Sweet and Sour Karela (Bitter Gourd)

You must be wondering how this can even be possible πŸ˜‚! But trust me…. the sweet and tangy taste will truly deter you away from the bitterness of the bitter gourd (karela) πŸ˜‰.

Honestly, this was an β€œaccidental” dish. I started off trying to make something different with bitter gourd and ended up getting an unexpected new dish altogether. I passed the recipe over to my mum to try it out and she loved it! Since I got her seal of approval, here is the recipe and I do hope that you will try it out as well.


  • Karela – 2 medium, cut into rings and remove seeds
  • Onion – 1 medium, chopped
  • Garlic – 1, chopped
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
  • Fenugreek powder – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Kashmiri chilli powder – 2 tsp
  • Tamarind – lime size and soak in 1/4 cup water
  • Jaggery – 1 to 2 tsp
  • Water – 1/4 cup (optional)
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • Coriander leaves – for garnishing (optional)


  • Cut the karela into rings and rub with salt and keep it aside for half an hour.
  • Heat little oil in a wok and when hot, shallow fry the bitter gourd rings (after squeezing out the excess water).
  • Once brown, remove from wok and keep them aside.
  • In the same wok, add a little bit more oil if required and add the mustard seeds and let it splutter.
  • Now add the cumin seeds and stir slightly and add the onions and fry till translucent.
  • Add the crushed garlic and saute for couple of mins.
  • Add the tomatoes and fry till pulpy. Half way add the turmeric powder, kashmiri chilli powder and  fenugreek powder.
  • Now add the tamarind pulp and water and let it come to a boil. If you prefer a drier version, you may omit adding water.
  • Finally add the fried bitter gourd rings and jaggery and stir well till the jaggery melts.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see your pics on Instagram and do tag @bakezbyshobz and hashtag it #bakezbyshobz

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