Vegan Recipe : Simple Homestyle Karela Sabzi


  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 9-12 cloves of garlic, pounded/smashed
  • 1 green chili, chopped
  • 1 medium sized tomato, finely chopped
  • 250gms or 3 individual bitter gourds/karela, deseeded and sliced
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp lal mirch/red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp jeera/cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp dhania/corriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp haldi/turmeric powder
  • A drizzle of vinegar


  • Heat some oil in the pan.
  • Add the chopped onions, garlic and chilies and some salt.
  • Then saute the chopped tomatoes.
  • Add the sliced bitter gourd. It will take some time to cook. You can cover using a lid so it cooks faster with the steam build up, but if you want it crisp, leave it open.
  • Add the spice powders and some more salt.
  • Once almost cooked and done, drizzle very little vinegar and cook for few more seconds.

If you want to extract the bitterness from this vegetable, marinate with salt which will drain the moisture and some bitterness. Then soak the karela in water and drain that water before cooking. But this method just washes away all the vitamins and minerals from the vegetable too. So I prefer to eat it the way God intended.

Alternatively, you can add some sugar with the powdered spices to balance the flavours.

These taste delicious when deep fried first and added to the sabzi last. It also tastes less bitter that way. But, I choose to cut down on the oil, so…

For lunch, I ate it with Balti Chicken. And at dinner time, I ate it with vatana curry (white peas)

I hope you enjoy cooking and eating/serving this dish.

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    1. This vegetable is hated by most people because it’s bitter. But, the health benefits that tag along are tremendous. I personally don’t dislike it. It’s not my top favourites though. You must try eating it sometime JD. Even a simple stir fry with garlic, salt and pepper would be great for your health. Take care and stay blessed JoDa.

      Liked by 1 person

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