Dal Karela

This is a typical Pakistani dish. I always liked dal, but not karela (bitter gourd) until now or should I say till I tried this dish from this quaint little restaurant in Dubai. When I had it the first time, I was blown away as you really cannot taste the bitterness from the karela and there was something about the dish that just made it so different.

Ever since then, I have started eating karela and though I still cannot have it on its own, I find ways and means to have the karela ‘camouflaged’…. Ha… Ha…

The best way to remove the bitterness from the karela is to sprinkle salt over the karela and leave it aside for about half an hour and squeeze the juice out. This will help remove quite a fair bit of the bitterness. Unless you are a huge fan of karela, by all means do skip this step 😊.

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Ingredients

  • Channa Dal – 1 cup and pre-cooked in pressure cooker
  • Karela – 4 pieces, cut into thin slices
  • Onion – 1 large, chopped
  • Ginger & garlic  paste – 2 tbsp
  • Tomato – 2 large, chopped
  • Chilli powder – 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp crushed
  • Coriander seeds – 1/2 tsp crushed
  • Green chilli – 2, cut into medium size
  • Amchur (dry mango powder) – 2 tbsp (for the tangy touch) or 1/2 lemon juice
  • Water – 1/2 cup
  • Coriander leaves – for garnishing

Method

  • Soak the karela with salt and keep it aside for half an hour.
  • Heat oil in a wok and when hot, squeeze the water out from the karela and fry the karela till brown. Remove and keep it aside.
  • Saute the onions in the same oil till brown and then add the ginger garlic paste and fry till fragrant.
  • Add all the spices and fry well for 1 minute.
  • Now add the tomatoes and fry till pulpy.
  • Add the dal and mix well.
  • Add the amchur or lemon juice, green chill and water and fry till little dry.
  • Finally add the cooked karela and cover and let it cook for 5 mins. You may add more water if you find it very dry.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
  • Goes well with rice or chapati.

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