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Bitter Melon (Below)
Fenugreek and Neem


Bharwaan Karele

4 bitter gourds 1 tsp. salt

For the stuffing:
4 tsp. saunf powder (aniseed powder)
3 tsp. coriander powder
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. mustard powder
1 tsp. cumin powder
2 tbsp. jaggery
1 tsp. chilli powder
1 tbsp. lemon juice
salt to taste
ghee for frying

Lightly scrape the bitter gourd skin and wash thoroughly. Rub with salt and steam for 5 minutes. Slit lengthwise and carefully scoop out the seeds. Mix all the stuffing ingredients and stuff the bitter gourd thoroughly and secure with a thread. Deep fry in hot ghee over medium heat for 10 minutes, till brown. Drain and offer hot.

Bitter Gourd with Curd

1 pound medium Karela
1/2 cup Dahi (curd)
3 Tomatoes, diced
Salt to taste
1 tsp Garam Masala
A Pinch Turmeric Powder
1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 tsp Asofoetida
1-1/2 tsp Dhania (coriander) Powder
1-1/2 tbsp Ghee
Ghee for frying
Salt to taste

Peel the karelas and keep the rind aside. Make a cut (length wise) on the karelas and smear with salt all over. Leave overnight. If you want to put the rind in the subzi then, put some salt in the rind too, mix well and leave overnight. Wash the karelas (and rind) thoroughly (4-5 times) under running water and drain. Deep fry the karelas on medium flame, until golden brown. Set aside. Fry the tomatoes and cook until tender. Add all the spices and a little water, fry the masala for 2 minutes. Add the dahi and cook for 1 minute. Add the fried karelas and cover, let it cook till soft.

Bittergourd Pulusu Pachadi

1 tomato
3 bittergourd
1 tsp menthi gunda powder
1 tbsp tamarind juice
a small lump jaggery
a pinch turmeric
2 green chillies
sprig curry leaves
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp asofoetida
salt to taste
2 tbsp ghee

In a little hot ghee fry the green chillies and curry leaves. Add finely chopped bitter gourd and fry for 15 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes, tamarind juice, jaggery, asofoetida, menthi gunda powder and salt. Cook for another 20 minutes on a medium flame. Garnish with finely chopped coriander and offer.

Hagalkai Gojju

5-6 medium sized bittergourd
4-5 red chillies
1 tsp concentrated tamarind, add water and dilute
1/2 cup jaggery powder
a small piece ginger
A pinch of asofoetida
2 tbsp ghee
1 tsp mustard seeds

For Seasoning:
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp peanuts
1/2 cup grated coconut
1 tsp cumin seeds

Mix the seasoning ingredients and grind to a powder. Fry them slightly and set aside. In a little hot ghee fry the mustard seeds and allow to splitter. Then add the bittergourd (cut into small pieces and seeds removed) into the pan and fry it till it becomes golden brown or loses its color. Then add the red chillies, asofoetida, ginger and the masala powder. Mix this properly. Now add the tamarind water and allow it to boil until a somewhat thick gravy is formed. Add jaggery, mix it well. Wait for about 2 minutes and remove from heat, and offer.

Karela Bala

Bitter Melon, 2 large
Plaintain, 4 medium
Spinach, fresh, 2 heads
Green chilis (jalapenos), 2 small
Dry red chilis, 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Asofoetida, 1/2 teaspoon
Besan flour, 1 cup
Ghee for frying

Boil equal parts plantain and bitter melon together, drain well and add steamed spinach with all water squeezed out. Mash the mixture and let it cool. Mix together the chilies, salt, asofoetida and besan flour. Mix the dry ingredients together with the mashed vegetables. Consistency should be sticky enough so you can form balls that hold together well. Add scant ghee if needed. Balls should be 1-1/2 to 2 inches. Deep fry in ghee until golden, drain, and offer.

