The grumpy karela’s yummy recipe

This simple karela/bitter gourd fry made with onions is one of my most favorite foods since my childhood. But this is my husband’s all-time hated vegetable. He doesn’t even like the way the veggie looks. He has a childhood fantasy about karela that it looks like a crocodile 🐊 and never even wanted to try. I somehow managed to make him taste this karela fry and he loved it. There are many variations in making dishes with karela, but this particular recipe is delicious and easy to make. 

Health benefits of karela:

Karela/ Bitter Gourd is a rich source of vitamins and nutrients, it helps in reducing bad cholesterol levels thus reducing the risk of heart attacks. While strengthening the immune system it also does its wonders on our skin. Besides that, it helps in reducing blood sugar levels.

How to make karela less bitter

Many of you might hesitate to taste this karela because of its bitterness, especially for kids. So here is a simple tip that you need to follow before we start making this recipe. 

Scrape the peel of the karela with a spoon and wash them thoroughly. Then cut them into an inch size pieces as shown in the picture.

Now add a spoonful of salt to the pieces and give a good mix, set aside for at least 20-30 minutes. After that wash them nicely, squeeze the excess water, and then keep it aside. This can reduce the bitterness of the karela. 

The other way to reduce the bitterness of karela is by boiling it in buttermilk. This also can reduce the bitterness to some extent.

So now let’s get into how to make the recipe


  • Karela – 250 grams
  • Onion – 2
  • Chana dal -3 TBSP
  • Salt
  • chilli powder
  • Turmeric powder/ Sambar turmeric – 1 tsp


Here is the step by step preparation of the karela fry with images.

Take a pan and oil for deep frying. Once the oil gets heated add these karela pieces and fry them on a low flame until they turn golden brown.

In the meantime cut the onions into cube size and add them to a mixer jar. Add salt, chilli powder, and turmeric powder along with it and make a fine paste. 

Now take a pan, add oil to it, once the oil gets heated add chana dal. Once you observe the chana dal is changing its color immediately add the onion paste to it. 

**The chana dal gets burnt very fast. So be cautious because the burnt chana can spoil the taste of the dish.**

After adding the onion paste, wait for 2-3 minutes and then add deep fried karela pieces to the paste and fry them until you obtain the texture that is shown in the picture. And now your karela fry is ready to be served. 

We can have this as a side dish along with sambar, rasam, or dal. Karela fry can also be eaten with boiled white rice. I like having this with white rice without any other dish to enjoy the best taste of it.

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