From Bitter to Better: 6 Best Karela Recipes For Dinner
Image Credit: Stuffed Bitter Gourd | Freepik

The name “karela” is enough to put anyone off instantly. Despite having so many nutritional qualities, it's often left out because of its sharp, bitter flavour. Perhaps, if you take a closer look, Karela is not all that gloomy and nightmarish.

In fact, all it takes to get the bitterness out of the bitter gourd is marinating it with salt and scraping out the seeds and outer skin. After resting for a few minutes, the bitter gourd starts losing moisture, and all the bitterness fades away.

These marinated karelas can be used in many different ways to be the star of your table. From starters to the main course, know what easy recipes you can make with karela tonight and change the way you look at it forever.

1) Stir Fried Crispy Karela

Image Credit: Freepik

Chopping karelas into thin slices brings out more flavour and crispiness to the classic stir-fried karela. After you've marinated karelas well, chop it up and saute with onion, garlic, chillies, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and spices. Stir it well until onion and karelas get crispy, and serve it hot with roti.

2) Bharwa Karela

Bharwa karela, or stuffed bitter gourd, is made by slitting the bitter gourd, scooping the seeds out and filling it with a masala mixture. The mixture is made by sauteing cumin, asafoetida, turmeric powder, coriander powder, ginger and chickpea flour. Once the mixture turns aromatic, it's filled in karelas and simmered in a gravy made with an onion-tomato base.

3) Karela Fritters

Want to move on from karela sabji? Try these delicious karela fritters. It is made by marinating slices of karela with salt, chilli powder and turmeric. Once the flavours are absorbed, these slices are coated with breadcrumbs and deep-fried to crispy perfection. You can also opt for air frying or oven baking for no-oil cooking.

4) Karela Chips

Image Credit: Freepik

Thinly sliced karelas, baked to form the delicious crispness, are going to be your go-to snack for any time nibbles. Marinate the sliced karelas with your desired spices. Yes, you can add pizza herbs and instant noodle curry mix, too! Then, lay it out on the tray and bake until it becomes crispy and golden.

5) Khatta Meetha Karela

Khatta Meetha Karela is a delicious, easy-to-make dish featuring sliced bitter gourd cooked in a sweet and sour sauce with tamarind and jaggery. With all the sweet and savoury ingredients, the natural bitterness of karela gets reduced and a soothing flavour shines through. Plus the ingredients like tamarind and jaggery adds numerous health benefits, such as aiding digestion and promoting healthy skin. Serve as a side dish or pickle.

6) Karela Thepla

Image Credit: Freepik

Karela Thepla, a quintessential Gujarati flatbread, combines whole wheat and gram flour with grated bitter gourd, making it ideal for weight watchers and diabetics. All it takes is combining pureed karela with flour, spices, herbs and salt. After kneading a stiff dough, it is divided into portions, rolled to thin sheets and pan-fried on both sides with ghee. This thin, lightly oiled bread is perfect for a light late-night dinner.