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Karela Shopping Tips
Spices and dried herbs have a shelf life too, and lose potency over time. The rule of thumb is, if your spices are over two years old, it's time to buy some new ones.
Karela Cooking Tips
Toasting whole spices before using them intensifies their aroma and flavor.
Bitter Melon recipe Indian Karela that is TASTY!
This is one of the most delicious and easy bitter melon recipes Indian/Pakistani style, you'll find on the web. Bitter melon or bitter gourd is a notorious vegetable in proverbs and sayings for its bitter flavor like ‘karwa karela’, ‘karela si batein’ but the bitterness has sweet effects on health. Kerela/ bitter melon is just like other vegetables, the trick is to cut its bitterness to an enjoyable level. Like it will still be slightly bitter but the bitter sour taste is the delicacy of this vegetable.
Karela – Karela, or as we call it bitter gourd is available throughout the year, so you don’t have to wait for any specific season to try this recipe. Check your nearby Indian grocery store if you are living outside of India.
While buying bitter gourd, see that they are bright green in color and also firm, when you slightly press it.
Oil – Make this recipe in mustard oil for the best result. The flavors of pungent mustard oil really enhance the overall taste of the sabzi. While using mustard oil, heat it until the smoking point and reduce the flame before you add other ingredients.
If you do not heat the mustard oil properly, the sabzi will have a raw taste. If you do not prefer mustard oil, you can use vegetable oil too.
Jaggery– Jaggery is added for a little sweetness that balances the bitter taste of the karela.
Tamarind – Just like jaggery, tamarind is also used to balance the bitter taste of the karela. But it adds a tangy taste to the sabzi which complements the sweet flavor of jaggery really well.
Spice Powders– To enhance the taste further we will add coriander powder, turmeric powder, and Kashmiri red chili powder. I have used Kashmiri red chili powder, as it will add a nice color to the sabzi without making it too spicy.
Others – Apart from the above-mentioned ingredients, we will add asafetida (hing), fennel seeds, nigella seeds, cumin seeds, onion, ginger garlic paste, and salt.
10 simple bitter gourd or karela recipes to include in your diet plan
Bitter gourd or karela is known for its varied health benefits however it isn’t a vegetable that is liked by many, especially due to its unique bitter flavour. Whether you like it or not, it is wise to include it in your diet one way or the other for its rich health benefits. Here are few interesting ways you can include bitter gourd or karela in your diet. Here are some amazing health benefits of bitter gourd or karela that you should know. Also Read - Why pregnant women should avoid eating bitter gourd or karela?
#1 Karele ki sabzi: Karela sabzi is often cooked in most Indian homes making it a healthy side dish to go with rotis or dal-rice. Also Read - Beat the summer heat with these cooling foods
How to prepare: Wash and cut 250 gm karelas into medium-sized pieces and remove their seeds. You can either cut them in circles or slice them. Take two medium-sized onions, peel and chop them. Heat oil in a pan till it sends out smoke. Lower the flame and sprinkle cumin and mustard seeds, allow them to crackle for a few seconds and add the chopped onions. Saut onions till they turn golden brown. Next, add the sliced karelas and mix well. Add salt, turmeric powder, garam masala, coriander powder, red chilli powder and mix with the vegetables thoroughly. Close the pan with a lid and allow the karela to cook for a few minutes. However, keep stirring in between to prevent it from getting burnt. Avoid adding water to the sabzi. When the keralas turn tender add amchur or dry mango powder and mix well. Remove it from the flame and garnish it with coriander leaves. If you wish you can also add a spoonful of badam powder to your dish. Know why bitter gourd or karela is considered a natural pill for diabetics.
#2 Karela masala: This is another way of making karele ka sabzi with a tangy twist.
