Bitter Gourd Stir Fry or Kakarakaya Fry | How to make Bitter Gourd Fry Without Bitterness | Easy Karela Fry Recipe – Simple bitter gourd recipe prepared with minimal spices. It is slightly tangy, spicy and finally the sugar helps in caramelising the onions to lend a sweet tinge to the dish, hence balancing out the bitterness.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in March 2015 and has been updated with Video and a few new photos. But the content remains unchanged.
I guess bitter gourd is one of the most neglected vegetable. I know people who adore it or totally hate it, there is no in-between. How many of you agree with me? But what we tend to forget is the wonderful health benefits that are hidden in this not-so-frequently-used vegetable. Today I’m going to share with you Bitter gourd stir fry or kakarakaya fry using bitter gourd. This is a must try for those who love this vegetable. And for all those who have not even tried or hate it, I’m going to try my share to convince you to give it a try with this simple recipe to like it.
Btw..I must admit that I never ate this veggie at my mom’s place. I hardly remember my mom even cooking this vegetable. But, I had it for the first time with lot of hesitation when my mom-in-law made it and since then my love for this bitter-tasting vegetable grew leaps and bounds. I experiment and prepare bitter gourd in different ways as any other vegetable. This Bitter gourd stir fry or kakarakaya fry is a little bitter, little tangy, little sweet, little salty and finally very spicy to balance out all the flavours. It is loaded with onions and the sugar added helps in caramelising the onions and lends a sweet taste to the bitter gourd, which is the best part of the fry.
Health Benefits of Bitter Gourd:
Before going into the recipe, few words on its health benefits. I know what you are thinking at the moment!!…Though most of us are aware of its benefits, sometimes we tend to neglect, so this is only for them ;-). Bitter gourd is rich in various vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. It has double the level of all these essential nutrients than those that are present in some other fruits and vegetables.
Traditional medicine recommends drinking bitter gourd juice on an empty stomach in the morning to lower the blood sugar level and keep diabetes in check. This juice extracted by grinding bitter gourd is also known to clean the gut of worms and harmful germs. Enough said….I know what’s running in your mind!!…..Definitely, I don’t think I can ever drink this juice, but love to enjoy it when cooked in the right way. It may lose some of its nutrients when cooked, but better than totally avoiding this vegetable.
Off to the recipe for Bitter gourd stir fry or kakarakaya fry….
Step-by-Step process in making
Bitter Gourd Stir Fry or Kakarakaya Fry:
- Wash bitter gourds, slice them into thin circular pieces.
- Slice onions lengthwise, Peel garlic pods and make them into two halves if the pods are too big.
- Transfer the bitter gourd pieces to a microwave safe bowl.
- To this add yoghurt, turmeric powder and a little salt and mix well.
- Microwave for 6 to 8 minutes or till all the water evaporates as shown in the pic 4. Basically yoghurt helps to remove some bitterness from the bitter gourd and also gives a good taste to the fry.
Let’s make Bitter Gourd Fry or Kakarakaya Fry:
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and dry red chillies.
- Once the mustard starts to pop up, add sliced onion, garlic pods, curry leaves and sauté for 2 minutes till translucent.
- Now add microwaved bitter gourd pieces to the onions.
- Sauté on medium heat till the bitter gourd pieces start turning brown. I t may take about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Now add red chilli powder and sauté for another 5 minutes.
- Add amchur powder (dry mango powder),a little sugar and required salt. The addition of sugar helps in caramelising the onions and lends a sweet taste to bitter gourd.
- Sauté over high heat until you get a nice dark brown colour for about 3 to 5 minutes. If you are generous in using oil, the fry turns out crispy. I try and use as little oil as possible, so it doesn’t turn out that crispy. But there is no compromise in taste. Feel free to do whatever suits you.
- Finally add finely chopped coriander. Mix well and turn off the heat.
- Serve Bitter gourd stir fry or Kakarakaya fry with hot rice and ghee (optional) or as a side dish to rice with Dal, Sambar or Rasam or with any Indian breads like roti or paratha.
Bitter Gourd Stir Fry or Kakarakaya Fry | Easy Karela Fry Recipe
- 4 Tender bitter gourds Wash & slice into thin circles
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- 2 tbsp Sour Yoghurt
- 2 tbsp Oil to shallow fry
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1½ tsp Cumin Seeds
- 2 Dry Red Chillies
- 1 Large Onion thinly sliced
- 10 Garlic Pods Peeled
- A Sprig of Curry Leaves
- 1½ tsp Red chilli powder
- 1 tsp Coriander Powder
- 1 tsp Amchur Powder Dry mango powder
- 1 tbsp Jaggery or Sugar
- 2 tbsp Coriander finely chopped
- Take bitter gourd pieces in a microwave safe bowl, add yoghurt, turmeric powder and some salt.
- Mix well and microwave the bitter gourd pieces for 5 to 6 minutes or until all the water evaporates.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and dry red chillies.
- Once the mustard starts to pop up, add sliced onion, garlic pods, curry leaves and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Now add microwaved bitter gourd pieces.
- Fry them over medium heat for 8-10 minutes till the bitter gourd pieces start to turn brown. Slow roasting is the key.
- Now add red chilli powder, coriander powder, amchur powder & jaggery. Mix well and continue to fry.
- Adjust salt.
- Fry over high heat until you get a nice dark brown colour for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Finally add finely chopped coriander, mix well and turn off the heat.
- The addition of sugar is optional, but I recommend to use it. If you don't like sweet taste, you can avoid.
