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Karela Sabzi Recipe, How to make Karela Sabzi Recipe | Karela Recipes

by dassana amit updated March 7, 2014

Karela Sabzi Recipe: Punjabi Karela Sabzi, Dry Karela Sabzi Recipe

Karela Sabzi - This is the Punjabi Recipe of Karela Sabzi from my mom-in-law. It is a dry karela sabzi and makes use of only one additional vegetable in it besides the spices… onions. This dry and tasty Karela Sabzi (Bitter Gourd or Bitter Melon) is a quick and easy version which is often made in our house, when we do not have enough time for making Bharwan Karela (Stuffed Karela – Bitter Gourd Sabzi). The ingredients used are similar in both these recipes, except for the method of cooking. Apart from this another quick karela recipe i make at home is Karela stir fry. Now before I mention step by step details about the karela recipe, lets take a sneak peek on the health benefits of Karela/Bitter Gourd:

  1. Purifies blood.
  2. Excellent for people having diabetes.
  3. Improves constipation and piles.
  4. Helpful in healing skin disorders.
  5. Besides being good in B Vitamins and Vitamin C, Karela is also rich in minerals like Iron, Calcium and Phosphorous.

I always make sure that I include Karela in our food once a week. It is in fact one of my favorite veggie and I simply love this recipe, the bharwan karela that my mom-in-law makes and the karela chips which my mother makes. Also the Bengali recipe of Shukto is one of the bittergourd recipes that I like. So now for the karela recipe.

Lets Start Step by Step Punjabi Karela Sabzi Recipe:

  • Peel the karelas. Wash them in running water. Chop them. You can even slice them. Scrape off the seeds. Since these were small tender baby karela, i have not removed the seeds. But otherwise, the seeds are reportedly toxic and should be removed. If using medium sized or large karela, then remove the seeds.

sliced karela bittergourd

  • Slice the onions too.

sliced onions for karela

  • In a kadai or pan, heat oil. Add the chopped or sliced karela or bitter gourds.

adding karela in oil

  • Saute the karela/bitter gourd on medium heat for 2 minutes. Lower the flame and saute for 2-3 minutes more.

sauting karela

  • Add the sliced onions.

adding onions to karela sabzi

  • Mix the sliced onions with the karela.

mixing onions with karela

  • Saute for 2-3 minutes.

sauting karela and onions

  • Now add the turmeric powder, red chili powder and salt.

adding spice powders to karela

  • Stir. Cook the sabzi without any lid for 7-8 minutes till the both the karela and onions are cooked and sauted well. The onions will become brown. Keep on stirring in between. Check the seasoning. Add more red chili powder or salt if required.
  • When the karela sabzi is ready, sprinkle the amchur and garam masala powder. Mix it with the entire karela sabzi.

adding garam masala to karela sabzi

  • Garnishing Karela Sabzi with chopped cilantro/coriander leaves is optional.
  • Serve Karela Sabzi with phulkas, parathas and a bowl of fresh plain curd/yoghurt or sweetened curd/yoghurt. This Karela Sabzi also goes very well as a side vegetable dish or accompaniment with the combination of dal rice or kadhi chawal ( punjabi curd kadhi with rice)

punjabi karela sabzi recipe

Note: I do not soak the karela/bitter gourds in salted water or even sprinkle salt on them. I personally like the bitter taste, so I do not do use salt to remove the bitterness. In India, we do not get extremely bitter karelas. But, if you get the karela which are very bitter, than mix some salt on the chopped karela and keep aside for 20-30 minutes. The salt extracts the bitterness. Rinse in water and then use in the recipe. Alternatively, you could also put them in salted water. Keep them in the salted water for 20-30 minutes. Rinse them with fresh water and then add them to the recipe.

