Sweet and Sour Spicy Karela (Bitter Melon )

Sweet and Sour Spicy Karela (Bitter Melon) Recipe by Manula

Sweet and Sour Spicy Karela, Bitter Melon

Karela, also known as bitter melon. Sweet and Sour Karela has a very unique taste. This dish is a combination of all the flavor in one, it is spicy, sweet, sour, and bitterness of the Karela. That is what make this recipe very unique. Karela, (Bitter melon) also is a healthy vegetable with many health benefits. This was one of my favorite side dish specially for school lunch box, Karela rolled up with left over Puri or Paratha from previous day, tasted delicious. We also enjoyed this sweet and sour karela as a side dish with Toor Dal and Rice. This is multi flavor healthy side dish this can also be serve as a condiment. Enjoy! This recipe will serve 4
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Chutney
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people


  • 4 cup sliced bitter melon karela
  • 1 ½ tsp salt divided
  • ½ tsp turmeric haldi
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds jeere
  • 2 ½ Tbsp coriander powder dhania
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seed powder saunf
  • 1 tsp red chili powder lal mirch
  • 1 ½ Tbsp mango powder amchoor
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • ½ cup water


  • Remove the top and bottom caps from karela. Slice them long ways and remove the seeds, save half the seeds, and discard other half. Slice them in thick pieces, I like to slice them in diagonal.
  • Cook the karela with 2 cups of water, with ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of turmeric over medium high heat. Cook for about 8 minutes until karela is soft and tender but not mushy.
  • Drain the water and wash the boil karela 2-3 times changing water and squeeze the karela.
  • In a frying pan heat the oil over medium high heat. Oil should be moderately hot add cumin seeds as cumin seeds crack add karela and sprinkle remaining 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • Stir fry for about 4 minutes over medium heat.
  • Add all the spices, coriander, fennel powder, red chili powder and mango powder stir for one minute. Add ½ cup of water mix and cover the pan and let it cook over low medium heat for about 4 minutes.
  • Add sugar and stir for about a minute sugar will be lightly caramelize.


boiling the bitter melon with salt and turmeric help taking out some bitterness from Karela (bitter melon). Also washing karela changing water also help taking out some more bitterness. Still karela will be bitter. Sweet and Sour Karela can be refrigerated for two weeks.
Enjoy sweet and Sour Karela, with Paratha, Puri, Toor Dal, Rice, Sooji Ka Halwa
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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