Hagalakai Palya ( Karela/Bittergourd curry)

Hagalakai ( Karela, bitter gourd) is an Indian vegetable that is known for it’s medicinal value, most notably in preventing diabetes. Although it tends to be bitter, when cooked with the appropriate ingredients, the bitter taste gets masked easily. We traditionally use this to make “gojju”, using red chilli powder, tamarind and brown jaggery. I tried making a dry curry out of bitter gourd using a very few simple ingredients.


Bitter Gourd -2 – Sliced

Sambar powder or red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp

Turmeric, hing – 1 pinch

Mustard and Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp for seasoning

Curry leaves

Oil – 2 tbsp

Salt to taste

Start by heating oil in a shallow pan. Temper the mustard and cumin seeds. Add the curry leaves,turmeric powder, hing and red chilli powder.Fry for 1-2 mins. Then add the sliced gourd and fry until the gourd turns golden brown, for about 5-6 mins. Add salt to taste. Test with a fork to check if the gourd is cooked. The dish is best served with roti.


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