Simple Karela (Bitter Gourd) Stir-Fry

This recipe is for bitter gourd or karela fans. Nutritious and easy to make – quick sabzi.  

And though the dish is called stir-fry, there is not much oil in the dish as I cook the karela in the pressure cooker. It goes well with both rotis and rice. 

This recipe is an entry to Pooja’s Vegetable of the Week – Bitter Gourd event (her blog My Creative Ideas).


Karela (Bitter gourd): 4 small ones
Turmeric powder: ½ teaspoon
Red chilly powder: ½ teaspoon
Sugar/Jaggery: 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds: ½ teaspoon
Oil: 1 teaspoon 


  1. Clean, deseed and chop the karela into ½ inch cubes.
  2. Cook the karela with about 1½ cups of water with a pinch of turmeric and salt in a pressure cooker for about 3-4 whistles (or around the time it takes to cook rice). Wait for the steam to be released from the cooker.
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  4. Once the steam is released from the cooker, drain the water from the karela. I don’t throw away this healthful water. DH likes to drink this karela water – it has health benefits – it is even recommended for diabetics. As we cook in water with salt, the bitterness is reduced. However, true to its name, bitter gourd will surely be bitter.
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  6. Heat oil in a frying pan (I use non-stick). Add the mustard seeds to the oil and let it pop.
  7. Reduce the heat to low.
  8. Add in the karela, spice powders, sugar and salt to taste.
  9. Mix well but take care not too crumble the karela as it is already well cooked (from the pressure cooker).
  10. Allow to roast for about 5 minutes to make the karelas a little crispy.
  11. Turn off the heat and serve! You can enjoy it with rotis as well as rice.
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6 Responses to “Simple Karela (Bitter Gourd) Stir-Fry”

  1. You are right about the health benefits this veggie has.
    Thanks for this nice dish Jan.

    From skribles: Thanks for the complis and for hosting such an event Pooja. Would look forward to add more recipes with karela for your event.

  2. Is your blog listed in Tastes of India?
    If not submit it here –

    From skribles: Thanks for the suggestion Pooja. Will submit my blog there.

  3. thanks for the recipe.. will surely try it

    From skribles: Thanks Sonia.

  4. Thank you for the wonderful receipe. I was wondering if any one could post a mind blowing Bhindi receipe. I can never cook Bhindi the way I want it. Whenever I cook it, either fresh or from freezer, there’s so much mess that my own cooked Bhindi is not liked by me. I will appreciate very much if someone out there could post it. Thanks.

  5. thanks. You’re right! It’s done wonders for our health.

  6. Great Blog!! Karela is really good for health. Your thought processing is wonderful. The way you tell the thing is awesome.

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