Sweet and sour bitter gourd pickle is a delicious Indian recipe served as a side dish. Kakarakaya Pickle is an exceptionally yummy sweet and sour pickle made from Bitter gourd. It goes well with curd rice or as a side dish. Indian pickles especially made with a variety of vegetables are very popular all over the world as it is delicious, lip-smacking and explodes with super flavors.
Bitter gourd or Kakarakaya as such is not a cherished vegetable amongst most of us. Many hate the bitterness taste of this amazing vegetable. Mixed with a variety of seasoning and lemon juice, the bitterness is overpowered by other flavors and makes this pickle palatable. While preparing this pickle, ensure that the bitter gourd are fresh and tender. Discard the hard seeds and adjust the chilli powder and salt seasoning till it strikes the right balance.
Recipe: Karela or Kakarakaya Pickle
- Oil - 5-8 tsp
- Bitter gourd, cut into small roundels - 4 nos
- Mustard seeds - ½ tsp
- Cumin seeds - ½ tsp
- Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
- Dry Red Chillies - 2 nos
- Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder - ¼ tsp
- Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
- Salt - to taste
- Fenugreek powder - ¼ tsp
- Cumin powder - ½ tsp
- Mustard powder - 1 tsp
- Sesame seeds powder - ½ tsp
- Lime juice - 1 no
- Cut bitter gourd (karela or kakarakaya) into round slices.
- Heat 5 tbsp oil in a pan, add bitter gourd roundels and sauté. Transfer the pieces into a plate.
- In the same pan, add little oil, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, dry red chillies, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder and sauté well.
- Switch off the flame and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
- To this add red chilli powder, salt, fenugreek powder, cumin powder, mustard powder, fried bitter gourd and mix nicely.
- To this add sesame seeds powder and mix thoroughly.
- Add lime juice, little more oil and mix well. Later store in jar.
- After 3 days the Karela pickle is ready to eat.
Bitter gourd is a highly nutritious vegetable and best eaten by diabetic people. Bitter gourd is a tropical vine grown in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean for its edible fruit, which has a rough, warty skin and is the most bitter among all fruits. Bitter melon is generally consumed cooked in the green or early yellowing stage. It is a vegetable that is very popular throughout India. It is often prepared with potatoes and served with yoghurt on the side to reduce the bitterness or used as subzi in North India.
Bitter gourd is cooked in several ways. The ideal dish would be stuffed Karela or karela fry. The stuffed karela is very delicious and is not bitter to taste. In southern India, the karela is mixed with freshly grated coconut and fried or even added in the popular Sambar to make it a healthy and nutritious dish. This vegetable is also popular in countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam and Trinidad and Tobago. The vegetable is prepared in many different variations to suit their taste.
Karela fry is best when served with hot tandoori bread, naan, chapati or rice and lentil. Karela also known as bitter melon or bitter gourd is one of the not so preferred vegetable by many especially the kids. They run miles away if the karela is prepared at home. None like it at all. But as per Ayurveda and many medical practitioners, karela is supposed to be one of the best vegetable with various essential vitamins and minerals. It is also said to be very good for diabetic patients and lowering the cholesterol.
Bitter gourd has excellent medicinal value. It is said to have antidotal, antipyretic tonic, appetizing, stomachic, antibilious and laxative properties. This is the main reason why the vegetable is used in a number of native medicines of Asia and Africa. Bitter gourd has been associated with lowering sugar levels in people suffering from diabetes and also said to be helpful in fighting against cancer and a number of infections. Regular consumption of bitter gourd has been associated with prevention as well as treatment of hypertension.
Karela or Bitter gourd is generally avoided by most of us as it is bitter to taste, but if cooked rightly, it can just allure your taste buds. It has always been a new experience while cooking with this vegetable. Do try this recipe and delight your palate with different variations.
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