Curried Bitter Melon

Bitter melons have many health benefits including helping to lower blood sugar. I used the smaller bitter melons that Indians refer to as karela. As the name implies, its very bitter. It’s an acquired taste. You either like it or you don’t. I can handle it once in awhile. I stuffed the karela with Indian spices.

Here’s my recipe.



  • cooking oil

  • 2 bitter melons

  • 1 diced onion

  • 4 cloves of garlic

  • 2 inch piece of ginger

  • 1 Habanero pepper

  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric

  • 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds

  • 1 tablespoon of garam masala

  • 1 teaspoon of fennels seeds

  • 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds

  • 1 tablespoon of ground coriander

  • 1 tablespoon of chilli powder

  • salt


  • First, start by slitting the bitter melon lengthwise, leaving the top and bottom 1inch portions intact. Remove the seeds and rub salt on the inside and inside. Set this aside for 30 minutes.

  • In a frying pan, toast the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, coriander, garam masala and turmeric until they are fragrant.




  • Using a mortar and pestle, make a paste with the ginger, garlic and Habanero pepper. Then add the toasted spices and lightly crush them.



  • Heat some oil in a pan, and brown some onions. Then add the spice mixture and salt and fry everything together.




  • Rinse, the bitter melons, and fill them with the onion and spice mixture. Brown the bitter melons taking care to keep them intact.




  • Bake them in a 350°F for 20 minutes, turning them over at 10 minutes. Once the bitter melons are tender and they’ve browned, they’re ready to eat.






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