5 Interesting Karela Recipes To Spruce Up Your Lunch
Image Credit: Karela Curry

What’s the vegetable that makes many of us fret? Yes, it’s the infamous karela. Also known as bitter gourd, the name hints at the taste of this veggie. Green in colour, with a coarse texture, the karela can be added to your diet in more than one way. It can be in the form of a curry or a crunchy bite too. While karela juice is known for a plethora of health benefits, eating karela as part of your regular diet can also prove beneficial.

Did you know that karela is great for diabetics? By reducing the blood glucose levels in the body, the vegetable helps to regulate the insulin in diabetics. And not just that. It is said that karela is loaded with antioxidants, and is good for hair and skin too. It contains liver-friendly nutrients and is also rich in fibre that improves digestion. Here are some bitter gourd recipes that you can try for lunch today. 

1.  Karela Kadhi

Kadhi is a creamy and delectable curry that is usually dunked with onion fritters. However, different regions of the country have different ways of making kadhi. One such type is the karela kadhi. Instead of fritters, cooked karela pieces are dunked into a gravy made with curd and spices. This curry can be eaten with rice and chapati. Add some onions for the crunch and ginger-garlic paste as well as besan to thicken the kadhi. 

2.  Nutty Karela

Ever thought you’ll start craving karela at some point? Wait until you try this nutty karela recipe. Made with roasted peanuts and sliced karela pieces, salt, chilli powder and turmeric powder are added to the dish to give it a delicious spin. Grated coconut adds a crunchy flavour to the karela along with a subtle sweetness. This helps to balance the bitterness of the vegetable.  

3.  Dum Ka Karela

Dum ki biryani, dum aloo etc. are common dum-based dishes. However, a karela with dum is quite an interesting twist to the vegetable. The karela is cleaned and made hollow. This is stuffed with a spicy paneer mixture, with mashed paneer, onions, groundnuts, chilli powder and more. Basted with butter and coated with a ginger-garlic paste, the karelas are cooked slow-cooked on dum. This allows the flavour to seep into the vegetable pretty well.

4.  Karela Rajma

While rajma chawal is a delicious and comforting meal for many, what if someone added karela to the curry? That’s precisely karela rajma. The red kidney beans are cooked the usual way and pieces of chopped karela are added to the curry. This is combined together with spices and relished with rice and roti. What makes this dish unique is that it amps up the nutritional value of the dish while retaining the taste.

5.  Karela Mussallam

If anyone mentions Mussallam at a vegetarian spread, it would be considered the odd one out. However, not when it is karela musallam. This whole chicken curry that originated in the Mughal era can be given a vegetarian twist by replacing meat with karela. The bitter gourd is made hollow and stuffed with ginger-garlic paste, soybean and other spices. Marinated in a mixture of hung curd and gram flour, the curry is a rich combination of ghee and cashew paste.