinly. (Adding more onions and tomatoes make this dish juicier and larger in quantity.
tomato-300x224
  • 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 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

Karella stir fry

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;

karavila2-300x175
 Light green, very tender bitter gourd3
Freshly scraped/grated coconuta handful
Salt to taste 
Pepper powder1 tsp
Onions1 large
Curry leaves and two pinches of turmeric 
Oil1 tbsp

 Let’s make;

  • Slice up the bitter gourd very thinly.
karavila-300x203

  • Remove all the seeds
karavila-3-300x263

  • Sprinkle a little salt water and keep aside for 5 mins.
  • Mix grated coconut with a bit of turmeric(optional) salt to taste and pepper powder.
  • Squeeze  the bitter gourds to remove excess water and immediately mix with the coconut.
nfd

  • Slice the onion very thinly.
  • Heat oil in a wok and splutter some mustard seeds(optional).
  • Saute onions until slightly golden. Toss a lot of curry leaves.
karavila2

  • Add bitter gourds mixed with coconut.
  • Stir fry continuously.  (Do not close the lid or add water at any point)
  • Toss often and stir fry until the bitter gourd pieces no longer taste raw but nice and crunchy as well as taste great.
  • Adjust salt and pepper.
  • Done!!

Recipe 5

Bittergourd/Karella Salad

This beautiful salad, cleverly balanced its bitter and sweetness is highly appetising, one can finish the whole dish on its own!

However, it is usually eaten as a side dish when serving steaming hot 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 serve Karella for someone who is put off by its bitterness.

Ingredients needed:

Karella3
Red onions1
Green chili1
Lemon juice and salt to taste
Tomatoes1
Pepper powder

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 chilies
  • Add lemon, salt and pepper powder. Give a good mix
  • Now add the fried Karella and fold all together
  • Serve fresh

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