Karela Curry / Bitter Gourd Curry

This recipe brings together the bold flavors of bitter gourd with a tangy and spicy gravy, resulting in a mouthwatering dish that is sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Karela Curry / Bitter Gourd Curry

Welcome to our blog post on the delicious and unique Karela Curry recipe! This recipe brings together the bold flavors of bitter gourd with a tangy and spicy gravy, resulting in a mouthwatering dish that is sure to tantalize your taste buds. Follow our step-by-step instructions to create a flavorful and satisfying Karela Curry that pairs perfectly with a serving of white rice. Let's get started with this one-of-a-kind recipe by The Indian Claypot!

What Is Karela Curry?

  • Karela curry, also known as bitter gourd curry, is a popular Indian dish known for its unique combination of succulent bitter gourd with a blend of traditional Indian spices and seasoning. This flavorful curry offers a perfect balance of bitter and spicy flavors, making it a delicious and unique addition to any meal.
  • The use of ingredients like fenugreek seeds, tamarind, and curry leaves adds a depth of flavor to the dish, giving it a truly authentic taste. Whether you're a fan of bitter gourd or looking to explore new and exciting flavors, karela curry is definitely worth a try.

Why You'll Love Karela Curry?

  • Delicious Texture: The karela curry has a unique texture that combines the slightly bitter taste of the bitter gourd with the savory and spicy flavors of the curry. The crispy and browned bitter gourd slices add a wonderful crunch to the dish, making it a delightful sensory experience.
  • Health Benefits: Bitter gourd, the star ingredient of this curry, is packed with essential nutrients and has numerous health benefits. It is known for its ability to lower blood sugar levels, improve digestion, and boost skin health. By including karela curry in your diet, you can enjoy these health perks along with a delicious meal.
  • Rich Flavor: The combination of fenugreek seeds, garlic, curry leaves, and spices infuses the curry with a rich and aromatic flavor. The tangy tamarind juice adds a refreshing zing to the dish, balancing the bitterness of the gourd and enhancing its overall taste.
  • Nutritious Ingredients: This recipe includes nutritious ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, and a variety of spices that are not only flavorful but also contribute to the overall nutritional value of the dish. The use of sesame oil adds richness and depth to the curry while offering its own health benefits.
  • Versatile Dish: Karela curry can be enjoyed on its own with steamed rice or paired with Indian bread such as roti or naan. Its versatility makes it a great option for a wholesome and satisfying meal that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
  • Comforting and Satisfying: The warm and comforting flavors of karela curry make it a perfect choice for a cozy family dinner or a gathering with friends. Its hearty and satisfying nature makes it a comforting dish that brings joy and contentment with every bite.

Ingredients for Karela Curry

  • Bitter Gourd: Bitter gourd is the star ingredient of karela curry, adding a unique bitter flavor to the dish.
  • Sesame Oil: Sesame oil is used for frying the bitter gourd and gives a rich nutty flavor to the curry.
  • Fenugreek Seeds: Fenugreek seeds add a slightly bitter and earthy flavor, enhancing the overall taste of the curry.
  • Garlic Pods: Garlic adds a pungent and slightly sweet flavor, balancing out the bitterness of the bitter gourd.
  • Onion: Finely chopped onions add a sweet and savory flavor, providing a depth of taste to the curry.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes add a tangy and slightly sweet flavor, as well as a hint of acidity to the curry.

How To Make Karela Curry?

Karela curry is a delicious and flavorful dish that can be enjoyed with white rice. To make this traditional Indian dish, follow these simple instructions:

  • Start by soaking the tamarind in hot water for 10 minutes to extract the tamarind juice. This step is important as it adds a tangy and sour flavor to the curry.
  • Slice the bitter gourd into thick slices and remove the seeds. This step is crucial to reduce the bitterness of the vegetable and prepare it for cooking.
  • Heat a pan or iron kadai with sesame oil and fry the bitter gourd slices until they are slightly browned. This step helps to enhance the flavor of the bitter gourd and adds a crispy texture to the dish.
  • In the same pan, fry fenugreek seeds, garlic pods, curry leaves, onions, and tomatoes until they are browned and soft. This step is essential for building the base flavors of the curry.
  • Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and coriander powder to the pan and fry until the raw smell of the spices goes away. This step is crucial for infusing the spices into the dish and creating a rich and aromatic flavor.
  • Add water and tamarind extract to the pan and bring it to a boil. Cover and cook for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend together.
  • Finally, add the fried bitter gourd slices back into the pan and simmer for 10 minutes until the gravy becomes thick and the oil separates from the curry. This step is important for bringing all the flavors together and achieving the perfect consistency.

By following these steps, you can create a delicious and flavorful karela curry that is sure to be a hit at the dinner table. Enjoy!

