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Karela Masala (Bittergourd Masala)

A Bitter gourd dish wherein you'll find that the dish isn't bitter after all.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Servings 4 servings


For the Marination

  • 250 gms Sliced Bitter gourd
  • 1 heaped teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • Oil for deep frying

For the Masala

  • 1 big Chopped onion
  • 1 big Chopped tomato
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ginger paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon Chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon Tamarind paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sugar (Optional)


  • Take the sliced bitter gourd in a bowl.
  • Add water and salt.
  • Keep aside for at least an hour. The more you keep, the better.
  • Drain the water and squeeze the bitter gourd.
  • Add chilli powder and turmeric powder and mix well.
  • Keep aside.
  • Dilute the tamarind paste in 2 tablespoon water. Keep aside.
  • Heat oil for deep frying.
  • When the oil is hot, fry the bitter gourd, in batches till they are crispy.
  • Drain onto an absorbent paper. Keep aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan.
  • Add the chopped onion and saute till light brown in colour.
  • Add the ginger-garlic pastes.
  • Saute till the raw smell goes.
  • Add the chilli powder and turmeric powder and stir for a few seconds.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till oil separates.
  • Tip in the fried bitter gourd and mix well.
  • Add the tamarind paste, diluted with water, and cook for a minute.
  • Adjust the seasoning. You may add sugar if you wish.
  • Switch off heat and serve hot.
  • Goes well with Rice as well as Roti.