Cook's Hideout: Kakarakaya Masala Kura (Bitter Gourd in Peanut Gravy)

July 28, 2009

Kakarakaya Masala Kura (Bitter Gourd in Peanut Gravy)

Kakarakaya/ Karela/ Bitter gourd is one vegetable that I really enjoy cooking and eating too. I usually microwave the chopped gourd with lemon size tamarind, pinch of turmeric and some water until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Drain completely, rinse and completely squeeze out the liquid. This takes care of the bitterness, to be honest, I enjoy a little bitterness in the karela and don't worry to much about taking it out.
I have been thinking of using peanuts in the gravy and wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, but the curry turned out pretty good and tasted even better for lunch the next day.

Kakarakaya/ Karela/ Bitter Gourd - 4 medium, lightly scrubbed and cut into half moons.
Onion - 1 small, chopped
Tomato - 1 small, chopped
Ginger+Garlic paste - 1tsp
Peanuts, roasted - 1/4 cup
Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp (or more to taste)
Tamarind paste - 1tbsp
Jaggery - 2tbsp
Salt - to taste
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Dry red chili - 2
Curry Leaves - 6

  • Cook kakarakaya as described above. Keep aside.
  • Heat 1tsp oil in a saute pan; add onions and stir fry till lightly browned. Add g+g paste and tomatoes; cook till tomatoes turn mushy. Remove and let cool.
  • Heat 1tbsp oil to the same pan; add mustard seeds and cumin seeds, once the seeds start spluttering, add curry leavs and red chilies. Saute for a minute.
  • Then add half cooked kakarakaya; cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  • In the meantime, blend peanuts along with sauted onions, tamarind paste and jaggery with 1/2 cup of water.
  • Add peanut mixture to kakarakaya along with red chili powder and salt. Cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until all the flavors mingle.
Enjoy with steamed rice.

This is my entry to JFI: Peanuts. Remember to send in your entries before end of day on July 31st. I'll try to have the round up done on the weekend.



  1. This dish looks so delicious and your photograph is awesome, i didn't know a Karela dish look this beautiful until i saw this photograph. Regarding your question on Green Mung Flour and Kala Channa Besan, i noticed from your profile that you also live in NJ. I got both of these in Apna Bazaar, Oak Tree Road. I couldn't get hold of Ragi Grain so went for all flours. Now i have asked my Mom to send few pounds of Ragi grain next time i am going to Soak all three of them and grind and make it.

  2. This dish looks simply delicious. And I always admire your photography skills. I am also about to post a bittergourd dish check out mine when I post.

  3. hi, Please accept an award from my blog.

  4. Loved the gravy, looks so thick and creamy!

  5. I dont actually love Bittergourd and my cooking with that veggie is quite limited.But your recipe is very different from the usual karela dishes..;)Looks very good:)

  6. Curry looks delicious Pavani. Love the photos. I have Karela in freeze will try this recipe soon.

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  7. the peanut gravy! for some reason i land up making cashew based graviews more. i'll try this next time!

  8. Congrats Pavani.. I would like to pass on the Kreativ Blogger Award to you.. Please visit

  9. Nice recipe. After knowing the health benefits of Bitter gourd i have starting loving it. Bitter gourd is rich in vitamin A, B1, B2 and c and contains minerals like calcium, phosphorous, iron, copper and potassium.



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