Cook's Hideout: Kakarakaya Podi Kura (Bittergourd Dry Curry)

September 13, 2013

Kakarakaya Podi Kura (Bittergourd Dry Curry)

Blogging Marathon# 32: Letter K
Theme: A-Z Dishes from Andhra Pradesh
Dish: K for Kakarakaya Podi Kura (Bittergourd Dry curry)

Letter K stands for veggies like Kakarakaya (bittergourd), lentils like kandi pappu (toor dal/ red gram) and ingredients like kobbarikaya (coconut). 
Today's recipe is from a cookbook, Vantalu Pindivantalu by Malathi Chandur, that I bought years ago in a small book shop in Hyderabad. I still remember taking my mom to Koti, Hyderabad to buy a cook book. After asking in couple of stores, I was slowly getting disappointed that I won't be buying a cookbook that day. But my mom took me to a dusty old store that had no windows and had a rickety broken stairs. The guy said he had some cookbooks in the back and the back was even more dusty and dark. Well finally one of the assistants came down from the attic with a couple of cookbooks and I ended up picking this one.
Kakarakaya Podi Kura (Bittergourd Dry Curry)
This book was first published way back in 1974, so there are no pictures and the recipes are written with no measurements, everything is written in terms of fistfulls and a little bit more. So here's a recipe with the measurements I came up with. The curry ended up super tasty, do give it a try. I'm sure that the masala would taste great with other veggies too.
Kakarakaya Podi Kura (Bittergourd Dry Curry)
Kakarakaya (Bittergourd) - 4 medium, thinly sliced
Tamarind paste - 1tbsp (optional)

For Masala:
Chana Dal (Senagapappu) - 1tbsp
Coriander seeds - 2tsp
Dry red chilies - 3-4
Onion - 1 small, chopped
Tamarind paste - 2tsp
Dry grated coconut - 2tbsp
Salt - to taste
Kakarakaya Podi Kura (Bittergourd Dry Curry)
  • Make Masala/ Spice Paste: Heat 2tsp oil in a small saute pan and fry chana dal, coriander seeds and red chilies until dal is lightly browned and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Remove into a bowl.
  • To the same pan, add onions and fry until browned around the edges. Remove from the pan and let cool slightly.
  • Grind the chana dal mixture until smooth. Add onions, tamarind paste, grated coconut and salt; grind until smooth. Set aside.
  • To make the Curry: (Optional) To remove some bitterness from bittergourd, microwave it with some salt and 1tbsp tamarind paste for 5-6 minutes ot until the veggie is almost cooked and tender. Squeeze out the liquid and use as needed.
  • Heat 1tbsp oil in a saute pan, add the chopped bittergourd and fry until it turns golden, about 8-10 minutes. Add the ground masala paste, mix well and cook for 4-5 minutes. This curry should be dry, so don't add any water.


  1. Bookmarking the recipe. Will try it v soon.

  2. Seriously even i got the famous meenatchi ammal cookbook from a old store too, a real treasure. Dry curry looks fabulous, i can have it happily with some curd rice.

  3. wow bitter gourd dry curry looks so delicious dear :) love the addition of coconut in it :)

  4. I never make any dish with bittergourd but this makes me think to try it out nice one.

  5. Bitter gourd is another veggie I don;t like but my Mom loves it - will def try this one for her

  6. One more wonderful Bitter Gourd recipe for me to try. Your bowls and mats is very beautiful too.

  7. I love to collect such age old recipe books even though there are no pics. It is indeed a treasure na! And your curry looks yum and you know what a bittergourd lover will do right!!

  8. Bitter gourd is my fav , will try this curry ! Lovely presentation !!

  9. The old book shops are the best places to search for cookbooks. The curry looks divine...

  10. Looks amazing husband and mil love this vegetable..will surely make for them...getting such gem of a book is a real treasure right..wonder if these books are still in publication..

  11. curry is looking super delicious!!


  12. Aahaa.. chala bagundi.. yummy :)

  13. Wow.. Yummy.. One of my favorite dishes.. My mom makes it the same way & I love it..

  14. I am somehow reluctant to try any bittergourd dish...Think i would start with this...looks very nice

  15. I love bitter gourd and this sounds delicious!

  16. I love bitter gourds and thisone is what I loved .So much that the lone bitter gourd is getting some special treatment tomorrow.

  17. Nice article to read here. Please do visit this site related to your topic. Thanks (o'_'o)


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