How to prepare: Wash and cut 250 gm karelas into small pieces and pressure cook them till you hear one whistle. Remember to release the pressure soon after you remove it from the flame, because too much steam can make the karelas soft and lose its texture. Next, in a pan or kadai add oil and heat it for few minutes. To this, add one chopped onion and saut , when it changes colour to golden brown add chopped ginger and garlic. Once the entire mixture turns brown in colour, add one-and-half chopped tomatoes and keep stirring till it is partially cooked. Then add salt, turmeric, garam masala, red chilli powder and other spices of your choice along with the boiled karelas and mix well. Allow the karelas to cook for 10 minutes keeping the lid closed. Once the keralas are mixed well and are coated with the masala and spices, remove the pan from flame. Sprinkle coriander for garnishing and serve hot. Here are ten reasons why you need to add coriander leaves in your dishes.
#3 Karela fry: If you love eating the vegetable then karela fry can help make your mundane dal-rice taste better being a great side dish. In fact, karela fry is also a good companion for sambhar-rice or kadhi-rice.
How to prepare: Wash and cut 250 gm karelas and sprinkle salt, turmeric powder, garam masala and red chilli powder on them and mix well. You can peel its skin before cutting if you want to. Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped karelas to it. Saut on a low flame till it turns brown in colour. Keep stirring in between. Next, again add a pinch of all the dry spices and salt and mix well. When the karelas turn brown and tender sprinkle besan or gram flour and keep stirring till the rawness of besan is gone. Remove from flame and sprinkle lime juice and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
#4 Stuffed karela: This preparation, if made with little care, can even become a favourite for people who detest karela.
How to prepare: Take five to six small or medium-sized karelas, wash and scrape them. Slit the karelas, remove the scrapings and discard the seeds. Keep the scrapings aside and mix it with salt. Next, add salt to the karelas and keep them aside for half-an-hour. Later, wash the karelas thoroughly to get rid of the bitter taste and remove excess salt. Next, in a pan or kadai heat some oil and add one chopped and minced onions. Saut for a while and mix it with ginger-garlic paste and cook for two to three minutes. When the colour changes to light brown, add half of the scraping and keep saut ing for few more minutes. Add spices of your choice along with dry mango powder. Mix the spices well and remove the stuffing from the flame. Stuff the karelas with this stuffing and deep fry them. Once the karelas are fried well and turn deep brown in colour, remove them and keep aside on a plate and drain excess oil with the help of a tissue paper. In another pan, heat oil and add half of a chopped onion to it. Saut till light brown in colour and add dry spices along with the remaining karela scrapings. When the onions are well cooked add the deep fried stuffed karelas to the pan and allow them to cook for two to three minutes keeping the lid closed. Remove from the flame and serve hot. Here is another stuffed pepper recipe that you would love to try.
#5 Karele ka dal:This is one easy and simple way to eat karela in disguise and still reap its benefits.
How to prepare: Wash and soak 500 gm yellow moong dal in a bowl. Cut half-a-bottle gourd into medium-sized pieces and wash them thoroughly. In a pressure cooker, add the dal, bottle gourd, water, salt, turmeric powder and close the lid. Allow the dal to cook in medium flame till you hear two whistles. Meanwhile, wash and cut four or five medium-sized karelas and mix them with a pinch of salt and turmeric powder. Heat oil in a pan and fry them till golden brown. Remove them from the pan and keep them aside. Heat a more oil in the pan and add kalongi or black sesame seeds and wait till it stops spluttering. Next, add one spoon of ginger paste, garam masala, coriander powder, red chilli powder, salt and saut for a while. To this, add the fried karelas and mix well. Pour the entire contents of the pan into the pressure cooker and mix it with the boiled dal. Allow the dal to boil for five minutes and take it out of the flame. If you wish you can also add a spoonful of almond powder to it.
#6 Karela in mustard sauce: This is an easy and quick dish that can be made within minutes and leaves a lingering aftertaste.
