Bitter Gourd in Bengali & Indian Cooking: Things to Know

Bitter Gourd or Karela in Hindi or Korola in Bengali is definitely stinging our taste buds but there are various other nutritional values which makes it very popular among the Asian countries.

This is actually an underrated vegetable and it is from the gourd family of zucchini, pumpkin, squash and cucumber.

The bitterness of this vegetable is actually making it a “hit” as it changes your mouth taste and give a freshness to have other foods.

It is mainly found in tropical and sub-tropical regions of India. It is mainly cultivated in the Caribbean islands, Asia and Africa.

Bitter Gourd in Bengali & Indian Cooking

Uses of Bitter Gourd in Bengali & Indian Cooking

The world stands with a different point of view where the concept of Bitter Gourd or Karela or Korola or Ucchey either be liked or disked.

There are few people who leaves the lane when it comes to bitterness or “teto” on the other hand there are so many people out there who loves this bitter flavour and cherish it perfectly.

In fact, it is one of the main vegetables for Bengali vegetarian items. Let us check out some of the recipes that will change the bitterness about this gourd.

Karele ki Sabji:

This is a north Indian dish is not a bitter curried and it is not at all a bad one to have it. You can simply have it with Roti or rice or even paratha.

This sabji is made using ground spices like cumin, curry leaves and onion. This curry is a dry mishmash which can be a good for lunch or dinner.

Sweet and Sour of Bitter Gourd:

In the Asian countries bitter gourd is something this which you can definitely considered as a best one. Khatta meetha karela is cooked with simple ingredients like turmeric, coriander, ginger, chilies and cumin.

Sweetness of jaggery and sourness of tamarind is added to make it complete.  This is a delectable vegetarian dish.

Dahi Karela:

This is almost like the khatta meetha karela you just clean and cut the gourd in to slices. Then add some salt and keep it aside and then fry it well.

Add oil and fry these gourds and keep it aside. In the pan again heat some oil and add tomato and onion chopped, turmeric, coriander, red chili powder and garam masala.

Add all the gourds into it and stir fry all the masalas. Then add the beaten curd into it. Cook for more 10 mins and serve it with paratha or chapati.

Bitter Gourd Chips:

This is a unique chip which is made with cornflour and rice flour with some turmeric, coriander, red chili powder and salt. You just clean and cut the gourd in to slices.

Then add some salt and keep it aside. Then mix it with cornflour and rice flour along with some turmeric, coriander, red chili powder and salt. Then fry it after some time.

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Bitter Gourd Stir Fry:

This is a South Indian dish where the you just clean and cut the gourd in to slices. Then add some salt and keep it aside.

Then in the pan add oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves, hing, 1 tsp urad dal, 1 tsp chana dal and add the gourd. Then stir fry it with some salt and turmeric and add some jaggery and tamarind.

Stuffed Bitter Gourd:

This is a unique recipe where you boil all the bitter gourds as it and, in the side, make a stuffing of cottage cheese and dry mango powder, garam masala powder, chaat masala powder, turmeric, salt and little red chili powder.

You can also make the stuff by chopped well fried peanuts. When the karela is cooked then deseed those and put the stuffing. And fry it in a pan.

Karele aur Baingan ki Sabzi:

Here You just clean and cut the gourd in to slices. Then add some salt and keep it aside. Then in a pan temper with mustard seeds or kalonji and add red chilies.

Then add tomato and onion chopped fry these and after a while add the brinjals and bitter gourd in the pan with turmeric, coriander, red chili powder and a little bit of salt.

Karele ka Achaar:

This is a unique tangy recipe which is made in a very simple way with bitter gourd which is scraped and then mixed with salt and kept aside for three for hours.

Then prepare the stuffing masala made with 2 Tbsp saunf pounded coarsely and (fennel seeds) roasted, roasted and powdered ajwain, chilli powder, dried and powdered ginger, haldi (turmeric) and salt.

Then take a jar and pour enough lemon juice to cover the gourds. Then stuff the Karele and put it inside the jar and keep it under the sun for 3 to 4 days and eat it after the week.

Aamchoori Karele:

At first scrape the skin of the of the bitter gourds and remove the seeds. Then mix it with turmeric, vinegar, red chilli, salt. Keep it aside and then wash it.

Then fry the onions and keep it aside and after that add the bitter gourd and fry till golden brown. Then temper it with hing, ginger, and carom seeds.

Then add the all the onions and bitter gourds with fenugreek, fennel, red chilli, black pepper, cumin, mango powder. Mix it well and then stir fry it well. When done you can serve.

Karela Bhurji:

Here You just clean and cut the gourd in to slices. Then add some salt and keep it aside. Then in a pan temper with cumin seeds and asafoetida.

Then add ginger-garlic paste, green chilli and onions. Add grated bitter gourd with coriander powder, red chili powder, salt and tomatoes. Mix it well and then stir fry it well. Add some fresh coriander and lemon juice.

Aloo Ucche Bhaja:

Cut the bitter gourd in small pieces and keep it aside. Then add some salt and keep it aside. Cut some potatoes too. Then in a pan add oil, kalonji and fry the bitter gourds and potato with little bit turmeric and salt. Fry it till it is crispy.

Peyaji Karela:

Cut the bitter gourd in small pieces and keep it aside. Then add some salt and keep it aside. Then in a pan add oil, cumin seeds and sliced onion. Add the chopped gourds and add some ground spices. Then stir fry it for some time and add serve it when done.