Kayippakka Vartharacha Curry
(Bitter Gourd in Coconut Curry)

3 Bitter Gourds (small)
1/2 Coconut
6 Red Chillies
4 Green Chillies
1/2 tsp Cumin seed
2 tsp Coriander seed
1 cm piece of Turmeric
1 tsp Aniseed
2 tsp asofoetida
Small ball of Tamarind
2 tsp of Ghee
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
Few sprigs of Curry Leaves
Salt to taste

Wash and cut the bitter gourds into thin, long slices. Roast and grind the red chillies, coriander seeds and turmeric together. Roast the coconut with the cumin seed and aniseed. Grind to a smooth paste, adding a little water if necessary. Slice the green chillies. Soak the tamarind in a little water and squeeze out the juice from the pulp. Parboil the bitter gourd and strain off the water. Heat the ghee. Add the green chillies and fry for a minute. Add the ground coriander and chilli paste and fry for a minute or two. Add the bitter gourd and 1 cup water and salt to taste and cook. Now add the tamarind water. Cook for a few minutes more. Mix the ground coconut in a cup of water and add to the curry. Simmer and remove from the fire. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp. ghee and fry mustard and curry leaves in it. Add this to the prepared curry, and offer.

Korola Shorshe (Bitter Melon in Mustard Sauce)

Bitter melons, 3 medium
Mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds, 2 teaspoons
Green chilis (jalapenos), 2 small
Dry red chilis, 1/4 teaspoon
Ghee for frying
Lemon juice, 1 lemon
Salt to taste

Cut bitter melon into small pieces. Chaunce the cumin, fry the green chilis. Add the bitter melon and fry until lightly crisped. Blend a smooth paste of mustard seeds (ground with mortar), salt and dried red chili pepper in some water, and add to pan with the melon. Add salt to taste and the juice of the lemon. Boil gently until the bitter melon is cooked and most of the water has evaporated. Add a little ghee or mustard oil and offer.

Masaledar Karele

10 medium Karele (Bittergourd), peeled and dried
2-3 tsp Ghee
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Asofoetida
1 tsp Coriander powder
1/2 tsp Aniseed (Sauf, variyali)
1 tsp Amchur Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
Salt for rubbing
Ghee for Shallow Frying

Make a slit in all the Karelas and open from one side only. Remove large seeds from it and rub salt in it and leave for 30 minutes. Wash the Karelas and remove the bitter juice from it which will come out due to rubbing of salt. Heat ghee and fry the spices. If you want it to be more spicy, add chaat masala and lemon juice. Cool the mixture and then stuff it in the karelas. Tie karelas with thread and then shallow fry in ghee by turning gently and seeing that all sides are done well. Set aside. In the same ghee fry the left over filling and gently add the stuffed karelas to it and mix well. Cover and cook until the karelas are done. Offer hot.

Nepali Bitter Melon Tarkari

4 cups bitter melon
1/2 cup green pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
5 dried red chilies
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoon asofoetida
2 cups yogurt
1/2 cup ghee
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (for garnish)

Cut the bitter melon in 1 inch lengths and quarter them. In a large pot of well-salted boiling water, blanch bitter melon for a few minutes and transfer to ice bath. In a non-stick sauce pan, heat ghee and fry mustard seeds and red chilies until dark. Add green pepper and celery and fry until light brown. Add turmeric, asofoetida, black pepper, and ginger; mix for a minute or so. Add the blanched bitter melon and stir fry for five minutes. To the bitter melon mixture, add yogurt and salt; mix well. Cover and cook on medium heat for ten more minutes. Once a desired consistency of stew has been achieved, garnish with chopped cilantro and offer.

Shukto #1

Bitter melons, 2 medium
Potato, 2 medium
Horseradish (mooli), 3 inches
Plantain (green banana), 3
Eggplant, 1 medium
Taro (kochu), 1 medium
Ginger, fresh, 2 inches
Mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon
Mung dal, 3 tablespoons
Ghee for frying
Panch phoron, 1 tablespoon
Sugar, 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

Dice all the vegetables and stir fry each one separately in ghee. Set aside. Add minced ginger and mustard seeds to oil and cook till spluttering, then set aside. Fry the dal until lightly browned and set aside. Fry the panch phoron till it splutters, then add the ginger and mustard mixture. Mix, and add all the vegetables, along with the salt and sugar. Add enough water to cover the vegetables and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until all vegetables are nicely done. Add a tablespoon of ghee at the very end. Serve at room temperature with rice.