A few updates from readers’ comments: Karela seeds can be weeded out due to the reason that they are toxic and should be avoided during pregnancy. Red arils (covering on seed) are reportedly toxic in children, causing vomiting, diarrhea, and sickness.

karela sabzi recipe details below:

5.0 from 2 reviews
Punjabi Karela Sabzi Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
karela sabzi - dry bitter gourd curry made in north indian style.
Author:
Recipe type: side dish
Cuisine: north indian
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 5-6 medium sized karela/bitter gourd
  • 2 or 3 medium sized onions
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder or haldi
  • ¼ tsp red chili powder
  • ¼ tsp garam masala powder
  • ¼ or ½ tsp amchur powder or dry mango powder
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • salt
Instructions
  1. Peel the karelas. Wash them in running water. Chop them. You can even slice them. Remove the seeds.
  2. Slice the onions too.
  3. In a kadai or pan, heat oil. Add the chopped or sliced bitter gourds.
  4. Saute the bitter gourd on medium heat for 2 minutes. Lower the flame and saute for 2-3 minutes more.
  5. Add the sliced onions.
  6. Mix the sliced onions with the bitter gourd.
  7. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Now add the turmeric powder, red chili powder and salt.
  9. Stir. Cook the sabzi without any lid for 7-8 minutes till the both the karela and onions are cooked and sauted well. The onions will become brown. Keep on stirring in between. Check the seasoning. Add more red chili powder or salt if required.
  10. When the Karela sabzi is ready, sprinkle the amchur and garam masala powder. Mix it with the entire sabzi.
  11. Garnishing Karela Sabzi with chopped cilantro/coriander leaves is optional.
  12. Serve Karela Sabzi with phulkas, parathas and a bowl of fresh plain curd/yoghurt or sweetened curd/yoghurt. Karela Sabzi also goes very well as a side vegetable dish or accompaniment with the combination of dal rice or kadhi chawal ( punjabi curd kadhi with rice)
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4


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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Buta April 1, 2014 1

Why we have to peal Kerale.

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dassana amit April 1, 2014 2

there is no need to peel the kerala. its just individual preference.

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Anjali March 6, 2014 3

Yesterday I saw this and cooked it at home, my husband liked it. thanx. it was very good.

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dassana amit March 6, 2014 4

welcome anjali

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Anjali March 6, 2014 5

Yesterday i read this recipe, and did the same and it became soooo …… good.

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dassana amit March 6, 2014 6

welcome anjali and thanks.

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neha February 19, 2014 7

We also cook in similar manner but we add fennel (Saunf) also to it..it tastes good..try..it should be grinded masala saunf, added to ur taste.

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dassana amit February 21, 2014 8

i have tried adding saunf powder in bharwan karela. i know it tastes good. will try with the sabi too.

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Nandita June 8, 2013 9

Karela is not among my favorites, but tried this recipe out since we had it at home. It was good to try karela subji with a different taste!

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dassana June 8, 2013 10

this has a different taste. you can also try the stuffed (bharwan) karela. you will like this one too. and in some time karela will become your favorite veggie ;-)

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Maryam May 22, 2013 11

Hi
i made the karaila but i used salt because i dont like the bitterness. Even after cooking they still taste a bit bitter is there anything we can do to reduce the bitterness even after cooking? (by the way i made keema karaila)

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dassana May 22, 2013 12

after slicing or chopping the karela, mix with some salt and keep aside for 20-25 minutes. then squeeze the karela pieces with your hands and rinse the karela in water. this technique will remove some bitterness. if you make a vegetarian version, then in some recipes, especially in south indian, tamarind and jaggery is added and this does tone down the bitterness.

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Preethi April 30, 2013 13

Yummy! :) Thanks

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Jordan June 23, 2012 14

Thanks very much I loved this!! I will be buying Karela more often from the local bizarre

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jesty June 5, 2012 15

m going to make this………… looking so delicious……………….

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Bandana June 2, 2012 16

Thanks for this recipe of Karela, we loved it.
Maryland,U.S.A.

