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Masala Karela / Spiced Bittergourd

Masala Karela / Spiced Bittergourd

Masala Karela / Spiced Bittergourd is a delicious dish made by cooking the bitter bitter gourd or karela with a spiced masala made using roasted chickpea flour, peanut, sesame seeds, spices. The spices hides the bitter taste of karela and enhances the flavor. Masala karela is served with roti, dal or kadhi , or aamras , or rice for a complete meal. This no onion, no garlic , vegan dish is popularly served in many Gujarati restaurants and in the wedding lunch or dinner.
Course festivalfood, gluten free, lunch, Main Dish, roz ka khana, vegan
Cuisine Gujarati, Indian
Keyword bittergourd, bittermelon, chickpeaflour, glutenfree, karela, lunch, main dish, masala, peanut, sesame seeds, spiced, vegan, vegetables
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 321kcal


  • mixing bowl
  • spoon
  • knife
  • heavy bottom wok or pan
  • lid
  • spatula


for masala

bitter gourd stir fry


For masala

  • In a pan roast the chickpea flour on low heat for 7-8 minutes or till aromatic.
    Bharela Bhinda / Bharwaan Bhindi / Stuffed Okra
  • In a mixture jar add peanuts and sesame seeds.
    Bharela Bhinda / Bharwaan Bhindi / Stuffed Okra
  • Crush them together coarsely.
    Bharela Bhinda / Bharwaan Bhindi / Stuffed Okra
  • In a mixing plate add roasted chickpea flour, crushed peanuts, sesame seeds, asafoetida, turmeric, red chili powder, coriander cumin powder, garam masala, dry mango powder (amchur), sugar. Add salt and oil.
    Bharela Bhinda / Bharwaan Bhindi / Stuffed Okra
  • Mix well. (This mixture can be freezed for three months or refrigerated for a month. You can hence make it in a big batch and store). The masala is ready to use. You can add ginger garlic paste and onion to the masala if you want but the masala has to be freezed without ginger garlic and onion.
    Bharela Bhinda / Bharwaan Bhindi / Stuffed Okra

Bitter gourd stir fry

  • Wash and pat dry the bitter gourd (karela). (Wash the bitter gourd properly since we will be using the skin too).
    Masala Karela / Spiced Bittergourd
  • Cut the bitter gourd horizontally and remove big seeds if any.
    Masala Karela / Spiced Bittergourd
  • Slice the bitter gourd as shown.
    Masala Karela / Spiced Bittergourd
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottom wok or pan. Add asafoetida, sesamae seeds and turmeric powder. Saute. ( I prefer less oil and had added less but you can add a little extra oil if needed).
    Masala Karela / Spiced Bittergourd
  • Add the sliced bitter gourd and salt. Mix well.
    Masala Karela / Spiced Bittergourd
  • Cover and cook the bitter gourd on medium heat for 8-9 minutes or till they soften.
    Masala Karela / Spiced Bittergourd
  • Now add the prepared masala. Mix well.
    Masala Karela / Spiced Bittergourd
  • Add some salt if needed. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring in between.
    Masala Karela / Spiced Bittergourd
  • The masala karela are ready to serve. Add some chopped coriander if you like. Since i did not have coriander, I had not added it.
    Masala Karela / Spiced Bittergourd
  • Remove masala karela in the serving bowl. Sprinkle some sesame seeds and serve with rotis or parathas and dal or kadhi or aamras for a complete meal.
    Masala Karela / Spiced Bittergourd


Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 43mg | Potassium: 610mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1042IU | Vitamin C: 105mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 2mg