How to prepare: Wash and pat dry 250 gm karelas and cut them into small pieces and mix with salt and turmeric powder. Next, heat oil in a pan and fry the karelas till they turn deep brown in colour. Make mustard paste with half-cup mustard a pinch of khus-khus, one green chilli and water in a mixer. Heat oil in a pan and add kalonji or black sesame seeds to it. Then pour the mustard paste in the pan and keep stirring. Add dry spices like coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder, salt and keep saut ing. Add the fried karelas to this and stir well. Allow it to cook for a few minutes and remove from the flame. Avoid adding garam masala and dry mango powder to this preparation.
#7 Karela mixed vegetable: If you don’t like to have karela as a prime vegetable in your dish, try mixed karela vegetable. However, know that karela will not mix well with all varieties of vegetables so you need to be choosy about them.
How to prepare: Chop three to four medium-sized karelas and discard its seeds. Next, cut potatoes, capsicum, eggplant and pumpkin in equal proportions, wash and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan and add kalongi or black sesame seeds, mustard and cumin seeds. When the seeds stop spluttering add to it chopped tomatoes and saut till they are partially cooked. Add all the dry spices like garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric, red chilli powder, salt and dry mango powder and mix well. To this, add all the cut vegetables and mix with the spices. Add water and cover the pan with a lid. Allow it to cook for around 15 minutes. However, keep stirring the vegetables in between to keep a check on them. When the water is absorbed completely by the vegetables remove it from the flame.
#8 Khatta meetha karela: This preparation brings a balance of sweetness and sourness to the bitter karela making every one devour it with joy, well almost.
How to prepare: Take some medium or small sized karelas and slit it s both ends. Wash and slit the karelas vertically. With a spoon remove the seeds and keep the karelas aside. If you want you can cut them to a size you prefer. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin and mustard seeds to it. Once they stop spluttering add curry leaves, green chillies and one chopped onion, saut for two minutes and add one spoon of ginger-garlic paste to this. Add salt, turmeric, mango powder, garam masala, red chilli powder and mix well. You can also add other spices of your choice. Add a little water and allow the mixture to cook for a while. Next, add the karela pieces and stir well. Then add one spoon tamarind paste or one-fourth cup tamarind water and allow the karelas to cook till soft. In the end, add jaggery and allow it to melt and caramelise. When done remove from the flame and garnish with fresh green coriander leaves.
#9 Karela pickle:Pickles, when had in excess, aren t healthy, but bitter gourd or karela pickle can still be beneficial when had with your regular dal-chawal.Here is why having pickles in excess bad for your health.
How to prepare: Wash and cut five medium sized karelas into small pieces and discard their seeds. Sprinkle salt on them, mix well and keep it aside for 30 minutes. Then drain all the salt water from the karelas and wash thoroughly with fresh water to get rid of its bitterness. In a pan, heat oil till it sends out smoke and then add fenugreek and mustard seeds to it. When they stop spluttering add thinly sliced garlic six to seven cloves and fry till golden brown. Add three slit green chillies and fry for next five minutes and add the bitter gourd pieces. Allow it to cook for few minutes in medium flame and add vinegar and salt to it. Lower the flame and sprinkle red chilli powder. Mix it well and allow the pickle to cook for few more minutes till the karelas turns tender. Remove it from the flame and store it in a sterilised glass jar. You can keep it stored in a refrigerator and use it after two to three days. Karela pickle, when kept in the fridge, can stay up to 6 months.
#10 Karela juice: If you don’t like to eat karela and still want to enjoy the benefits offered by this bitter veggie, try karela juice instead.
How to prepare: Wash and cut at least two karelas into small pieces and put them in a mixer add a little water to it and mix them in high speed for a minute. Remove the contents from the mixer into a strainer and squeeze out all the juice in a bowl. Before having the juice you can squeeze half a lemon to it and add a pinch of salt to lessen its bitter taste. Here are a few reasons why you should have a glass full of karela juice to stay healthy.
What studies say about bitter gourd and diabetes?
