Bitter Gourd Curry/ Karate Ghashi


Bitter Gourd I feel is a funky vegetable, so different in its taste and texture as compared to any other vegetable. The bitter taste is what sets it apart and you either love it or hate it. Luckily everybody in my family loves it and we cannot have enough of it.

This is a favorite dish of mine and is a typical Konkani recipe. I have learnt this from MIL. She is an expert in making this and whenever she is here, she makes an extra batch for me and stores it in the fridge. I then go on for days eating it with rice, rotis, or right about anything.



1 medium sized bitter gourd (karela/ bitter melon)

½ cup shredded coconut

5-6 red chillies

Juice of lemon size tamarind

3 tsps of jaggery

Pinch of Asafotedia


2 tsps Corriander seeds

1 tsp jeera

Oil, salt, mustard

1 cup of water


v     Clean the bitter gourd thoroughly and cut it into small cubes.

v     Boil 1 cup of water and add the diced bitter gourd cubes and cook until done.

v     Meanwhile roast the red chillies, coriander seeds, jeera with little oil and keep aside to cool.

v     Grind coconut along with red chillies, tamarind extract, and roasted spices into fine paste.

v     Add this ground paste to the cooked bitter gourd and heat again.

v     Add salt, jaggery and let it continue to boil more.

v     Make a tadka of mustard, curry leaves, asafetida, and 1 broken red chilly and add to the mixture.

 The dish is ready and has a unique combination of sweet, tangy, bitter, spicy taste that goes well with rice, Rotis, literally anything.

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14 comments for “Bitter Gourd Curry/ Karate Ghashi

  1. September 2, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    Isn’t it tastier when someone else make the food , especially a expert person like you MIL or mom
    I woudn’t mind to have the dish with plain rice. MMMMMMMMM

  2. September 3, 2007 at 6:44 am

    Thanks for visiting my blog! Nice recipe for karela!

  3. September 3, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    I love Bitter gourd and this recipe is new to me…which part of India are u from? Loved the design of your blog

  4. September 3, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    Thanks HappyCook, wonderful choice. Rice it is then fo you.

    Latha, loved your recipes and blog as well.

    Padma, glad you liked my blog. It is a christmas theme, sounds festive and cheerful isn’t it? Well, I am from Bangalore, even though I am a Konkani. So I have influences of kannada, north kanara and south kanara in my everyday cooking.

  5. September 4, 2007 at 1:05 am

    hey red chillies lovely recipe! What a beautiful picture also :)

  6. September 4, 2007 at 8:17 am

    I dont LOVE bittergourd, but I’m trying to eat more of them :) So I’m always on the lookout for tasty recipes. Going to bookmark this one!

  7. TBC
    September 4, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    I don’t care for bitter gourds but my husband loves them. So I will try this out. I like the steel vessel you have shown in the pic.

  8. September 5, 2007 at 3:26 am

    Thanks Jeena, Shyam and TBC. Glad you all enjoyed it.

  9. September 5, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    this looks delicious. Does the bitter taste linger?

  10. September 6, 2007 at 6:45 am


    I love bittergourd but im really scared making anythng out of it coz its so bitter. ur recipe is really nice.. shud try this. thnx for sharing.

  11. September 6, 2007 at 11:48 am

    Thanks Mandira. Yes, the bitter taste lingers but that is not the pre-dominant falvor. It is masked by the sweet, hot and tangy taste as well.

    Thanks Sushma. It is a aquired taste, i guess. But once you love it, it is for life!

  12. Mona
    September 7, 2007 at 12:32 am

    Well, should the bitter gourd be so well cooked that it they can be mashed up easily? What if i grind the bitter guard of mash them up completely in this recipe? will it be right?

  13. September 9, 2007 at 2:26 am

    Mona, sorry saw this post only now. No, please don’t mash the bitter gourd, it is best when cooked ( no crunch left). The gravy has all the other taste to mask the bitterness of the bitter gourd.

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