Serving Suggestions

  • Pair with Rice: The karela curry pairs well with steamed white rice, providing a perfect balance of flavors and textures.
  • Accompany with Roti or Naan: For a complete meal, serve the karela curry with roti or naan to soak up the delicious gravy.
  • Fresh Salad: A side of fresh cucumber and onion salad with a sprinkle of chat masala adds a refreshing crunch to the meal.
  • Yogurt Raita: A cooling yogurt raita with a hint of cumin and chopped mint leaves can offset the bitterness of the karela curry.
  • Pickles or Chutney: A tangy mango pickle or a spicy tomato chutney can elevate the flavors of the curry and add an extra kick to the meal.
  • Glass of Lassi: Lastly, serve with a glass of refreshing, creamy lassi to cleanse the palate and provide a sweet contrast to the savory curry.

By pairing the karela curry with these complementary sides, you can enjoy a complete and satisfying meal that highlights the unique flavors of this traditional dish.

Tips for Making Karela Curry

Preparation and Cooking Time:

  • The preparation time for this recipe is approximately 20 minutes, and the cooking time is around 30 minutes. It's important to give the bitter gourd enough time to fry until slightly browned for the best flavor.

Garnishing for Presentation:

  • Garnishing the karela curry with fresh cilantro or coriander leaves adds a pop of color and a refreshing flavor to the dish. It also enhances the overall presentation, making it more appealing.

Cooking Techniques:

  • To reduce the bitterness of the bitter gourd, you can soak the sliced pieces in salted water for about 15 minutes before cooking. This helps to mellow out the strong bitter taste.

Adjusting Spice Levels:

  • If you prefer a spicier curry, you can increase the amount of red chili powder, or decrease it if you prefer a milder flavor. Adjust the spices according to your preference for the perfect balance of flavors.

Consistency of the Gravy:

  • Keep an eye on the gravy while simmering the curry with the bitter gourd slices. It should become thick, and the oil should start separating from the gravy, indicating that it's ready to be served.

Serving Suggestion:

  • Karela curry pairs wonderfully with steamed white rice. The combination of the slightly bitter curry with the fluffy, plain rice creates a harmonious and comforting meal. Enjoy the karela curry hot for the best experience.

Variations for Karela Curry

  • Adding additional vegetables: You can experiment with adding other vegetables, such as potatoes, bell peppers, or even carrots, to the karela curry to add different flavors and textures to the dish.
  • Sweet and sour twist: For a unique twist, consider adding a bit of jaggery or brown sugar to the curry to balance out the bitterness of the karela with a touch of sweetness.
  • Creamy coconut milk: Instead of using water, you can use coconut milk to add a creamy texture and a hint of coconut flavor to the karela curry.
  • Nutty crunch: Consider adding some roasted peanuts or cashews to the curry for an added crunch and nutty flavor.
  • Spicy kick: For those who love a bit of heat, you can increase the amount of red chili powder or add some chopped green chilies to make the curry extra spicy.
  • Fresh herbs: Finish off the karela curry with a handful of fresh cilantro or mint leaves for a burst of fresh herbal flavor.

How to Store Karela Curry

  • Storing Bitter Gourd: To maintain the freshness of bitter gourd, store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. You can also wrap it in a paper towel and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • Storing Tamarind: After opening the tamarind, place it in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator to prevent it from drying out. It can last for several months when stored properly.
  • Storing Spices: Keep the spices in airtight containers and store them in a cool, dark place to maintain their flavor and potency. Avoid keeping them near heat sources or in direct sunlight.
  • Importance of Proper Storage: Proper storage of the key ingredients like bitter gourd, tamarind, and spices is essential to ensure the freshness and flavor of the karela curry. It also helps in preventing the ingredients from spoiling and extends their shelf life.
  • Tips for Leftovers: If you have any leftover karela curry, store it in an airtight container and refrigerate it. It can be reheated and enjoyed within a few days.
  • Properly Sealing the Curry: When storing the karela curry, make sure to seal the container properly to prevent any air from entering, which can lead to spoilage.

By following these simple storage tricks, you can ensure that your karela curry stays fresh and flavorful for a longer period of time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use other vegetables instead of bitter gourd?

  • Yes, you can substitute bitter gourd with other vegetables like eggplant, okra, or potatoes to make a different variation of the curry.

How can I adjust the level of spiciness in the curry?

  • You can adjust the spiciness by increasing or decreasing the amount of red chili powder according to your preference.

Can I make this curry without tamarind?

  • Yes, if you do not have tamarind, you can substitute it with lemon juice for a tangy flavor in the curry.

Is there an alternative to sesame oil for cooking the curry?