Bitter gourd is strongly endorsed as a wonder medicine for those suffering from diabetes, thanks to its powerful hypoglycemic and antidiabetic properties. The three active compounds – polypeptide-p, vicine and charatin – present in bitter gourd have been found to be effective managing blood sugar levels. They help cells take up sugar molecules as well as increase insulin secretion. Also Read - Type-2 diabetes diet: What is the best time to eat breakfast to reduce the risk of developing diabetes
A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2011 concluded that bitter melon had a modest hypoglycemic effect and significantly reduced fructosamine levels among patients with Type 2 diabetes who received 2,000 mg per day.
In 2015, the Egyptian Pharmaceutical Journal also published a study that suggested that bitter melon can be used as an effective oral adjunct hypoglycemic, with no reportable clinical side effects.
Another study that appeared in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine in 2017 confirmed the hypoglycemic properties of bitter gourd juice, demonstrating its effects among Type 2 diabetic patients.
I regularly take raw bitter melon
Rather than go through all the steps given, I scoop out the seeds, chop it into small pieces, add salt as required and a small piece of ginger chopped fine. Add a small cup of water and microwave for three minutes.
A small piece of dried narthangai oorugai added before microwaving adds flavor and taste
Can we drink this juice any time of the day or when is this drink to be consumed. Thanks for the recipe and for all your awesome dishes..
@Anonymousyou can have it in the morning
this juice was really really tasty…..
i offered it to other people and did not tell them what it was. they could not even guess that it was bitter gourd in the juice. all of them found it very tasty and wanted more. :))))
so nice of you. god bless you.
what is the best time to take this juice ? and what should be the gap between juice and meal ?
@Saruchi Sharmau can take this any time of the day
I think this recipe will b yummy…but i have one doubt with thus recipe..mostly i used to dring only simple bitter melon juice ill not anything in that…but i want to know your recipe is healthy as normal butter melon juice…?
@Anonymousyes this is normal juice, but it wont taste bitter since the addition of apple
This is really good . Please let me know How much time this juice will be preserved ?
I mean, If I create a Juice early morning 6 AM, Should It will be good to take after 12 hours ?
Yes u can take, but it is best to consume immediately, since the bittergourd will turn too bitter
what was the benefits of bitter gourd juice?
It helps in reducing diabetics
Really delicious and great way of consuming bitter guard. As usual your recipes rock.
If you want to lose weight, then you better drink bitter melon juice. This is a vegetable which can also be made into smoothies and juices. Bitter melon will help to reduce the incidence of insulin resistance and diabetes.
I make bitter melon juice , by adding apple/ pears, Dallim, Tomatoes, ginger, lemon, cucumber, radish/ carrots. i mix all these together and make a tasty juice. The fruits could change depending on what i have, it could be apple, pears, guava, fruits that are considered to be good for diabetes. I don't soak and squeeze out the bitterness for the Kerala. I add all these things along with some Himalayan salt/ black salt, a few pepper corns and very little bit of honey. Juice them in the mixie and strain it and. It tastes absolutely delicious, with no trace of bitterness. I also most of the times add yellow pumpkin, as it is very good for health.
You can also add a tsp of turmeric to the drink.
I am going to try this, just a question making more then needed for one day , can it be put in fridge and used next day ? or would it go bitter
from an Ayurvedic point of view, if you really want to take this as medicine, you should include the juice and not throw it away. that bitter taste is what the diabetic needs.
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While rummaging around the internet, I came across a delightful story about how the bitter gourd got its taste. It was really interesting. Even though it was of Filipino origin, I enjoyed the story thoroughly. Want to read it? Check it out here. I hope you find it a good read. It’s a nice story to read for your children as well since there is a moral at the end.
Anyhow, I am surprised how this bitter vegetable loses most of its bitterness when fried with onion, garlic and pimento pepper. It seems that the fire tames him a bit. The dish presented on this page makes a good complement to any meal, especially with its unique look. It adds an interesting taste to any dish as well.
