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Bitter gourd stir-fried with onion, thin coconut pieces, and spices. In Kerala, this dish is popular as Pavakka Mezhukkupuratti. This Bitter Gourd Fry / Karela Fry is a quick and healthy side dish that goes along with rice.
This recipe is adapted from my mother-in-law. I never liked bitter gourd until I tried out this preparation. Bitter gourd/Karela/Pavakka is considered most bitter among all fruits and vegetables. But this style of bitter gourd preparation reduces the bitterness to a great extent. Special tips included in the recipe 🙂 Bitter gourd has got medicinal values and is rich in vitamins and minerals. It is used for diabetes, stomach, and intestinal problems. You will love this 🙂
- 3 cup bitter gourd (sliced, from 3 small bitter gourds)
- 1 number onion (big size)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 5 number green chilli
- ¾ cup coconut slices (thinly sliced, or thengakothu)
- 2 tablespoon Coconut oil / vegetable oil / sunflower oil
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- Prepare ingredients- Wash bitter gourd, cut it in the center. Remove the seeds, but you can use the spongy center. Thinly slice the bitter gourd. Mix the bitter gourd with salt and keep it aside for 30 minutes. This really helps to reduce the bitterness of bitter gourd. Thinly slice the onions. Slit the green chilli. Thinly slice coconut into square bite-size pieces. Check the notes for details on coconut bite-sized pieces.
- Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a pan. Then add onion, bitter gourd, coconut pieces, green chilli, curry leaves, turmeric powder, and salt. Adding the onions and coconut pieces helps reduce the bitterness, so never compromise on it.
- Saute over medium heat. Stir in between. Otherwise, it can get burnt. Adjust salt. It might take around 20 minutes. Add oil in between if needed.
- Fry it until the consistency you need. Serve with rice 🙂
- You can use either fresh coconut square bite-sized pieces or frozen ones. Don't go for dried coconut. I have tried using both fresh and frozen ones.
- Never miss out to do this. Mix the bitter gourd with salt and keep it aside for 30 minutes before you start the preparation. This really helps to reduce the bitterness of bitter gourd.
Question & Answers
Should I add saunf powder to the recipe?
No. You don’t need to add saunf powder.
Are these crispy or the soggy kind?
These are the sautéed soggy kind
How do you remove the bitterness?
Cut open the bitter melon, remove the seeds and light salt them overnight. Cook the next day.
Do you use fresh or dried coconut?
You can use either fresh coconut square bite sized pieces or frozen ones. Dried ones won’t give exact same taste. I have tried using both fresh and frozen ones.