Bitter Gourd (Kakarakaya) Tamarind Curry

As the summer comes to an end and the air starts to get a little nippy, we start craving for comfort food that we can have while snuggled up with our loved ones. This is one such recipe that both me and my husband love. Bitter gourd or Bitter melon or Karela is a unique fruit  that can be used as food or medicine. It is a herbal remedy for a range of ailments, including Type 2 – Diabetes but it is contraindicated in case of pregnant women as it can induce contractions, bleeding and miscarriage. 

I have never liked bitter gourd in my life until my husband made it for himself one day and tried to feed me only the gravy. I must say i did not like it in the beginning but after trying it for a few times, I loved it so much that I learnt the recipe from him and started making it on my own after that. I could not believe I am cooking it and eating it too 🙂


Ingredients :

3 Bitter gourds

1 Medium size Onion

8 tbsp Tamarind pulp

1 cup Water

2 Long green chilli / Serrano peppers

1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste

1 tbsp Peanut oil

1 tbsp Salt

1 tsp Turmeric powder

A pinch of paprika

1 sprig Curry leaves

1 tbsp Jaggery

1 tbsp Coriander powder

1 tsp Garam masala

Handful Coriander leaves

Serving size 4

Prep time   10 min

Cook time  30 min

Passive time  15 min

Allergen Information :

Gluten free, Soy free, Vegan

NutritionLabel (5)

Instructions :

Scrape off the bitter gourd skin as it has the most bitterness in it. Slice it vertically and remove the seeds.


Cut them into pieces 1.5 to 2 inches in length.

Soak the tamarind in water for 30 min and squeeze out about 8 tbsp of pulp. You can also use store bought tamarind paste if you want.


On medium heat add oil to a saucepan then add green chilli , onion and the ginger garlic paste.

Cook for 2-3 min.


Add  bitter gourd pieces to the pot and then turmeric powder, curry leaves, coriander powder , paprika , salt and garam masala. Cook for another 15 min until the raw smell is gone.


Add tamarind pulp, jaggery and water to the pot, close the lid and cook for 10 min.

Add garam masala and cook for 5 more minutes.


Switch off the flame and add chopped coriander and mix well. The gravy gets more thickened once it cools down.

Garnish with some coriander leaves (optional).


The curry is best served with rice.

Enjoy !!

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Have a wonderful fall !! Try out some of the recipes on my blog and tell me what recipes you would like to be featured. I would love to hear comments and suggestions from you 🙂

Have a nice day.

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