Karela or Bitter gourd, a versatile vegetable that’s cooked in so many ways. I learnt making it in a different way today and loved it with hot chapattis. Of course Arnav isn’t yet fond of this vegetable but I am sure he is soon going to love it.


Besan Karela

Besan Karela

Here is how I made them today-


4-6 Bitter Gourds (Karelas) – peeled (optional)

1.5 tbsp Gram Flour (Besan)

2 tsp Coriander Powder (Dhaniya Powder), 1.5 tsp Dry Mango Powder (Amchoor), 1/4 tsp Garam Masala

1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder, Red Chili powder as per taste

1 tsp Cumin seeds (Zeera)

1 tsp Methi dana (Fenugreek seeds) & Saunf (Fennel seeds) each

Salt as per taste

Finely chopped green chilies

~2 tsp ginger paste

Chopped Cilantro

Oil- 1 Tablespoon and for deep frying the bitter gourd or steam for a healthier option


Chopped karelas mixed with salt, vinegar and turmeric powder

Chopped karelas mixed with salt, vinegar and turmeric powder

Wash, drain and scrape the skin of the bitter gourd (scraping is optional). Chop to small pieces.  Add 1/2 tea spoon salt,  1 tsp vinegar and a pinch of turmeric powder mix and leave it aside for 10-15 minutes.  Add a cup of water. Squeeze and remove the water.  This reduces the bitterness. Now you can either deep fry the chopped bitter gourd or steam it- the latter being a healthier option any day.

Once done, heat oil in a pan.  Add cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds.  When is starts spluttering add finely sliced green chilies and ginger paste.  Fry them for a minute or two and now add the gram flour.  Add about a small bowl of water to this and stir so that the ingredients mix and form a paste.

Now add all the spices – as well as salt- (keep it less as we had already added it to the karelas and it absorbs) Keep stirring so that the besan is cooked properly. After 3-4 minutes add the bitter gourd pieces, mix and stir. Since we have already fried or steamed the karelas, it should not take too much time- cook for 7-8 minutes more and done!

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Tip : Karelas when cooked properly can be refrigerated for a month 🙂