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

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.

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:

4.3 from 3 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 (american measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
  • 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



{ 38 Responses }

  1. Anjali says

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

  2. neha says

    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.

  3. Nandita says

    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!

  4. Maryam says

    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)

    • says

      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.

  5. Jordan says

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

  6. anshum mudgal says

    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

    • dassana says

      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?

      • Sayuj says

        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

        • dassana says

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

          • hari says

            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.

  7. anuj says

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

  8. says

    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….:) :)

    • Svetlana says

      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.

        • Karuna says

          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.

          • says

            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!!!