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Bitter Gourd Stir Fry:

This is an Udupi style kanchal palya where you just clean and cut the gourd in to slices. Then add some salt and keep it aside. In in the karai add oil and add, mustard seeds, curry leaves, hing, 1 tsp urad dal, 1 tsp chana dal and add the gourd.

Then stir fry it with some salt and turmeric and add some jaggery and tamarind along with some crushed coconut.

Bitter Gourd Curry/Pavakkai thokku Gojju:

This is a tasty and tangy spicy curry which is made where just clean and cut the gourd in to slices. Then add some salt and keep it aside. In the wok add oil and then add some mustard seeds and curry leaves.

Then add onion, tomatoes, chilies and even garlic pods. Stir fry it and then add coriander powder, red chili powder, salt. Stir fry all of these and then add some water and at the end you can sprinkle some of jaggery, you can also add tamarind too.

Bitter Gourd Fry:

Cut the bitter gourd in small pieces and keep it aside. Then add some salt and keep it aside. Then in a pan add oil, add green chilis, then add Hing and add the bitter gourd pieces.

While frying add Amchoor powder, Aniseed powder, Coriander Powder, Turmeric Powder and stir fry it with everything. Then garnish with chopped Coriander leaves.

Ucche Aloo Chochori:

Here you cut the bitter gourd into pieces and potatoes. You temper the oil with panch foron and sliced onions. Then add both the potatoes and bitter gourds.

Stir fry it well and add some turmeric and salt. Sprinkle some water and add whole wheat flour to make it much creamier.

Ucche Bhaja:

Cut the bitter gourd in small pieces and keep it aside. Then add some salt and keep it aside. Then in a pan add oil, kalonji and fry the bitter gourds. Fry it till it is crispy.

Korola Bora:

This is a Bengali recipe. The Korola is being cut 1-cm thick. Then it is dipped in a batter of maida, kalo jeera, mustard oil, finely chopped green chillies, sugar, salt and turmeric powder. It is then fried in oil.

Ucche Aloo Makha:

This is plain a simply potato and Bitter gourd boiled and then smashed together with little salt, mustard oil and finely chopped green chillies.

Uchhe Kumro Bhaja:

This is a Bengali recipe. The Korola is being cut along with pumpkin. Both are fried with little bit of oil and kalonji.

Uchhe Shorshe:

This is another Bengali style recipe where mustard seeds are soaked and turned into a nice paste. This preparation is one of the nice one that is made with green chillies, mustard and raw mangoes.

Aloo Uchhe Jhal:

This is made with potatoes and Bitter gourd cut into pieces and prepared a mishmash with mustard oil and then stir fried with coriander powder, red chili powder and salt with potatoes and bitter gourd. Add little bit of water and cook it till it is dried.

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Uchhe Kumro Chochori:

This is a Bengali recipe. The Korola is being cut along with pumpkin. Both are stirred fried with little bit of oil and kalonji. Then with little bit of salt, turmeric and water it is made into a mish mash.

Tetor Dal:

Moong dal is being boiled here with salt and turmeric. Then temper with ghee, hing, cumin seeds, dried red chilis and crispy fried bitter gourd. Garnish it with fresh coriander leaves.

Shukto:

This is an authentic Bengali dish which is made with some selective veggies. Korola or bitter gourd is used here to give a bitter flavour in the whole dish.

Kerela Tikki:

Karela and low-fat paneer along with some veggies are cooked and then smashed and tend to form tikkis which are definitely considered as the best snack you will ever have.

Karele Ki Juice:

This is a simple juice of karela and lemon which is considered to be one of the best ways to cleanse and detox.

Karela Muthiya:

This is a Gujrati dish which is simply made with karela and besan to be for sure. Here the karale are being grated and used here.

Karale Ki Paratha:

Karela is used as a stuffing within the paratha and then made turned to parathas.

How Do You Boil Bitter Gourd?

You need to wash the bitter gourds and then with little salt and turmeric (if needed) with 2 to 3 cups of water.

Pressure cook it for 5 to 10 mins. You can simply cook 5 to 6 bitter gourds.

How Do You Clean Bitter Gourd?

You can peel and scrape the bitter gourd and then slit the gourds and peel out the seeds from it.

You can soak the bitter gourd with salt to curb the bitterness.

Can Over Ripe Bitter Gourd Be Eaten?

You can definitely eat the over ripe Bitter Gourd as the now yellow goya portion.

You can make sabji, in fact the bitterness of the bitter gourd is simply reduced much when it is ripened.

How Does Bitter Gourd Taste?

Bitter Gourd or Karele or Korola is bitter in taste.

People do not relish with it but when cooked with spices or fried then it can be liked by others.

How Should You Peel Bitter Gourd?

You need to scrape the skin of the bitter gourd and then cut into slices.

If you need then you can keep the seeds or de those as you wish.

When Should You Eat Bitter Gourd?

You can eat Bitter Gourd anytime but it is better you eat in the morning and lunch.

Then you will get the nutritional output much more.

Questions & Answers:

What Do You Do with Bitter Gourd?

You can fry the bitter gourds, make curries and even juices, sukto, tetor dal etc.

Can You Eat Bitter Gourd Raw?

If you want to make the juice from Bitter Gourd then you can definitely have it raw.

What is Bitter Gourd Called in Different Languages?

Bitter Gourd is known as Korola in Bengali, Karle’ in Marathi/Hindi, ‘Pavakka’ in Malayalam, ‘Pavakkai’ in Tamil, ‘Kakarakaya’ in Telugu.

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