Karela Sabzi Recipe

Karela Sabzi
(AKA Karela Fry)
Spiced Bitter Gourd 'Dhaba Style'
Submitted By: Taz


1 lbs Fresh Bitter Gourd (Karela)
2 large Red Onions (Pyaz) - halved and sliced
3 medium Tomatoes (Tamatar) - diced
4 cloves Fresh Garlic (Leh-sun) - grated into a paste
1 ½ inch piece Fresh Ginger (Adrak) - grated into a paste
4 Tbs Kosher Salt (Namak) + to taste
2 tsp Turmeric Powder (Haldi) - divided
1 tsp Fennel Seed (Saunf)
1 tsp Red Chile Powder (Lal Mirchi)
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Jaggery (Gur) - grated fine; can substitute granulated sugar (Chini)
½ tsp Mango Powder (Amchoor)
4 Tbs Oil - can use grape seed, canola, avocado, or olive oil

  1. Thoroughly wash the bitter gourd and thinly slice -Transfer slices to a medium mixing bowl - Add 4 Tbs salt and 1 tsp turmeric powder - Thoroughly combine, cover, and set aside for 15 minutes
  2. After 15 minutes, using your hands (you may want to wear gloves for this), squeeze the bitter gourd to remove a much liquid as possible and transfer 'squeezed slices' to a fine sieve (discard left over liquid) - Thoroughly rinse the slices with clean water to remove excess salt - Transfer to absorbent paper and allow to dry for 5-10 minutes
  3. Return gourd slices to a mixing bowl and dust bitter gourd with jaggery or sugar -Thoroughly combine and set aside
  4. Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan, wok, or large kadahi over high heat until shimmering - As soon as the oil is hot, reduce heat to medium and add the fennel seed - Allow to cook for 30 seconds - Add bitter gourd (leaving any liquid collected in bowl) and stir fry for 6-8 minutes (do not burn) - Using a slotted spoon, remove bitter gourd from pan and set aside on absorbent paper
  5. Add onion to the pan and stir fry until they begin to brown (apx 6-8 minutes) - Add garlic and ginger and continue to stir fry for an additional minute
  6. Reduce heat to low and stir in fried bitter gourd - Continue to fry for 1 minute
  7. Add remaining tsp of turmeric, red chile powder, garam masala, amchoor powder, and salt to taste (apx 1 tsp) -Thoroughly combine and allow to cook for 1 minute
  8. Add tomatoes and cover - Allow to cook covered for 2-3 minuets
  9. Remove cover and give it a good stir - Increase heat to medium and fry (stirring frequently) for 3-4 minutes or until 'dry' (there should be very little liquid remaining)
  10. Serve hot with basmati rice, your favorite dal, shorba, rasam, or sambhar, and/or chapatti

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