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dassana June 3, 2012 17

welcome bandana……

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anisha February 23, 2012 18

tried it wonderful recipe. tks.

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anisha February 23, 2012 19

tried it went very well tks u have given a great recipe.

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dassana February 23, 2012 20

thanks anisha

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dhananjay November 11, 2011 21

why peel karela?

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dassana November 11, 2011 22

its not necessary to peel karela. if you don’t want to peel, then leave the peel intact.

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anshum mudgal August 24, 2011 23

swt hrt in the pictures u posted it is not karela or bitter gourd but it is parval that uve taken. cannot cook karela like that it has to be salted and taken off its bitterness or else u r going to keep tasting the bitterness for the rest of the week….. kindly check n make the corrections on ur illustrative site….ciao

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dassana August 24, 2011 24

dear anshum

i have made this karela recipe and for your information it is 100% karela/bitter gourd and not parval. observe more closely. can’t you see the karela seeds in the pics? do they look like parval seeds to you?

and who has told you that the karela always has to be salted. in india we don’t get that bitter karela. and even on a personal front i prefer to have the bitterness in the karela. hence i have not added salt to the karela in this recipe.

how can you make your own assumptions by not seeing or checking the information on the recipe properly? before mentioning anything like this just check the facts and pics on the recipe properly.

i am actually amused by your weird comment. do you think i am a person who has lost her head and posting the pics of another vegetable. are you crazy or what?

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Sayuj October 3, 2011 25

Hello Dassana,

A small update – Karela seeds can be weeded out due to the reason that it contains toxic and to be avoided during pregnancy. Hope this info could be added.

Warm Regards,
Sayuj N

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dassana October 4, 2011 26

thanks sayuj for the helpful info. will help a lot of us who don’t know about the toxic thing in the seeds.

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hari October 20, 2011 27

Specifically:
Warnings – Red arils (covering on seed) are reportedly toxic in children, causing vomiting, diarrhea, and death.

Contraindications – Bitter melon is contraindicated in pregnant women as it can induce bleeding, contractions, and abortion.

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Gurpreet August 19, 2011 28

This seems really simple and quick recepie and will definitely try

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bhakti thakkar August 7, 2011 29

thanks for so simple and fast receipe

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anuj March 20, 2011 30

I have ” tons ” of qulity karelas in my home ths season.will try this recipe. thanks.
Sydney, Australia

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rcm February 27, 2011 31

lgv to try

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sangeeta September 5, 2010 32

I love karela too and this karela has been a family favorite , we make it without peeling n with seeds.
My husband doesn’t like karela n now i have experimented with this veggie so much so that he has at least started eating this….:) :)

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Svetlana December 9, 2012 33

Thank you for this Karela recipe, I made it already many times and this is the only way I will make it. It’s easy, simple and very tasty.

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dassana December 9, 2012 34

thanks svetlana.

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Karuna August 5, 2013 35

Hey Dassana Amazing recipe!! will definitely make it regularly but was wondering if I could presteam the karela for five minutes to cut down on the oil used? do you think it would work?
On another note, since you live in Goa I wondered if you ever use the kokum butter that they sell in the markets for cooking. The locals all assured me about its health benefits. Do you know anything about it, I was hoping to make a vegan butter recipe that i found online that uses cocoa butter and use it for baking etc. I made raagi biscuits yesterday and the texture was pretty amazing and taste was also barely noticeable. I would love to know your thoughts on it for regular use, if its healthy safe etc. What struck me was its extremely high smoking point.

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dassana August 5, 2013 36

hi karuna. yes you can pre steam the karela. i also steam them sometimes and then lightly saute in oil. i have heard of kokum butter, but i have not been able to find it in goa, at least where we lived. i hit ave heard, it can be used as a replacement for butter in cookies and sweets etc. since i have not used it, not sure how it works. you made ragi biscuits with cocoa butter? thats wow!!!

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