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Bitter melon curry

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I have a craving for bitter melon curry. If you happen to live in the San Francisco Bay Area and have been to Naan 'N Curry and have tried their bitter melon curry, that is the type of thing I am looking for. I am looking for a good recipe. The only things I know are in the version I have had are bitter melon, curry leaves, black cardamom, cinnamon, tomato, and onion. Any other bitter melon fans?

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I love it too I make it with out cinnamon and black cardamom, and usually make it dry like a stir fry.


2 melons cut into quarter inch pieces

1 or 2 tomatoes

1 green/yellow/ red onion

1 cup Water

2 Tbsp coriander pwdr

1 to 2 Tbsp chilli pwdr

1/4 tsp turmeric pwdr

3 tbsp to a quarter cup of oil

1 tsp Mustard

and 1 tsp of jeera for preparing the sauteing oil

Heat oil atleast 1 minute on medium flame before adding mustard and jeera.

Add onion and let it become translucent or 2 min on medium flame, add tomatoes,

(Cook Covered or uncovered based on the dryness factor to be acheived )lower to low flame to let the tomatoes lose their texture and become soft.

Add powdered spices and salt and 1/4 cup water.

Allow the water to be absorbed(if covered) or evaporate ( if uncovered)

Let the steam be an indicator of the next stage, when the steam venting stops add the bitter-melon and 1/4 cup of water.

When the water becomes less, add 1/4 cup. Repeat if desired for more even browning and deeper flavours of spice rather if you prefer your melon taste to overpower it may be best to stop.

If a subtle taste of melon is desired or if the bitterness is to be reduced, repeat the step and in the end add some more coriander when water is reduced and stir on low flame.

Other variation is to add egg white or an egg beaten up along with (preferably hot)1/4 cup water and then add coriander when it is dry. It is as good as adding coconut which results in a milder bitter taste.

The gravy version is entirely different. Since bitter melon is prepared with usually a detailed instructions in order to lessen the bitterness.

Would you describe more of your flavours like its sweetness/sourness factor too. I could give you a simple recipe on that basis

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wow this is a great start. Some other things I remember from the dish I had were that is was not very sweet, the red chilies cardamom and cinnamon were whole, and it was fairly bitter. I like the bitterness so I usually do not salt or blanch the bitter gourd. I also think there may have been some slices of ginger included. The egg sounds like an interesting addition.

what is jeera?

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Seems interesting I've not tried this version with cardamom and all the other ingredients but you could easily make it with a normal curry recipe for the basic sauce or gravy, and then add the bitter-gourd, maybe some tamarind if you are daring :wink: it might take the taste to another level or otherwise you may have an entirely different version of taste. Maybe you can do it with out tamarind :rolleyes: to begin with

I think you might know the basic gravy recipe with the onions and tomatoes if not you could follow any curry recipe just include the cardamom and cinnamon in the tempering. And jeera or cumin goes well too, and is very subtle in flavour.

I don't know how ginger will change the flavour. You could add it coarsely chopped in 1/4 inch squares directly into tempering oil or very finely chopped along with the onions.

Good luck with the trials :smile:

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I like the fact that you like the bitter taste. It is an acquired taste I did not first like it , only when my mom forced me to try a new version of the vegetable preparation did I get hooked on to its bitter taste so I understand how you feel about your curry too

Edited by Geetha (log)

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Other ways for KARELA

1). Oil, Fenugreek seeds, Bitter gourd, Onion, Turmeric, Chili Powder, Salt--

stir over high heat then simmer and cook covered till gourds are tender.

Add amchoor, saunf powder and a dollop of mustard oil.

2). Oil,Whole red chilis, Onions, Curry leaves, saute for 5 mins.

Add tomatoes, Haldi and chili powder. Saute till oil starts separating.

Add Gourds, salt, stir well and add water. Cook covered at low heat till cooked.

Add tamarind pulp, pinch of sugar.

3). Scoop out the flesh and seeds and roughly chop it.

Saute this with lots of onions, coriander powder, Jeera powder, turmeric & chili

powders. cool it and stuff inside the shells of gourds. Lightly oil the gourds from outside and cook the gourds either inthe oven for 30 mins. at 325 or in Wok over low heat for 35 mins. turning constantly for even cooking


Sudhir Seth



Passage to India

4931 Cordell Avenue Bethesda MD 301 656-3373



100-B, Gibbs Street, Rockville MD 301 610-0303


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Few people like Karela(Momordica Charantia) as the bitterness is an acquired taste. This is a home style recipe using a small variety.

Peel and marinate the Karelas with salt and rinse off after an hour. This helps to reduce the bitterness. Saute them in oil with chopped onions till browned and add the spice powders-1 tsp each of coriander, cumin and turmeric powders. Stir fry for a few minutes more.


Puree some deseeded tomatoes with ginger, garlic and deseeded whole red chillies, add to the Karelas + Onions and cook till done. Taste and adjust salt levels.


Edited by Episure (log)

I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja


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