- There should be loads of onions to get a good taste and to compensate the bitterness.
- You can also use tamarind juice instead of amchur powder. There will be a slight difference in taste.
- You can use jaggery or sugar.
- Using sour curd is important to balance out the bitterness.
- At the end, if you still feel it is too bitter to your liking, then squeeze in some lemon juice. But make sure you balance the salt.
- Finally adjust spice levels with red chilli powder and dry red chillies to suit your taste and make sure to balance out all the flavours.
You might want to try out other popular posts in the same category like Potato fry, Stuffed okra, Eggplant stir fry, Bhindi fry, Arbi fry….and for my lovely carnivores out there I have Chicken fry, Masala Egg fry.
Check out other Vegetable Dry Curries, Indian Vegetarian Recipes and Regional Indian Cuisines from blog!!
Many more to come!!…..STAY TUNED!!
Hungry for more? Never miss a recipe!!…Subscribe to MasalaKorb and have posts delivered straight to your inbox! And connect with me on Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for all of the latest updates.
Do subscribe to my YouTube Channel for latest video alerts!!
Did you make a recipe? Make sure to tag your photo with this hashtag: #masalakorb
You have made the difficult-to-eat vegetable to be an irresistible and appealing dish…Love it!
Thanks a ton dear:)
Healthy side dish for rice…
Thank you dear:)
Bitter gourd is my family’s favorite veggie. Anyone looking at your lovely pics even they hate this veggie, sure they will try…
Thank you dear for that adorable comment:)…Sorry for the delayed response as I’m in travel:)
No matter what others say, bitter gourd is my fav… at home no likes this but I make it a must once a week! Your fry tempt me a lot, nice recipe Padma! Oh… those orchids behind that bitter gourd fry are beautiful!
Thank you so much dear:)…I’m a die hard fan of orchids and tulips:).. Glad they caught your attention:)
I like bitter gourd sometimes and not always. Does that make me fall in-between? I come under the category you mentioned, so I should try this!
Thumb up and go for it dear:)…Let’s talk once you made it:)…Thank you so much to have thought of trying it:)
Bitter gourd stir fry looks delicious.
Thank you swathi:)
My next favorite veggie other than brinjal is bitter gourd. Bitter gourd fry is amazing especially with mor kuzhambu or avial. I love it. Great recipe yaar.
Very true:)..Thank you dear:)
It looks delicious padma. Love it. You have turned a simple dish into an exotic one. I am tempted to grab a bite. Yummy 🙂
Thanks a bunch Ritu:)….Much appreciated:)..It’s all yours dear:)
I have never added curd while making karela, will try it out this way when I make it next time, looks superb..
Thank you Hema:)..Would love to hear from you once you make it:)
My fav stir fry
Definitely my favourite dish!!! Lovely clicks as usual dear !!
Thank you Suja:)
I would not dare to drink the juice too, but i love the sabzi 🙂 Nice presentation and easy recipe 🙂
Hehe…Thank you Gauri:)
It looks delicious I will try to do I put on bookmark
Thank you so much:)
Subha Bose (Candycrow)
Awesome clicks, I have never tried adding curd to bitter guard will try it next time.
Thank you Subha:)…Do give it a try:)
Lovely looking bittergourd stir fry! I love bitter gourd in any form..
Thank you Shobha:)..Glad you liked it:)
indeed healthy n yummy….
The Yummy Lounge
healthy dish… this looks beautiful too…
We love bitter gourd and surely try this recipe…
Thanks dear..That sounds great:)..Will wait for your feedback:)
superb recipe…I like the way of mixing with curd to reduce the bitterness in bitter gourd…lovely click also …
Thank you Nalini:)
Manali @ CookWithManali
I belong in the first category, I totally ADORE it! my husband belongs to the 2nd category 🙁 haha and so I don’t get to make it often. It has been one of my favorite vegetables ever since I was a child, so yummy! I wish I could eat this for dinner tonight! looks yummy!
That’s the problem when only one of us like it:)..I too belonged to the hate category but now I totally love it:)…So hopefully your hubby will love it one day:)..Still make it sometime for you:)…Anyways thank you so much dear:)
So healthy bitter-gourd recipe, its looking so delicious. Instructions are clear too.
Thank you Rachna:)
cool recipe and beautiful presentation padma 🙂 .. all you recipes are mouth watering
Thanks a bunch Kushi..You made me Kush:)
Helathh and tasty curry
Healthy recipe and dish…looks inviting.
Looks very interesting and delicious dear….
Thank you Remya:)
Healthy and tasty stir fry !
Thank you dear:)…Welcome to my space:)…Let’s keep in touch:)
Interesting way to cook bitter gourd dear using microwave! I love bitter gourd 🙂 so this one is for me :))
Glad to hear that you liked it…Thank you Anu:)
A new version of cooking Bitter gourd.. With rice it sounds good..
Thank you so much Seena:)
Well explained and love the recipe sure will try
Thanks Vani:)..Do try it out dear, will wait for your feedback:)
Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen
I used to hate this earlier, and now I completely love it! SO I can fit in both of the categories Padma! Looks so appetizing, beautifully presented, and very well described. Loved it! 🙂
We are travelling in the same boat:)…Thanks Anu for your appreciation:)
looks yummy dear
Thank you Gloria:)
Lovely fry dear.. Would love to try this …
Thank you dear:)…Do try it out ..would love to hear from you:)
Wow!! this recipe will make people who hate biiter gourd to love it!! Too good!!
Thank you dear:)