Bittergourd Stirfry / Karlya chi bhaji


Bittergourd is one vegetable that is not liked by many because of its bitterness, but it has lots of health benefits, most important of all it’s known for its anti diabetic properties. In winters fresh green tender bittergourds are available in abundance, so go ahead and make the most of it.

If cooked properly it turns into a delectable side dish to go with rotis/ polis or even dal rice. The flavour of the recipe that I am posting is bitter, sweet and spicy with a dash of tang.



  • 3 fresh green tender bittergourds washed thoroughly
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 to 11/2 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder ( adjust to taste)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tsp tamarind pulp (adjust to taste)
  • 11/2 tbsp jaggery ( adjust to taste. Depends on the bitterness of the bittergourd)
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated coconut
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves


  • Rinse the bittergourds thoroughly.Cut it lengthwise into half and scoop out all the seeds. Chop off the edges and cut it into thin slices horizontally. Apply a little salt and keep aside for about 20 min. After 20 min tightly squeeze the bittergourd slices to remove the excess moisture and bitterness. DO NOT RINSE the bittergourd slices IN WATER as it will strip it off its nutrients.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok(I used an iron kadai),add the squeezed bittergourd slices and stirfry gently till crisp. Once done transfer to a plate and keep aside. In the same wok heat 1/2 tbsp oil, add mustard seeds, when they crackle add a pinch of asafoetida, and chopped onions.
  • Saute till golden, add turmeric powder,red chilli powder, saute well and add the stir fried bittergourd slices. Mix well, add tamarind pulp, salt (ADD VERY LESS SALT as salt has been added previously) and jaggery.
  • Mix well, and cook over low heat till done. Since the bittergourd slices are already stirfried it hardly takes any time to cook. Add 1 tbsp fresh grated coconut, mix well and stir fry continuously on till the sabzi is dry. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with chapati or paratha or as a side dish with dal rice.


This veg tastes best with a good amount of oil so don’t skip it.

Add salt only if required as salt is rubbed previously on to the bittergourd slices to reduce its bitterness.

Adjust the quantity of tamarind to suite your palate.

Variations to the recipe :

1.Sugar can be added in place of jaggery but jaggery gives added flavour as well as colour to the stirfry.

2.If you like the flavour of peanut powder you can add a teaspoon or two of the same.

Join the Conversation

  1. Tasty and healthy too👍

    1. Thanx Jyo 🙂

  2. Delicious & Nutritious!

    1. Thanx Pooja 🙂

  3. Bitter gourd is my favorite and your dish looks great!!

    1. Thanx Deeksha 🙂

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