Bittergourd Curry

Bittergourd, as the name suggests is bitter in taste but has enormous health benefits. It is also called as Pavakkai, Karela, Kakarakaya.


Bittergourd is a great source of several nutrients.

It is rich in Vitamin C and fiber. It helps in weight reduction and to keep the blood sugar level under control.

Bittergourd reduces cholesterol level and it supports overall heart health. It also has cancer fighting properties.

Though it has high health benefits, it is avoided by many because of the bitter taste. Mostly children do not like them.

Cook it this way!! The spicy and tamarind based tangy taste will make everyone to eat it without any problem.

This recipe goes well with rice or chapathi.


  • Bittergourd- 3 big ( I have removed the seeds and chopped them)
  • Onion- 4 medium size
  • Tomato- 3 big
  • Garlic- 5 cloves (finely chopped)
  • Green chillies- 3 to 4 (finely chopped)
  • Curry leaves- 15
  • Fenugreek seeds- 1 and a half tsp
  • Cumin seeds- 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
  • Chilli powder with coriander powder mix- 2 tbsp ( use 1 more tbsp if you want it more spicy)
  • Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Tamarind- 1 lemon sized
  • Jaggery- 2 tbsp (optional).


There are many ways to make the bittergourd taste less bitter. One way is to clean the bittergourd well,remove the seeds, mix it with salt and keep it for 1 hour. It should be cleaned with water again before starting to cook.

Heat oil (sesame) in a pot and add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds.
Then saute green chillies, garlic cloves.
Add onions now and saute them till it becomes translucent.
Once it is translucent, add curry leaves.
Now add the finely chopped tomatoes and saute till it becomes soft.
Once the tomatoes are soft, add red chilli powder with coriander powder mix, turmeric powder, salt and saute everything together till it gets mixed. Let oil separate on top.

Add the finely chopped bittergourd now.
Now turn the stove to medium flame, add little water and close it and cook for 5 minutes. Bittergourd should be cooked three fourth.
Once it is cooked to three fourth consistency, pour the tamarind juice and required water. Cook it till the bittergourd gets completely cooked in medium flame. Stir now and then. The vegetable gets shrinked once it is completely cooked. If you want to add jaggery, you can add now.
It tastes better when served with rice and papad.


  • Removing the seeds makes it less bitter. But if you want it to be with seeds, it is also fine.
  • Using sesame oil enriches the taste.