Kaarate Kismuri/ BitterGourd Onion Coconut Mix

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Kismuri (Konkani word) is a side dish that is made of a mix of coconut, onion, chilli powder along with roasted ingredients like bittergourd, pappad etc.  Karate is Konkani word for Bitter gourd and hence the name Kaarate Kismuri. No, not the martial arts Karate, I promise you there is no such thing involved in this  recipe:-)
(Note: In Konkani, this is pronounced “Kaa ra the” with a soft ‘t’)

 This is a very simple recipe, yet the taste is very appetizing. The only tough part is chopping of the bitter gourd finely and then frying it. Traditionally the bittergorud pieces are roasted/fried on the stovetop that is how my mom and MIL do it. But I take shortcut and do it in the microwave ( I know, lazy me :-)). Of course, if done in the microwave then it gets done in a breeze and does not require any baby sitting. 

Even if you are not fond of bitter melon because of its bitter taste, then do not worry, the bitter taste is gone after roasting and all that is left over is scant bitterness along with the crunchy taste of bitter gourd pieces. While making this it also reminds me of the Bitter Gourd Chips that do not have any bitter taste in them. 

The measurements provided here are approximate please modify as per requirement. The recipe is very forgiving and so one can adjust the taste by increasing or decreasing an ingredient. Want it spicy, then add more chilli powder, do not like sweet, then skip jaggery and so on.

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  • 2 medium sized bittergourds
  • ½ cup shredded coconut (finely)
  • 1/3 cup chopped onions
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • Turmeric a pinch
  • Jaggery (optional)
  • ½ tsp tamarind paste
  • Oil, salt

Serves: 4


  • Wash the bitter gourd, scrape the skin and chop into very fine pieces.
  • Note: I do not pre-soak the bitter gourd with salt, drain the water to remove the bitterness. In our family, we are able to tolerate the scant bitterness. It is optional though.
  • The roasting of the bitter gourd could be done wither in microwave or stove top.
  • Microwave: Take a microwave safe glass plate and add the chopped bitter gourd pieces. Sprinkle some salt and oil and microwave for 2 minutes. Take the plate out, add some more oil and toss it around. Microwave for another 2-3 minutes. After it is done, it should be evenly browned and not burnt.
  • Stovetop: Heat a heavy bottom pan, add oil and then the bitter gourd pieces. Keep stirring until it turns brown and crisp.
  • Meanwhile mix the shredded coconut along with chilli powder, salt, tamarind paste thoroughly.
  • When ready to serve, mix the chopped onions, along with coconut mixture and roasted bitter gourd pieces.
  • Serve immediately, do not store it as the bitter gourd piece becomes soft, the crunchiness is lost and will not have the same taste. Mix up only the amount you require and serve.

Tastes good with Daal Rice and or with Yogurt Rice.

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  1. indosungod says:

    This is delicious side dish if you are bitter gourd fan which barring the littlest member we all are. Karate – has nothing to do with the martial art form 🙂 ?

  2. A&N` says:

    I’m so making this sometime. And less oil too what with the MW!

    I love karela and literally wait for different Karela recipes!

  3. Asha says:

    Karate Kismuri sounds like martial art expert! 😀

    Looks good. Once BG is fried, it tastes yummy. Mixing raw onion sounds great, like Kosumbari. Yummy.

  4. redchillies says:

    ha ha! ISG and Asha that is funny…..even though the spelling is same as Karate, it is pronounced differently. It is pronounced ‘kaa ra te’. Asha, more like the Katte, koti of Kannada 🙂

    Thanks Ashwini, A&N.

  5. Desi Soccer Mom says:

    I come back after a month and a half to find a BG recipe and smart aleck comments about Karate, not to mention your beautiful clicks. 🙂 Thank you RC 🙂

  6. Aparna says:

    In MW????? awesome awesome…. here at my place all love karathe kismuri apart from my DH….. 😛 but still i make it nd enjoy this is a healthy version …. Loved it… now ver did karate relate to katte nd koti 😀

  7. Sharmila says:

    I too was wondering about the karate header. 🙂
    Crispy bitter gourd is a fav … sounds almost like a chaat thing with the tamarind paste. 🙂

  8. Rajee says:

    That’s a wonderful recipe and a new one to me. The only way I can handle bitter gourd is the chips but guess I can add one more in that collection. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Jay says:

    Wow, this recipe looks amazing…
    First time here..Loved your space n healthy collection of recipes.
    Do drop in at my blog sometime.

  10. Cham says:

    The final plate looks exactly like chaat 🙂 Funny name but i love Bitter gourd just for the taste!

  11. Sunita says:

    What a lovely recipe; and yes, the name does have a ring to it; and I must say, I did think at first, that some sort of martial arts was involved. Now I know better 😀

  12. shankari says:

    My mom has been trying to convincing me to buy bitter gourd 🙂 I should show my mom this recipe. She can make it for the rest of the family 🙂

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