Best Bitter Gourd Poriyal Recipe
If you are someone who scrunches their nose up when bitter gourd is mentioned – you need to stop right there and try this bitter gourd poriyal recipe. This recipe even coverts children to true believers.
I bet this recipe will change your perception of bitter gourd forever. Bitter gourd, commonly known as “karela” in Hindi,”kakarakaya” in Telugu, and “pavakkai” in Tamil, is a beautiful green melon that has a bitter bite to it. Improperly cooked, it will make you want to wash out your mouth and wish you never tried it. But, when you cook this beautifully bitter melon with the right spices and cooking techniques, it will become your favorite dish. Just ask my wife, and she’ll attest to this.
Bitter gourd poriyal is another one of my favorite poriyal recipes. It is a quick cook, a nice dry curry, and a savory recipe. It is the perfect combination of sweet, bitter, sour, hot, fatty, and salty. Bitter gourd poriyal leaves no part of your tongue unsatisfied!
You can also check other poriyal recipes on the blog to include vegetables in your menu like cauliflower poriyal, carrot poriyal, and green beans poriyal etc.
So, let us see what you will need for this bitter gourd poriyal.
Ingredients for Bitter Gourd Poriyal
- 8 – 10 oz karela/pavakkai/bitter gourd
- 1-2 tbsp oil or ghee
- Salt as needed
- 2-3 cloves of garlic chopped
- 2-3 tbsp jaggery
- 4 tbsp of dried or desiccated coconut
- 4-5 tbsp thin tamarind water without seeds or 2 tbsp yogurt
- A sprig of curry leaves
- A pinch of asafoetida (skip for gluten free)
- ½ tsp of cumin seeds
- A pinch of turmeric
- 1-2 tsp red chili powder
Cooking Instructions for Bitter Gourd Poriyal
This Bitter Gourd Poriyal recipe is a garlic infused dry fry with the addition of tamarind, chili, and jaggery to give your South Indian side dish a perfect hint of bitter, savory, hot, sour, and sweet.
- Start by making tamarind water. Soak a lump of tamarind in water, deseed it and squeeze the tamarind juice out of it with your hands. Alternatively, you can dissolve a 1 tsp of tamarind extract in 4 tbsp of hot water.
- Wash the bitter gourd, and, if you like the look, you can trim off its ridges. Cut it crosswise in the middle and then core out each side. The white innards and seeds have the most bitter taste in them and are best removed. Then cut each half into crosswise thin slices.
- Heat oil in a wok and add cumin seeds to splutter.
- Then add garlic and wait until it is golden brown.
- Now add the curry leaves, asafoetida (skip for gluten-free) and turmeric and sauté them.
- Then add your bitter gourd slices and stir-fry on medium high flame for about three minutes.
- Next, add a pinch of salt and add tamarind water. Alternatively, you can mix in yogurt here.
- Give it all a good mix and cook on medium flame until it is well-cooked. You want most of the moisture to have cooked away, leaving a fairly dry mix.
- Now, add red chili powder, coconut, and jaggery and stir-fry until the jaggery is completely dissolved.
- Continue to Stir-Fry it until the moisture evaporates and the bitter gourd begins to crisp up.
- Your karela poriyal is ready.
Be like bitter gourd poriyal. Forget your bitterness and combine with others. You will leave everyone bedazzled. This bitter gourd poriyal will do the same to you. You will forget all its bitterness, and embrace this tangy, spicy, and sweet vegetable stir-fry to eat with chapati/roti, sambar rice, jeera rice, or rasam. You can also serve it with coconut chutney for a tangy contrast.
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Hi! I’m Ravi Kumar.
I am a husband, father of 4, board certified neurosurgeon, and a lover of South Indian Food!
I created PaattisKitchen.com to memorialize the most delicious foods on earth. South Indian food is easy to make and hard to mess up. So pull up your sleeves, and come with me as we explore the vibrant spices, colors, aromas, and flavors of South Indian culinary tradition.