Winter, my favorite and the best season of the year is here. It is time for simple, warm and comfy foods. My today’s recipe Karele ka Khatta, is one such recipe, which you can’t miss trying out this winter season. Karele ka Khatta is much popular Andhra recipe and is locally called as Kakarakaya Pulusu. Thick and tangy gravy with minimal spices makes this recipe unique and easy to make.
If you think winter is all about piping hot soups, porridge and stews, then you need to think again. To me winter is all about spicy and comforting curries like Karele ka Khatta. In this recipe, the bitterness of bitter gourd (Karela) is delicately combined with earthy and nutty flavors of peanut and sesame. Onions and dry coconut impart rich taste and thickness to the gravy. Tamarind gives a subtle tangy taste which balances bitterness and spice. You all need is a hot pot of steamed white rice to go with this Karele ka Khatta.
I learnt this recipe from my aunt (Mami). She is a versatile cook and I really enjoy standing, chit chatting and learning new recipes from her. Winter and kitchen had always been my favorite hide out. The warmth in the kitchen, the aroma and getting liberty to taste first is what I enjoyed the most. Bitter gourd is my favoritev vegetable and though in many recipes, the bitterness is reduced before cooking it, I love the bitter taste of these green beauties. Sometimes a change of taste is what our taste buds crave for. Now tell me what is your favorite bitter gourd recipe??
Karele ka Khatta
- ½ Kg. Karela/Bitter gourd (medium sized)
- 2 tbsp. Red chili powder
- ½ tbsp. Turmeric powder
- 2 Onions, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp. roasted Coriander powder
- ¾ cup thick Tamarind extract
- ½ cup thin Tamarind extract
- 4 tbsp. Dry Coconut powder
- 3 tbsp. Sesame seeds
- ½ cup whisked Curd, optional
- 10 Curry leaves
- 5 tbsp. Peanuts
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 4 tbsp. Oil
- Salt, as per taste
How to make Karele ka Khatta
- Trim the ends of the bitter gourd and gently scrape the rough skin. Make a vertical slit keeping the base intact and gently scoop out seeds and pith using your fingers or spoon.
- Thoroughly rinse and wash the bitter gourds. Add them to a heavy bottom vessel along with thin tamarind extract, whisked curd, salt and pinch of turmeric.
- Cook covered until the moisture is completely absorbed and bitter gourds turn soft. In the meantime, separately dry roast peanuts and sesame seeds.
- Leave to cool. Upon cooling remove the skin of the peanuts by rubbing between your fingers.
- Take a heavy bottom vessel, add oil and fry sliced onions until light brown. Remove fried onion on to plate and leave to cool.
- Upon cooling, make a fine paste of fried onions, roasted peanuts, roasted sesame seeds, dry coconut powder, garlic cloves and coriander powder by adding 2-3 tbsp. of water, if necessary.
- Use the same vessel in which you fried onions, add little oil and fry boiled bitter gourds until they turn light brown on all sides.
- Remove on to plate and add little oil to it and add above ground masala paste along with curry leaves, red chili powder, turmeric and salt.
- Stir regularly, fry the masala on medium flame until it starts to leave oil from sides.Now carefully add fried bitter gourds and gently using a spoon, mix until the bitter gourds are nicely coated with masala.
- Add thick tamarind paste along with and 3 cups of water. Bring this to boil and check for salt.
- Cook on medium flame by covering with a lid for 15-20 minutes or till gravy thickens.
- Serve warm with plain white rice.
- Add love to make this Karele ka Khatta taste ‘Yummy’.
You can add half tbsp. of sugar or powdered jaggery, if you want to minimize the bitter taste of bitter gourd.