Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Recommended Posts

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?

Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Link to post
Share on other sites

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:

Link to post
Share on other sites

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)
Link to post
Share on other sites

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


Link to post
Share on other sites

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


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...
  • Similar Content

    • By Sheel
      Prawn Balchao is a very famous Goan pickle that has a sweet, spicy and tangy flavor to it. 
      For the balchao paste you will need:
      > 8-10 kashmiri red chillies
      > 4-5 Byadagi red chillies
      > 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
      > 1/2 tsk turmeric powder 
      > 1 tsp peppercorn
      > 6 garlic cloves
      > 1/2 tsp cloves
      > 1 inch cinnamon stick
      > Vinegar 
      First you will need to marinate about 250 grams of prawns in some turmeric powder and salt. After 15 minutes deep fry them in oil till them become golden n crisp. Set them aside and add tsp vinegar to them and let it sit for 1 hour. Now, make a paste of all the ingredients mentioned under the balchao paste and make sure not to add any water. In the same pan used for fryin the prawns, add in some chopped garlic and ginger. Lightly fry them and immediately add one whole chopped onion. Next, add the balchao paste amd let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the prawns and cook until the gravy thickens. Finally add 1 tsp sugar and salt according to your taste. Allow it to cool. This can be stored in a glass jar. Let this mature for 1-3 weeks before its use. Make sure never to use water at any stage. This can be enjoyed with a simple lentil curry and rice.
    • By Deeps
      This is one of my daughter favorite dishes, being mild and less spicy she loves this rice dish.  Its super easy to make and goes well with most Indian curries.
      Do try this out and I am sure you will be happy with the results.

      Prep Time : 5 mins
      Cook Time: 5 mins
      Serves: 2
      1 cup rice(basmati), cooked
      1/2 cup coconut, shredded or grated
      1 green chili, slit
      1 dried red chili
      1 1/2 tablespoon oil/ghee(clarified butter)
      1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
      1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
      1/2 tablespoon chana dal(split chickpeas)
      1/2 tablespoon urad dal(split black gram)
      1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
      A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
      Few curry leaves
      Salt to taste
      1) Heat oil/ghee(clarified butter) in a pan in medium flame. I used coconut oil here because it tastes best for this dish.
      2) Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chana dal(split chickpeas), urad dal(split black gram), green chili, dried red chili, ginger and curry leaves. Fry this for 30 seconds in medium flame. The trick is to ensure that these are fried but not burned.
      3) Add a pinch of hing(asafoetida) and mix well.
      4) Now add the cooked rice and coconut. Stir well for about 15 to 20 seconds and switch off the flame.
      5) Finally add salt into this and mix well. You could add peanuts or cashew nuts if you prefer. Goes well with most curries.
    • By loki
      Sweet Eggplant Pickle

      This is an Indian pickle, some would call a chutney, that I made up from several sources and my own tastes. It is based it on my favorite sweet brinjal (eggplant here in the US) pickle available commercially. It has onion and garlic, which are often omitted in some recipes due to dietary restrictions of some religious orders. It also has dates which I added on my own based on another pickle I love. I also used olive oil as mustard oil is not available and I like it's taste in these pickles. Use other oils if you like. This has more spices than the commercial type - and I think it's superior. I avoided black mustard seed, fenugreek, and cumin because almost all other pickles use these and they start to taste the same. One recipe from Andhra Pradesh used neither and I followed it a little. It's wonderful with all sorts of Indian foods - and also used for many other dishes, especially appetizers.
      SPICE MIX (Masala)
      4 Tbs coriander seeds
      3 hot chilies (I used a very hot Habanero type, so use more if you use others)
      18 cardamom pods
      2 inches cinnamon
      24 cloves
      1 1/2 Tbs peppercorns
      1 cups olive oil
      4 inches fresh ginger, minced fine, about 1/2 cup
      6 cloves garlic, minced
      1 large onion finely chopped
      3 lb eggplant, diced, 1/4 inch cubes
      1/2 lb chopped dates
      1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
      2 cups rice vinegar (4.3 percent acidity or more)
      2 cups brown sugar
      2 Tbs salt
      2 tsp citric acid
      Spice Mix (Masala)

      1. Dry roast half the coriander seeds in a pan till they begin to brown slightly and become fragrant - do not burn. Cool.

      2. Put roasted and raw coriander seeds and all the other spices in a spice mill and grind till quite fine, or use a mortar and pestle. Put aside.

      Main Pickle

      1. Heat half the oil and fry ginger till slightly browned, slowly.

      2. Add garlic, onion, and half the salt and fry slowly till these begin to brown a bit too.

      3. Add eggplant, turmeric, and spice mix (Masala) and combine well. Fry for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

      4. Add rest of ingredients, including rest of the salt and olive oil and heat slowly to a boil.

      5. Boil for about 5 minutes. Add a little water if too thick - it should be nearly covered with liquid, but not quite - it will thin upon cooking so wait to add the water till heated through.

      6. Bottle in sterilized jars and seal according to your local pickling instructions. This recipe will be sufficiently acidic.
    • By loki
      Sour Tomatillo Achar

      Made this one up from a recipe for lemons. It really works for tomatilloes. A unique spice mix, and really sour for a 'different' type of pickle, or achar. It is based on a Marwari recipe - from the arid north-western part of India. Tomatilloes are not used in India (or at least not much) but are quite productive plants in my garden while lemons or other sour fruits are not possible to grow here. No vinegar or lemon juice is used, because tomatilloes are very acidic and don't need any extra.

      3 lbs tomatilloes husks removed and quartered
      1/4 cup salt
      1 Tbs black mustard seeds
      2 star anise buds
      10 dried chilies (I used very hot yellow peppers)
      1 tsp fenugreek seeds
      2 inch ginger (ground to a paste)
      2 TBL dark brown sugar
      1/2 cup sugar

      1. In a large bowl, put the tomatilloes and sprinkle salt over them. Cover it and leave for a day, mixing occasionally.

      2. Next day drain the tomatilloes.

      3. Dry roast the star anise (put in first as these take longer, the black mustard, and the chilie pods (add last and barely brown in places). Cool.

      4. Grind the roasted spices with the fenugreek and put aside.

      5. Add tomatilloes, ginger, sugars, and everything else to a large pan and heat to boiling.

      6. Cook till fully hot and boiling.

      7. Fill half-pint jars and seal.
    • By rxrfrx
      South Indian Style Broccoli
      Serves 2 as Main Dish.
      Broccoli isn't a traditional Indian vegetable, but I designed this recipe to use up leftover boiled broccoli in the style of cauliflower.

      3 c broccoli, cut up and cooked
      3 T oil
      2 T cumin seeds
      2 tsp tumeric
      2 tsp corriander powder
      2 green chilis, sliced thinly
      1/2 c chopped cilantro
      salt, to taste

      Fry the spices in the oil until they smoke a little. Add the broccoli and chilis and fry for a couple minutes to get the flavors mixed. Add salt to taste and stir in the cilantro before serving with chapati.
      Bonus recipe: just before adding the cilantro, crack 2-4 eggs into the pan and stir them around.
      Keywords: Main Dish, Side, Easy, Vegan, Vegetables, Indian
      ( RG2107 )
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...