Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Kaarle Bhaaji / Simple Bitter Gourd Stir Fry

Karela is called "kaarley" in konkani. And I am a big fan of karela. I simply love the vegetable in any form.
This is a simple stir fry for everyday meals.

Marinating the karela in tamarind is Ma's tip for reducing the bitterness in karela.
She made karela kappa(fry) and karela bhaaji with tomatoes and potatoes, but she never squeezed the juice out of the karela. She always marinated the cut karela in tamarind pulp for at least 1/2 hour.

2 cups chopped karela(thinly sliced),
1 medium onion sliced,
1 tbsp tamarind pulp,
salt to taste,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder,
1/2 tsp red chilly powder,
pinch of sugar,
2 tsp oil.

  • Apply tamarind to the karela and keep aside for 30 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a pan on medium heat.
  • Add chopped onions and fry till tender and translucent.
  • Add the marinated karela and fry till karela is cooked.
  • Add the salt, chilly powder ,turmeric powder and sugar and stir till everything is mixed well.
    There you go the dish is ready to be savoured with chapati or rice and simple dal.


Increase the red chilly powder if you want more spicy. I personally prefer to taste some of the bitterness in the karela.

If you don't have tamarind then use lemon or lime juice.

Add chopped garlic and ginger for a variation.


  1. I love Karela stir fry with akki rotti, looks yummy.

  2. Asha,
    I love karela anytime. made karela pickle, will post the recipe soon.

  3. Simple and yummy curry!

  4. looks yummy.i think the tamrind will reduce the bitter taste of karela right?
    Thanks for the recipe...

  5. PranisKitchen,
    Yes marinating in tamarind makes the karela less bitter.