Khatta Meetha Karela: Sweet and Sour Bitter Gourd Recipe

Bitter Melons at the Market
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  • 30 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4
Ratings (51)

Though Karela (Bitter Gourd) is not one of my favorite veggies, even I have to admit this dish is pretty tasty! Serve it with hot Chapatis!

What You'll Need

  • 4 tender Karelas (Bitter Gourds)
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil (or canola or sunflower cooking oil)
  • 6 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. black mustard seeds
  • 2 green chilies (slit)
  • 1 small onion (chopped fine)
  • 1 tsp. ginger (grated)
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp. coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. raw mango powder
  • 1 tsp. tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp. grated jaggery
  • Salt to taste
  • Garnish: chopped coriander leaves

How to Make It

  1. Wash the karelas/ bitter gourds well and pat dry. Cut off the top and 'tail' of each karela (discard) and then slit vertically down the centre. Use a spoon to scoop out all the seeds from the center. Discard the seeds. Now cut the karela halves into 1/4" thick pieces. Keep aside to use later.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and add the curry leaves, mustard and cumin seeds and green chillies. When they stop spluttering, add the chopped onion and sauté for a minute. Now add the ginger and garlic and sauté for another minute.
  1. Add the coriander, turmeric, red chilli and raw mango powders and mix well. Sprinkle a little water and sauté for a minute, stirring well.
  2. Add the karela pieces, tamarind paste and salt to taste, stir and cook till the karela is soft.
  3. Now add the jaggery and stir. Allow the jaggery to melt and begin to caramalize a little. Turn off fire, garnish with the coriander leaves.
  4. Serve with hot Chapatis (Indian flatbread)or Parathas (pan-fried Indian flatbread).