  • You can use any other cooking oil like vegetable oil or coconut oil as a substitute for sesame oil.

Can I make this curry in advance and store it?

  • Yes, you can make the curry in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.

What can I serve with karela curry?

  • You can enjoy karela curry with steamed white rice or roti for a delicious meal.

Recipe Card

Karela Curry / Bitter Gourd Curry 2021-02-18 03:18:24

Karela Curry/Bitter Gourd Curry

Serves 4
Prep. Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 35 mins

Ingredients

  • 250 grams Bitter Gourd
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • 6 to 7 Garlic Pods
  • Few Curry Leaves
  • 1 medium sized, finely chopped Onion
  • Dash Asafoetida Powder
  • 2 medium sized, finely chopped Tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 2 tbsp Coriander Powder
  • 1&1/2 cups Water
  • To taste Salt
  • Lemon sized Tamarind

Instructions

  • Soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup of hot water for 10 mins and extract the tamarind juice and keep it aside.
  • Slice bitter gourd into thick slices and remove seeds.
  • Chop the onion and tomatoes finely.
  • Heat a pan or iron kadai with 3 tbsp of oil over medium heat.
  • When the oil heats, add bitter gourd slices with salt and fry until slightly browned, remove from the heat and keep it aside.
  • Heat the remaining oil (add 1 tbsp oil if needed), when the oil heats, add fenugreek seeds and fry until browned.
  • Then add garlic pods and fry until browned.
  • Also, add curry leaves, fry until crispy.
  • Then add finely chopped onion and saute until browned.
  • Further, add finely chopped tomatoes and fry until it becomes soft and mushy.
  • Now turn the heat to low, then add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and coriander powder, fry until it's raw smell goes.
  • Then add water and bring it to a boil.
  • When the masala starts to boil, add tamarind extract, and salt to taste, cover and cook for 5 mins.
  • Then add bitter gourd slices, cover and simmer for 10 mins or until the gravy becomes thick and the oil separates from the curry.
  • Remove from the heat and serve hot with white rice Enjoy!

By Santhi Therese
The Indian Claypot

Step-By-Step Instructions:

Heat a pan or iron Kadai with 3 tbsp of oil over medium heat.

When the oil heats, add bitter gourd slices

and salt

fry until slightly browned, remove from the heat and keep it aside.
It takes 5 to 6 mins.

Heat the remaining oil (add 1 tbsp oil if needed), when the oil heats, add
fenugreek seeds and fry until browned.

Then add garlic pods and fry until browned.

Also, add curry leaves, fry until crispy.

Then add finely chopped onion and saute until browned.

Further, add asafoetida powder

and then finely chopped tomatoes and fry until it becomes soft and mushy.

Now turn the heat to low, then add turmeric powder, red chili powder and
coriander powder, fry until its raw smell goes.

Then add water and bring it to a boil.

Meanwhile, soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup of hot water for 10 mins and extract the
tamarind juice and keep it aside.

When the masala starts to boil, add tamarind extract and salt to taste,
cover and cook for 5 mins.

then add cooked bitter gourd slices

cover and simmer for 10 mins or until the gravy becomes thick and the oil
separates from the curry.

Remove from the heat and serve hot with white rice Enjoy!

You may also like my other Indian Curries posts and recipes like Vendakkai Mor Kuzhambu / Okra Yogurt Gravy, Kadai Paneer Recipe, Mutton Peas Curry, Kadai Paneer Masala, Mochai Kuzhambu Recipe / Fresh Field Beans Curry, Palak Paneer Recipe, Omelette Curry, Indian Fish Curry, Liver Recipe, Ginger Garlic Paste Recipe, Mutton Chukka Recipe, Paneer Jalfrezi Recipe, Chole Bhature / Chola Poori, Nandu Masala / Crab Masala, Chettinad Egg Curry, Matar Paneer Masala, Indian Mutton Curry Recipe, Paneer Butter Masala, Soya Chunks Paneer Korma, Indian Chicken Curry with Potatoes .


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Other Recipes


Vendakkai Mor Kuzhambu / Okra Yogurt Gravy
Kadai Paneer Recipe
Mutton Peas Curry
Kadai Paneer Masala
Mochai Kuzhambu Recipe / Fresh Field Beans Curry
Palak Paneer Recipe
Omelette Curry
Indian Fish Curry
Liver Recipe
Ginger Garlic Paste Recipe
Mutton Chukka Recipe
Paneer Jalfrezi Recipe
Chole Bhature / Chola Poori
Nandu Masala / Crab Masala
Chettinad Egg Curry
Matar Paneer Masala
Indian Mutton Curry Recipe
Paneer Butter Masala
Soya Chunks Paneer Korma
Indian Chicken Curry with Potatoes

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