Crispy Karela (Bitter Gourd) Stir Fry

Karela Stir Fry

We are food bloggers but we eat normal everyday food too! You wonder why I started this post with such an odd comment? No. Not because we’re cooking bitter gourd today.  Let me tell you why. I think there is this expectation the world has from us food bloggers that we cook and eat exotic food every single meal of our life. I am not sure if many of my blogger friends hear this comment as often as we do but… Just ranting, not being rude here, I am sure I would have thought that too if I weren’t on this side of the table.

To be honest, as I think while I write, I realize that until now I thought people who wrote fashion blogs must always be so fashionably dressed in chic outfits but I am pretty sure they love to spend a lazy afternoon in their jammies too! So there, I’m busted!

Now, going back to normal everyday food. We love it. We love our classic Indian curries & vegetables and we love them nice and spicy. We love to not have to twist them always to enjoy them. Today’s recipe is just one of them. As odd as it may sound, both N & I love bitter gourd and make it pretty often as a side to our regular dal (lentils) and roti (Indian flatbread) meals.

This recipe here is easy, quick, delicious, can be enjoyed as a snack and of course I don’t need to tell you how good bitter gourd is for your health. With just a few Indian spices, onion & garlic you can transform an otherwise not so well liked vegetable. You will never say no to bitter gourd again. Try it?

Karela Stir Fry

So here is how we make Karela (Bitter Gourd) Stir Fry:

Karela (Bitter Gourd) Stir Fry


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 bitter gourds, washed & sliced in thin rounds
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½-1 teaspoon garam masala
  • a pinch teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ small onion, sliced lengthwise
  • ¾ teaspoon dry mango powder (amchoor)
  • salt, to taste
  • fresh cilantro for garnish


  1. Place the sliced bitter gourd in a container and toss it around with a teaspoon of salt. Cover this container and refrigerate for a couple hours or overnight. You may skip this step, however, it does help slightly in getting rid of the bitterness of the gourd.
  2. Rinse off the salted bitter gourd under cold water for about 30-40 seconds and set this aside.
  3. In a non-stick pan, heat a tablespoon of oil on medium high heat and add in the sliced bitter gourds. Once the gourds start to sizzle lower the heat to medium and saute for about 12-14 minutes until the gourds start turning slightly brown. Keep stirring in between.
  4. Then add turmeric, red chili, coriander powders along with asafoetida and garam masala. Toss it well.
  5. Then add in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil together with the onions and garlic and cook on medium heat for another 5-7 minutes. The gourd should be browned and crispy at this stage.
  6. Lastly, add in dry mango powder (amchoor) and salt, if needed. Cook for another minute or two. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve on a side of rice or munch it down as a snack!

Karela Stir Fry


  1. Hey Aditi, Hassaan (your husbands coworker) had told me about your blog but I never got a chance to explore it until now. I’ve always wanted to make crispy karela (going all desi on you now :p) but never found a good recipe!

    Definitely putting it on my meal plan. If only Hassaan loved karelas as much as I do, sigh 🙁

    • Hi Fariha! Hope you are doing well. Sorry I didn’t get back to earlier! Been slacking on the blogging front. I hope you try this recipe sometime- it is absolutely delicious and oh did I say crispy? This recipe has actually worked wonders on those who don’t like karelas too much!
      Thank you for stopping by. Also, both Nikhil & I are big DIY fans but are not half as good as you, although we do try. Have been following your blog for a while and love it. Hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season!

  2. I started my blog to post my recipes I have made over many years and never had the intention of trying to make “outstanding dishes” to wow viewers. I do some of that now but basically my recipes are everyday things I make. I am not sure what bitter gourds are but the seasonings sure sound delicious 🙂

    • I so agree with you, Aunt Juju! That’s exactly what we’ve written in our About us section as well. We eat and make what we like and we post the same on the blog. Aimless blogging is all we do! 🙂

  3. I know! It bothers me when they are all condescending about how exotic food is rich in calories! I mean, have you looked at the number of healthy recipes on the blog?? Anyways, I want to say, we don’t cook exotic everyday; our everyday cooking is exotic 😛 BTW, love the karela recipe 🙂

  4. Same pinch, kas ke wala!! And base wala. Maine bhi aaj karela kachri banaya ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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