Karela Subzi | Bitter melons with tomatoes

Life is bitter sweet, but some of the tasty things in life are just bitter :) Bitter melon or Karela is one of them. As I have previously proclaimed, I love karela. I can eat it in any cooked form. 

Bitter Melons or Karela

But the same was not the case with my sister. She hated it. But someone managed to turn her into a karela lover (Well... may not be lover, but at least a liker). And she came up with one of her own recipes. And her's is sooo much more tastier than many I've made and had over the years. Of late, I've been cooking karela only her way unless I'm in a more patient mood.

Karela Subzi | Bitter melons with tomatoes

Bitter melon curryKarela or bitter melon cooked with spices and tangy tomatoes

Recipe Type:  Main Course
Cuisine:          Indian
Prep Time:     15 minutes
Cook time:     30 minutes
Yield:              2 Servings


2 medium Karela / Bitter melon
1 large Tomato (Preferably the local or NaaTi variety)
2 marble sized ball of Tamarind
1 tsp Red chilli powder
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
3 tsp Oil
1 Tbsp Desiccated Fresh Coconut
1/2 cup Water


  • Soak the tamarind in the water and keep aside
  • Slice the karela lengthwise and remove the pith and seeds
  • Now chop the karela finely
  • Heat oil in pan and add the mustard seeds
  • Once they splutter, add the karela and fry
  • Cover and cook on low flame for 2 mins
  • Chop the tomato finely.
  • Add the tomato to the pan and stir well.
  • Squeeze out the tamarind and remove the pulp
  • Add the tamarind water to the pan
  • Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt
  • Cover and cook on low flame until the karela is cooked
  • Sprinkle desiccated coconut and serve hot with chapatis