Shukto #2

2 potatoes
1 radish
1 raw banana
1 bitter gourd
1 eggplant (medium)

Grind to paste:
4 tsp poppy seed
4 tsp cumin seed
4 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp flour
2 tsp mustard seed
salt to taste
1 tsp sugar

Cut all the vegetables into big chunks. Heat ghee and fry the mustard seeds until they start spluttering, then add the vegetables and cook till tender. Once they’re soft, add the ground paste, salt, sugar, and water. Bring to boil and this bitter dish is ready to offer.

Shukto #3

kaachkola (plantain ) 1
mulo (lobok/daikon) 1 cup
aloo (potato) 1 medium
begun (eggplant) 1 medium
uchche (bitter melon) 1 (slice thinly)
shorshe (mustard seeds) 1-1/2 tbsp.
methi (fenugreek seeds) 1/2 tsp.
posto (poppy seeds) 2 tbsp.
salt to taste 1 tbsp.
1/2 cup ghee

Soak 1 tbsp. each of mustard seeds and poppy seeds in warm water. Cut plantain, lobok, potato and eggplant lengthwise (about 2" long). Heat ghee in a wok. Fry the eggplant pieces, set aside. Fry the bitter melon slices, and set aside. In the remaining oil, roast 1/2 tsp. each of fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds. When mustard seeds start to pop, add to it the plantain, lobok (mulo), and potato and stir fry in medium heat. As you stir the vegetables, blend the soaked mustard seeds and poppy seeds and about 1 inch long fresh ginger root, all in a blender into a smooth paste. After stir frying vegetables for about 5 to 7 minutes, add the blended mixture to the vegetables and stir constantly for about 2 minutes. Add salt. Also, add the fried bitter melon slices and eggplant pieces. Add now to the shukto about 1/2 cup of hot water and cover wok for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and check if the vegetables are cooked or not. When vegetables are all cooked, pour on top about 1 tsp. of either butter or ghee, and offer.

Shukto #4

3 Drum Sticks
3 Parwals
2 Bitter Gourd
2 Medium Size Potatoes
1 Small Eggplant
1 Green Banana
4 Tbsp Ghee
5 Medium Size Bari/Bori (sun dried small Pulse Cakes)
1 Tbsp Ginger Paste
1 Tsp Mustard Paste
1 Tsp Red Chili Powder
1 Tsp Salt
½ Tsp Turmeric Powder
2 Tbsp Ghee
½ Tsp Panch Phoran
1 Tsp Roasted Panch Phoran
3 Tbsp Milk
2 Tsp Sugar

Cut all vegetables into 2 inch lengths. In a little hot ghee fry the boris and set aside. Also fry the bitter gourd and set aside. Add all the Vegetables in it one at a time and sauté them well. Let the vegetables brown a bit in Color. Now add the fried boris to it. Add all the spices to it and mix well. Add water and let the vegetables simmer well and get cooked. Heat ghee and add panch phoran in it. Let it splutter well and then pour this over the Vegetables. Add sr and milk and mix well. Simmer well and when the vegetables are boiled properly, remove from heat. Add roasted panchphoron powder and mix well. Cover it and keep for 10 minutes, then offer.

Spicy Karelas

½ pound Karela
2 medium sized raw mangoes, grated
3-4 chopped, Green chillies
1 tsp. Ginger paste
1/2 tbsp. Cumin seeds
1 tsp. Asafoetida
2 tbsp. Turmeric powder
2 tbsp. Coriander powder
2 tbsp. Red chili powder
1 tbsp. Fennel seeds (Saunf), coarsely grounded
4 tbsp. Ghee
Salt to taste

Remove the covering of the bitter gourd, slice them and put salt on them. Set aside for 4 to 5 hours and after that wash bitter gourd with water. Heat ghee in a pan, add asafotida, cumin seeds, green chili, ginger paste and fry till darker. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder. Now add bitter gourd and mix. Cover the pan and cook till bitter gourd are soft. Add grated raw mangoes and mix. Cook till they are soft too. Add coarsely ground fennel seeds and serve hot.

