How to Make Bitter Gourd (Hagala Kayi) Chutney

Updated on February 1, 2020
ShailaSheshadri profile image

I worked as a banker for 17 years, and now I work as a freelance writer. I love cooking tasty and healthy meals. Also, I love staying fit.

Bitter gourd chutney (hagala kayi chutney)
Bitter gourd chutney (hagala kayi chutney)

An Authentic Indian Curry

I have fond memories of my mother's bitter gourd chutney. Her miraculous hands made the most decadent foods in a cost-conscious way. She used very few ingredients; her recipes were simple yet always very delicious. This bitter gourd chutney is one of the recipes that I inherited from her.

This chutney is not at all bitter—it is like any other vegetable chutney. But yes, It has the distinct flavor of bitter gourd. This chutney is a wonderful side dish that goes well with boiled rice or pancakes. Let me share the recipe with you.

Important Tip

This chutney needs to be more spicy, salty, and sour than other chutneys in order to have a balanced taste. Use slightly larger amounts of chilies, tamarind, and salt than you would in a typical chutney. This combination comes out so well that you won't notice the slight bitterness!

5 stars for Bitter Gourd Chutney

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 25 min
Yields: One bowl of chutney/sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups bitter gourd, finely chopped after removing the fibrous innards and seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp white lentil, or de-husked split black lentil
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 pinches hing (asafoetida powder)
  • 6–7 dry red chilies, moderate hot variety, broken
  • 6 curry leaves
  • 2–3 tsp oil, (preferably coconut but feel free to substitute another)
  • 2 tsp jaggery powder
  • 2 cups coconut, grated
  • 1 small lemon-size tamarind, soaked in very little water
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt

Instructions

  1. Wash the bitter gourd and remove and discard the fibrous inner parts. Chop what remains of the gourd and put the pieces in a bowl. Add the salt and turmeric powder, mix well, and set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. After 30 minutes, mix once again. Squeeze the bitter gourd pieces by tightly holding them inside your palm. This is how you remove the bitter water from them. Set the pieces aside.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a deep-bottomed pan. Add the sesame seeds and white lentils and sauté them until they turn golden-brown. Throw in the broken dry red chilies, curry leaves, coriander seeds, and hing powder. Sauté for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the grated coconut to the same pan. Mix it together and fry over a very low fire to make the coconut a bit crispy. You should smell the very nice aroma of the fried coconut. Turn off the fire and transfer the contents to a steel plate. Set it aside to cool.
  5. In the same pan, add the remaining oil and the bitter gourd. Sauté for about 8–9 minutes or until the bitter gourd shrinks, becoming dry and fried. Turn off the stove and set aside cool.
  6. Put the fried mix and cooked bitter gourd in a mixer or grinder. Add the jaggery powder, soaked tamarind, and salt. Grind while adding water little by little to get a near-smooth, semi-solid sauce. Check the taste and add salt if necessary. Mix well.
  7. Your bitter gourd (hagala kayi) chutney is ready to serve! Enjoy with boiled rice or pancakes. Use it as a side dish for lunch or dinner. This chutney is tangy, sweet, and spicy all in one with a nice flavor of bitter gourd.

Photo Guide

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Wash the bitter gourd, remove the inner part, and discard. Chop the outer part.Apply the salt and turmeric and mix well. Keep aside for 20 minutes. Afterwards, squeeze out the water. Discard this bitter water and collect the dry bitter gourd pieces.Heat oil in a pan. Add the sesame seeds, white lentils, coriander seeds, curry leaves, hing powder, and broken dry red chilies.Sauté until the lentils turn golden-brown.Add grated coconut and fry it along with the other ingredients on low fire.  Stir-fry until the coconut becomes golden-brown then put aside to cool. Sauté the bitter gourd in oil.Continue sautéing for up to 7–8 minutes on low fire. By this time, the bitter gourd Should have shrunk and become almost dry. Turn off the fire and put aside for cooling.The ingredients ready for grindingPut all of the ingredients in a mixer and add salt. Grind while adding water little by little to get a semi-solid chutney or sauce.  Your bitter gourd chutney is ready! Enjoy eating it as a side dish for boiled rice or pancakes.
Wash the bitter gourd, remove the inner part, and discard. Chop the outer part.
Wash the bitter gourd, remove the inner part, and discard. Chop the outer part.
Apply the salt and turmeric and mix well. Keep aside for 20 minutes. Afterwards, squeeze out the water. Discard this bitter water and collect the dry bitter gourd pieces.
Apply the salt and turmeric and mix well. Keep aside for 20 minutes. Afterwards, squeeze out the water. Discard this bitter water and collect the dry bitter gourd pieces.
Heat oil in a pan. Add the sesame seeds, white lentils, coriander seeds, curry leaves, hing powder, and broken dry red chilies.
Heat oil in a pan. Add the sesame seeds, white lentils, coriander seeds, curry leaves, hing powder, and broken dry red chilies.
Sauté until the lentils turn golden-brown.
Sauté until the lentils turn golden-brown.
Add grated coconut and fry it along with the other ingredients on low fire.
Add grated coconut and fry it along with the other ingredients on low fire.
Stir-fry until the coconut becomes golden-brown then put aside to cool.
Stir-fry until the coconut becomes golden-brown then put aside to cool.
Sauté the bitter gourd in oil.
Sauté the bitter gourd in oil.
Continue sautéing for up to 7–8 minutes on low fire. By this time, the bitter gourd Should have shrunk and become almost dry. Turn off the fire and put aside for cooling.
Continue sautéing for up to 7–8 minutes on low fire. By this time, the bitter gourd Should have shrunk and become almost dry. Turn off the fire and put aside for cooling.
The ingredients ready for grinding
The ingredients ready for grinding
Put all of the ingredients in a mixer and add salt. Grind while adding water little by little to get a semi-solid chutney or sauce.  Your bitter gourd chutney is ready! Enjoy eating it as a side dish for boiled rice or pancakes.
Put all of the ingredients in a mixer and add salt. Grind while adding water little by little to get a semi-solid chutney or sauce. Your bitter gourd chutney is ready! Enjoy eating it as a side dish for boiled rice or pancakes.

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