Bitter Melon Curry (Karele Curry) Recipe

Bitter Melon Curry, also known as Karele Curry, is a unique and flavorful dish that is cherished in Indian cuisine for its health benefits and distinct taste. In this recipe, we’ll guide you through the preparation of this delightful curry, ensuring a balance of flavors and the incorporation of this nutritious vegetable.


– 2 medium-sized bitter melons (karela)
– 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
– 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
– 1 onion, finely chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
– 2 green chilies, slit (adjust to taste)
– 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
– 1 teaspoon coriander powder
– 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
– 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to spice preference)
– Salt to taste
– 1 teaspoon garam masala
– Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
– Juice of 1 lemon



1. Preparing the Bitter Melon:
  • Wash the bitter melons thoroughly.
  • Trim the ends and scrape the skin gently with a knife.
  • Cut them into thin rounds or semicircles, removing the seeds as you go. You can use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
  •  Place the sliced bitter melon in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Mix well and let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. This helps reduce the bitterness. Afterward, rinse them with water and drain.
2. Frying the Bitter Melon:
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat.
  • Add the sliced and drained bitter melon rounds to the pan.
  • Fry them until they turn crispy and brown. This can take about 10-12 minutes. Once done, remove them from the pan and set them aside.
3. Preparing the Curry:
  • In the same pan, add a bit more oil if needed.
  •  Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  •  Add finely chopped onions, minced garlic, and grated ginger. Sauté until the onions turn translucent.
4. Spice it Up:
  •  Add slit green chilies, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder, and salt to taste. Mix well and sauté for a couple of minutes until the spices are well incorporated.
5. Bringing It Together:
  • Return the fried bitter melon rounds to the pan and stir gently.
  • Add garam masala and continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes until the bitter melon is tender and the flavors have melded together.
6. Final Touch:
  • Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the curry for a tangy twist.
  • Garnish your Bitter Melon Curry with fresh coriander leaves.
7. Serving:
  • Serve the Karele Curry hot with steamed rice or Indian bread like roti or naan.
Karele Curry, despite its initial bitterness, transforms into a savory and aromatic delight when prepared with the right spices and technique. This dish not only tantalizes your taste buds but also offers numerous health benefits. Enjoy this authentic Indian recipe and savor the unique flavors it brings to your table.

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