So, my good readers, don’t shy away from eating this healthy vegetable just because it is bitter and looks strange. Just know that it is good for you. This recipe is my second for caraili (karela). The other recipe is called kalounji. On that page I went into a little more of the health benefits with links.
Pavakkai Masala Recipe / Bitter Gourd Masala / Karela Recipes
Bitter Gourds are one of the hated veg of many, but you know there are many health benefits in them. It is a very good for diabetics. If you drink a glass of fresh bitter gourd juice daily, then i am sure that your diabetics will get really low. It is such a miracle medicine for it.
For those who cannot tolerate the bitterness of fresh gourd, cook it and eat. I have a recipe of my mom’s bitter gourd pitlai, it is really yummy dish. You wont even identify that it is made from bitter gourd. I will soon posst some more bitter gourd recipes like poriyal, fry and dishes like it..So with no more delay you go and check my masala recipe.
Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 40 to 45 mins
Serves : 4 to 5
Bitter Gourd – 3 medium size sliced into rounds
Onion – 1 large sliced thinly
Tomatoes – 2 medium size chopped finely
Oil – 5 tblspn
Fennel Seeds / Saunf / Sombu – 1 tsp
Cinnamon – 2 inch stick
Chilli Powder – 2 tsp
Coriander Powder – 1 tblspn
Turmeric Powder / Manjal Podi – 1 tsp + 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar – 1 tblspn
Tamarind Pulp – 2 tblspn + 1 tblspn
Water as needed
Take water, salt, turmeric powder and tamarind pulp in a sauce pan and bring it to boil. Once it reached a boil, add the bitter gourd and cook it till it becomes tender. Drain and set aside.
Now heat oil in a kadai. Add in fennel and cinnamon stick. Let them sizzle.
Now add in onions and saute till they get translucent.
Now add in salt, sugar and spice powders. Mix them.
Add in tomatoes and mix well.
Add some water and cook till they turn mushy and oil separates from it.
Add in cooked bitter gourd now along with some tamarind pulp. Mix well and cook on a low heat till it is cooked welll and all flavourd combines.
Simmer this for 10 to1 5 mins till it is nicely combined.
Switch off the heat and serve.
Karela Sabzi from Uttar Pradesh, India | Best Indian Food Blog | Bitter melon recipeKarela Sabzi from Uttar Pradesh, India | Best Indian Food Blog | Bitter melon recipe
Location : Uttar Pradesh. Preference : Veg. Taste : Bitter.
Ingredients : Karela (Bitter melon), Ginger, Green Chilli, Onion, Soyabean Oil, Fennel Seed, Asafoetida, Salt, Turmeric Powder, Coriander Powder, Red Chilli Powder, Sugar, Dry Mango Powder, Garam Masala.
Recipe at a Glance : Chop karela, ginger, green chilli, onion ⇒ crackle fennel seed ⇒ add asafoetida, chopped onion, chopped ginger, chopped green chilli ⇒ fry ⇒ add chopped karela, salt, turmeric powder ⇒ fry ⇒ cover to tender ⇒ fry ⇒ add coriander powder, red chilli powder ⇒ fry ⇒ add sugar, mango powder ⇒ fry ⇒ add garam masala ⇒ fry ⇒ it’s ready to serve, let’s taste. ▶️ V ideo H e lp
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Place the karela juice in the refrigerator to chill between 1 to 2 hours. Pour the karela juice into a serving glass. Top the juice with a sprinkle of black pepper or chaat masala and serve.
It is generally recommended that you drink karela juice in the mornings on an empty stomach for full beneficial results. Sweeten karela juice with honey, but avoid other sugars which can alter the taste and health benefits.
If you have a juicing machine, you can simply process the saltwater-soaked cubes through the juicer instead of blending and straining the cubes.
Consume your juice within one to two days and refrigerate your leftovers immediately to reduce risk of harmful bacterial growth, as advised by Michigan State University.