How to Make Bitter Gourd Stir-Fry (Hagalakai Palya)

Updated on January 29, 2020
ShailaSheshadri profile image

I like to cook and eat natural, healthy, and tasty foods. I use minimal oil and don't use artificial colors or preservatives in my cooking.

Bitter gourd stir-fry.
Bitter gourd stir-fry.

A Delicious Side Dish Packed With Nutrients

Bitter gourd is a delicious vegetable that is slightly bitter. If you cook it in the right way, however, you can minimize its bitterness. In this stir-fry recipe, you won't taste any bitterness at all.

This vegetable is popularly known as a medicinal vegetable. People often eat it for its health benefits, including vitamin C, calcium, and dietary fiber. It is also believed that it may help lower blood sugar levels, improve respiratory health, and possibly boost skin health.

How to Reduce the Bitterness of Bitter Gourd

Immersing freshly cut bitter gourd slices in a mixture of salt and sour curd makes them less bitter. Next, you have to squeeze the water out and stir-fry the slices with some oil. Adding spices makes this vegetable taste very delicious, indeed.

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 25 min
Ready in: 35 min
Yields: A bowl of stir-fried bitter gourd

Ingredients

  • 2 bitter gourds (2 cups bitter gourd slices)
  • 2 cups sour curd
  • 2 onions, julienned
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon sambar powder, rasam powder or red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or as required
  • 1 gooseberry-sized piece of tamarind, or 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 pinches asafoetida/hing powder
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons oil, I used coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon jaggery powder, or sugar

Instructions

  1. Wash and slice the bitter gourd. Remove the seeds.
  2. Immerse the bitter gourd slices in sour curds. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix well. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Squeeze out the water. Collect the slices.
  4. Heat some oil in a deep bottomed pan, preferably a non-stick pan. Throw in mustard seeds. Let them crackle. Add cumin seeds and hing powder. Saute until cumin sizzles.
  5. Add onions. Stir-fry on medium heat until they become dark golden brown. It may take about 5 minutes.
  6. Add bitter gourd and some more oil. Continue stir-cooking for 6 to 8 minutes. The bitter gourd should shrink a bit as it loses its water content.
  7. Throw in turmeric powder, asafoetida (hing powder), sugar or jaggery, red chili powder, sambar powder, and some salt.
  8. Stir-cook on very low heat, occasionally sprinkling in drops of oil. You have to continue cooking until the veggies become cooked.
  9. Add tamarind water. Mix well. Once the moisture reduces completely, turn off the heat.
  10. Transfer the stir-fry to a serving dish.
  11. Serve as a side dish with other accompaniments and a main course.

Photo Guide

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Step one: Immerse bitter gourd slices in curd and salt mixture.Step two: Mix well. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes. Next, squeeze them, and discard the water. Place the bitter gourd in a bowl.Step three: Heat oil in a pan. Saute mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Let them crackle.Step four: Throw in chopped onions. Stir-fry them until they turn dark golden brown.Stir-frying the onions.The onions are starting to turn golden brown.The onions should look like this when they're ready.Step five: Add bitter gourd. Continue stir-cooking for 6 to 8 minutes. By this time, bitter gourd should be partially cooked and should have lost some of its moisture. Add drops of oil occasionally while sauteing.Continuing to saute the veggies.Step six: Add turmeric powder, sambar powder/curry powder, red chili powder, sugar, hing powder, and salt.Step seven: Continue stir-cooking on low heat until bitter gourd becomes almost dry. Add tamarind pulp or lemon juice. Continue cooking for a while to blend it with the contents in the pan. Continuing to cook the dish.Step eight: Turn off the heat. Transfer the stir-fry to a serving plate. Use it as a side dish for meals, along with the other accompaniments and a main course. Enjoy eating 2 to 3 tablespoons of this yummy side dish.Bitter gourd stir-fry, ready to eat.
Step one: Immerse bitter gourd slices in curd and salt mixture.
Step one: Immerse bitter gourd slices in curd and salt mixture.
Step two: Mix well. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes. Next, squeeze them, and discard the water. Place the bitter gourd in a bowl.
Step two: Mix well. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes. Next, squeeze them, and discard the water. Place the bitter gourd in a bowl.
Step three: Heat oil in a pan. Saute mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Let them crackle.
Step three: Heat oil in a pan. Saute mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Let them crackle.
Step four: Throw in chopped onions. Stir-fry them until they turn dark golden brown.
Step four: Throw in chopped onions. Stir-fry them until they turn dark golden brown.
Stir-frying the onions.
Stir-frying the onions.
The onions are starting to turn golden brown.
The onions are starting to turn golden brown.
The onions should look like this when they're ready.
The onions should look like this when they're ready.
Step five: Add bitter gourd. Continue stir-cooking for 6 to 8 minutes. By this time, bitter gourd should be partially cooked and should have lost some of its moisture. Add drops of oil occasionally while sauteing.
Step five: Add bitter gourd. Continue stir-cooking for 6 to 8 minutes. By this time, bitter gourd should be partially cooked and should have lost some of its moisture. Add drops of oil occasionally while sauteing.
Continuing to saute the veggies.
Continuing to saute the veggies.
Step six: Add turmeric powder, sambar powder/curry powder, red chili powder, sugar, hing powder, and salt.
Step six: Add turmeric powder, sambar powder/curry powder, red chili powder, sugar, hing powder, and salt.
Step seven: Continue stir-cooking on low heat until bitter gourd becomes almost dry. Add tamarind pulp or lemon juice. Continue cooking for a while to blend it with the contents in the pan.
Step seven: Continue stir-cooking on low heat until bitter gourd becomes almost dry. Add tamarind pulp or lemon juice. Continue cooking for a while to blend it with the contents in the pan.
Continuing to cook the dish.
Continuing to cook the dish.
Step eight: Turn off the heat. Transfer the stir-fry to a serving plate. Use it as a side dish for meals, along with the other accompaniments and a main course. Enjoy eating 2 to 3 tablespoons of this yummy side dish.
Step eight: Turn off the heat. Transfer the stir-fry to a serving plate. Use it as a side dish for meals, along with the other accompaniments and a main course. Enjoy eating 2 to 3 tablespoons of this yummy side dish.
Bitter gourd stir-fry, ready to eat.
Bitter gourd stir-fry, ready to eat.
5 stars for Bitter Gourd Stir-Fry

Nutritional Information

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1
Calories 132
Calories from Fat18
% Daily Value *
Fat 2 g3%
Saturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 22 g7%
Sugar 1 g
Fiber 3 g12%
Protein 3 g6%
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 48 mg2%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Comments

Submit a Comment
  • ShailaSheshadri profile imageAUTHOR

    ShailaSheshadri 

    3 months ago from Bengaluru

    Thanks for your lovely comment.

  • emge profile image

    MG Singh 

    3 months ago from Singapore

    Interesting recipe. I like it

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