Cook's Hideout: Kakarakaya Kura - Bitter Gourd Curry

July 21, 2007

Kakarakaya Kura - Bitter Gourd Curry

Yet another recipe from my neighbor back home. This is a very yummy and not at all "bitter" bitter-gourd recipe. It keeps well for days in the refrigerator.

My mom packed this curry for me to bring back to US during my last India trip. All you have to do it cool the curry completely and pack it in polyethylene bags (same thick plastic bags used to pack pickles). I put the packet in the refrigerator as soon as I was home, then transferred into a Ziploc container and it usually stays fresh for at least 10 days.

Kakarakaya (Bitter gourd) – 3 medium, diced
Tamarind pulp – 2 tbsp, divided
Turmeric – ½ tsp

For Masala paste:
Onion – 1 medium, chopped
Garlic – 2 cloves
Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
Sesame seeds – 2 tbsp
Grated coconut – ¼ cup (fresh or dry)
Jaggery – 1 tsp
Salt & Chili powder – to taste

  • Mix 1 tbsp tamarind in ¼ cup water. In a pressure cooker, take the chopped kakarakaya pieces along with tamarind water and turmeric. Cook for 2-3 whistles (depending on your cooker, I cooked for 3 whistles in mine) until the pieces are tender, but not mushy. Remove, drain and rinse with cold water. Squeeze the extra water and keep aside.
  • While the veggies are cooking, grind all the ingredients for masala with little water to make a smooth paste. (You can grind the ingredients raw or fry them in 1tsp oil for extra depth in flavor.)
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan; add the kakarakaya pieces and the masala. Sauté on medium-low flame till the masala paste is cooked thoroughly and turns golden brown and all the moisture evaporates. Serve with rice and dal for a complete meal.
Kakarakaya Kura & Tomato pappu with Rice


  1. Don't know why, I can't get to eat this curry. I only fry it, this sounds good, I will try once.

  2. this looks very different from the way we make :)

  3. Arvind loves Bitter gourd,I can few bites!:))

    Looks yummy with rice.

  4. You packed curry from India?


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