Mamta's Kitchen

Karela (Bitter Gourd) Chutney with Tamarind

Karele ki Khatti Chutney

Anila Gupta


Note from Mamta: This recipe is from my sister in-law in Gurgaon, near Delhi. It is one of the most delicious chutneys I have had recently, definitely worth making. And, it is quite easy to make. Makes 1 standard jam jar


  • 3 bitter gourds or Karela, 100 gm. (Karela size varies, so checking weight is important)

  • 1 1/2 cup oil for deep frying

  • Other ingredients

  • 3-4 tbsp. mustard or other oil

  • A large pinch of asafoetida or hing

  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds or rai

  • 1 tbs. fennel seeds (saunf)

  • 1 1/2 tbsp. urad/urid dal (skinless black gram)

  • 1 1/2 tbsp. chana dal (skinless Bengal gram)

  • 1 small cup curry leaves

  • 4-5 whole dry red chillies (medium size), adjust to taste

  • 3 green chillies

  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 75 gm. Jaggery (gur - Indian raw sugar)), broken into small pieces or grated (if you don’t have it, try muscovado sugar)

  • 4 tbsp. tamarind pulp (ready-made is used here, which has some salt). You can make your own from tamarind, but make sure it is thick, and adjust its amount and salt in the recipe))

  • 1 tbsp. salt, adjust to taste


  1. Scrape the bitter gourds lightly with a knife. This reduces the bitterness.

  2. Chop into small pieces. Remove any seeds that are hard.

  3. Heat oil and deep fry the bitter gourd pieces until Golden brown, not dark brown.

  4. Meanwhile, prepare all other ingredients.

  5. Heat 4 tbs. oil in a wok or karahi. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida (hing), fennel seeds, urad and chana dals. And stir fry for 2-3 minutes, until mustard seed crackle and dals are turning golden brown.

  6. Add red chillies, green chillies, ginger and curry leaves.

  7. Now add tamarind pulp, jaggery, salt and ground spice paste. Stir fry for 5 minutes. If you want your spice mix to be smooth, you can cool at this stage and grind the mix to a paste. Otherwise, follow steps below (as in pictures).

  8. Add fried bitter gourd pieces and stir fry for 5 minutes. Add little water if necessary, to soften the karela a little

  9. Transfer to a clean jar. Allow to cool. Close lid.

  10. This will last for a week or two on room temperature, perhaps longer, if kept in a fridge.

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