Bitter Gourd Fry | Karela Fry

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Hailing from India and introduced throughout the world around the 14th century and now a staple food among many Asian cuisines, we have bitter gourd. Also known as bitter melon; bitter apple; bitter gourd; karela; bitter squash; balsam-pear; and many more. They belong to the gourd family and are closely related to other squash vegetables and fruits like zucchini, pumpkin, and cucumber. They are packed with health benefits and contain plenty of disease-preventing and physical health-developing components like Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Although the raw taste of bitter gourds is unbearably “bitter’ for most of us, we have plenty of ways to lessen the bitterness while maintaining most of its health benefits, such as soaking it with salt and turmeric. (which is done in this very recipe. Don’t miss it!)

Let’s take a look at how we can prepare bitter gourd fried with onion and different types of seeds, making it a mixture of the perfect beneficial side dish.

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Bitter Gourd Fry 

Recipe by Amu MCourse: Main Course, Side DishCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy


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An important note: Please make sure that you or your child is not allergic to bitter gourd. Although bitter melon has numerous health benefits for children, it should not be served in excess quantity. Bitter melon may cause intolerance in children. Most importantly, it is essential to check if your child is allergic to bitter melon. Look for symptoms like facial redness, excessive salivation, and stomach pain, dimness of vision, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and muscular weakness. If you observe any of these symptoms after introducing your child to bitter melon, it is recommended to stop the intake and consult a doctor at the earliest.


  • 280 gm Bitter Gourd Sliced

  • 2 Onion Medium

  • 1 Tsp Salt

  • 1 Tsp Turmeric Powder

  • 4 Tbsp Cooking Oil

  • 1/2 Tsp Red Chili Powder

  • 1/2 Tsp Fenugreek Seeds

  • 1/2 Tsp Fennel Seeds

  • 1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds


  • Take Sliced bitter gourd 280 gm – add salt 1/2 tsp and turmeric powder 1/2 tsp into it.
  • Mix everything well on a flat plate. This process helps to reduce the bitterness.
  • Place something flat like another plate on top of the mixture and place a weight of 1 – 2 kg on top to squish the bitter gourd mixture gently over time for 20 minutes approx. This would naturally press the mixture to help us remove enough bitterness/bitter juice from the mixture.
  • Tenderly squeeze the bitter gourd to remove the bitter juice and place it differently. The Bitter Gourd is ready to be fried now.
  • Take a frying pan – Add cooking oil 4 tbsp, let it heat a bit, and add the bitter gourd for frying.
  • Keep stirring in between and let it fry for 10 – 12 minutes. Flip sides in between so both sides fry properly.
  • After, take the bitter gourd fry into a kitchen towel and keep it aside.
  • Using the same oil on the pan- add cumin seeds 1/2 tsp, fennel seeds 1/2 tsp, and fenugreek seeds 1/4 tsp – stir it well for 2 minutes.
  • Then, add sliced onion 2 medium-sized. Stir the mixture and let it fry till light brown. Add salt 1 tsp, turmeric powder 1 tsp, and red chili powder 1/2 tsp – stir and fry the spices on a medium flame for 2-3 minutes.
  • After, add the bitter gourd into the frying onions and stir it well.
  • Let it fry for 3 – 4 minutes on medium flame. Then, dish out the crispy bitter gourd fry into a plate.
  • Serve it hot as a side with Chapati or Naan 🙂

Recipe Video


  • The chili and salt can always be adjusted based on your taste or diet requirements.
  • Please Note – We never calculate marinade resting time into our total recipe time.

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts

3 servings per container


  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 21.2g 33%
    • Saturated Fat 2.7g 14%
  • Sodium 784mg 33%
  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Potassium 148mg 5%
  • Total Carbohydrate 10.7g 4%
    • Dietary Fiber 2.1g 9%
    • Sugars 3.2g
  • Protein 3.1g 7%
  • Calcium 2%
  • Iron 5%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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