Achari Karela sabzi is stir fried Karela (bitter melon) with the tangy acahari masala ( Indian pickling spices ).
I always thought Karela is not a veggie that most of people like, but after an interaction and so many reactions on social media and learning ways of cooking with the bitter Karela, I feel there are many like me who absolutely love it. Believe me, once you learn how to remove excess bitterness from karela it really tastes good.
Tips For Cooking Karela or Bitter Melons
Bitter melons or karela has a distinct bitter taste, some people like that as it is but some are like the bitterness to reduce a bit. While I love the bitter taste of karela, but too much bitter sometimes become too much. There are two things that you can do to reduce the bitterness of karela (bitter melons )
1. Salt the karela after peeling, and keep them in sun for minimum 1-2 hours. This will reduce the bitterness to a considerable extent. Just make sure to wash and pat dry if you like your stir fry to be crispy like these achari karela is.
2. If you want to reduce it little more, instead of washing keep them in b0iling water for 3-4 minutes and then pat dry and use them in your karela dishes. I usually do the first step and then use them.
And do you know you really don’t need to through away the peel, you can make a quick stir fry with that too. That’s quite healthy too. You can read about health benefits of bitter melon (karela) here.
- 200 g potato
- 100 g tomato
- 1 - 2 tbsps mango pickle of (optional)
- to taste salt
- 1 tsp Red chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tbsps Mustard Oil / Sarson ka tel
- 1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds Saunf /
- 1/3 tsp Cumin Seeds zeera seeds /
- 1/3 tsp Mustard Seeds seeds / sarson
- 1/4 tsp Fenugreek Seeds methi /
- 1/4 tsp Onion seeds / kalonji seeds nigella
To prepare the achari karela first of all you need to prepare bitter karela to remove the bitterness.
Wash and peel the karela, if you want you can keep the peel and make a stir fry of that too later ( I will be posting the recipe of that too)
After peeling the karela, cut them in half, if you feel seeds are too ripe and hard just discard them. Now put about a tsp of salt over it and keep it in sun for 1-2 hours.
After that just wash the karela and pat dry with kitchen napkin before proceeding to cook the achari karela aloo.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into thick roundels.
If you still feel that karela is too bitter, after salting them you can place them in boiling water which will further reduce the bitterness of the karela.
Now heat up the mustard oil in a kadahi or wok and add all the seeds, let the seeds start to sizzle, and then add cut potato in the wok, also add cut bitter melon/ karela.
Cover and cook them for next 6-7 minutes on medium slow heat. Now remove the lid and lower the heat to slow and let the bittermelons and potato become crisp from all sides.
Finally add chopped tomato, chopped mango pickle (if you are using) and cook everything for 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Stir it in between.
Achari karela will be ready then. It tastes best with chapati or paratha.
Though it looks like a long process, cooking karela is an easy recipe. you are required to pre prep before cooking but it really does not require much of your active cooking time.
Even while cooking you can pretty much let it become crisp on slow heat while you can tend to other kitchen chores or even out of kitchen ones too.