Sweet and Sour Bitter Gourd

1-1/4 cups Bitter Guard
2 tsp Tamarind pulp
A small lump jaggery
salt to taste
a pinch turmeric powder

For Seasoning:
1 tsp blackgram dal
2 red chilis (halved)
A pinch asofoetida
2 tsp ghee

Wash and cut bitter guard into cubes. Put cubes in a pan, add some water and salt, turmeric powder and boil it till the vegetables are cooked (8-10 minutes). Remove from the pan and drain all the water and set aside. Heat ghee and fry the blackgram dal, red chilis and asofoetida, and fry them for a few minutes. Then add cooked vegetable to it. Stir well and add tamarind water and jaggery to vegetables. Allow it to cook for a few more minutes. Remove from heat and offer.

Sweet Bittergourd Curry

Bitter gourd, 3
Moong dal, 1 cup
Green chilli, 3
Dry or fresh coconut, ½ cup
Sugar, 1 tsp.
Asofoetida, 1 tsp.
Coriander seeds, 2 tsp.
Turmeric, 1 tsp.
Salt to taste

Soak moong dal in water till it becomes tender. Cut bittergourd into small pieces. Grind these pieces without adding water. After one grind, add a little water, as needed, to make a coarse paste. Add coconut and asofoetida. Grind green chillies and set aside. In a little hot ghee fry the seeds and turmeric, then add the bittergourd paste and start frying on low flame. Add water as needed. Add the green chilli paste and moong dal. Also add sugar and salt. Keep frying till the whole recipe is cooked.

Tamil Bitter Gourd Curry

Tamarind Juice - 1-1/2 cups
Turmeric Powder - a pinch
Urad dhal - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Dry Red Chilly - 2
Jaggery (powdered) - 2 tsp
Curry Leaves - a few
Rice Flour - 1/2 tsp
Ghee - 1 tsp
Bitter Gourd - 2 medium

Cut the bitter gourd length wise and remove the seeds. Then cut into small pieces. Add the turmeric powder to the tamarind water and cook the vegetable in that. When it is half-cooked, add the salt and cook further. Drain off the excess water. Heat up the ghee in a pan and fry the dhal, mustard, chilly and asafetida. Add the cooked vegetable, curry leaves and the jaggery and stir for 4 - 5 minutes. Then, add the rice flour and switch off the heat after a minute.

Thétor Dal (Bitter Melon with Lentils)

moong dal (split yellow moong) 1 cup
bitter melon 2 large
cumin seeds 2 tsp
chopped red/green chillies 2, minced
grated ginger 1 tsp
ghee for frying
salt to taste
turmeric powder 1 tsp

Boil moong dal in water until half done. Lightly stir fry cubes of bitter melon flavored with cumin seeds, chopped red/green chillies and grated ginger in some ghee. Add this to the boiling dal, along with salt and turmeric powder. Boil until both bitter melon and dal are fully cooked. This is a thick dal, not a watery one.

Thito (Bitter Melon Curry)

Ghee for frying
Chili powder (cayenne), 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin, roasted and ground, 1 teaspoon
Turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon
Asofoetida, 1 teaspoon
Eggplant, 1 large
Bitter Melon, 3 large, seeded

Heat the oil and chaunce all the spices, adding the asofoetida last. Dice the eggplant and the seeded bittermelon (some like to include the seeds, which become very crunchy). You should have a fairly equal amount of both vegetables. Fry until golden brown, adding a little salt, and water or extra ghee as needed. Cover and simmer until vegetables are soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Uchhe Aloo Bhaja (Bitter Melon Stir Fry)

Bittermelon, 2 large
Potatoes, 3 large
Red chilis, dry, 1/2 teaspoon
Ghee for frying
Turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon
Asofoetida, 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

Chop the vegetables. Chaunce the spices, then add vegetables. Stir fry until golden and beginning to crisp. Add salt, mix well, cover pan and simmer until done.