Wednesday, September 25, 2013



This preparation from the North of India is made of Karela which is what bitter gourd is called in Hindi, and besan (the Hindi word for gram flour.) This is basically bitter gourd cooked in spices and coated with gram flour.

In many houses, bitter gourd is not much fancied by adults as well as kids and it is a challenge to get them to eat this! However, a lot depends on how it is cooked. Some dishes of karela can be very tasty indeed. I have earlier posted another Karela dish cooked in the Andhra style.

I also make it a point to use bitter gourd as it has many health benefits.

Here is a recipe from Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor's book, "Everyday Cooking", which I tried out the other day and liked a lot. I adapted the recipe to suit my requirements by a) not scraping the bitter gourd, and b) reducing the oil to 3 tbsp.

  • Besan (Gram flour), 3 tbsp
  • Karela, Bitter Gourds, medium-sized, lightly scraped, 3
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 5 tbsp
  • Hing (Asafoetida), 1/4 tsp
  • Ajwain (Carom seeds), 1/2 tsp
  • Dried Mango Powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder, 3/4 tsp
  • Red chilli powder, 1 tsp
  • Coriander-cumin powder, 2 tsp
  • Sugar, 3 tsp
  • Fresh Coriander Leaves, chopped, 1 tbsp

Chop the bitter gourd into small cubes. Sprinkle a little salt and mix. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Squeeze out the excess juice
Heat the oil in a non-stick kadai. Add the bitter gourds. Saute on medium heat till lightly coloured.
Cover and cook till done.
Sprinkle the gram flour and toss well.
Add the carom seeds, dried mango powder, turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander-cumin powder, and sugar and toss again.
Continue to cook on medium-low heat, sprinkle a little water occasionally.
Cook till the gram flour coats the bitter gourds well
Adjust salt to taste
Take the kadai off the heat and serve garnished with the chopped coriander.

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