Kaipakka mezhukuperatti – Bitter gourd stir fry

bitter gourd stir fry

With respect to bitter gourd, you can only join two groups, the lovers or the hardcore haters. If you happen to still stay in the cusp zone, jump into one of the groups before you head into this recipe. Why? This recipe us for the long-lasting lovers of the bitter gourd. A recipe is devoid of any tips or tricks to reduce the bitterness, a simple bitter gourd stir fry.

Interesting facts about bitter gourd

  • Belonging to the cucumber family yet least loved in that list.
  • Popular in most Asian cuisines, the bitter gourd arrives in stews, soups, and stir-fries more often than you think across South East Asian countries and India.
  • It is one of the best hangover remedies. Hope you can keep it down for a while though.
  • The Indian bitter gourd, Momordica charantia,  is known by so many common names here are some Balsam pear, bitter melon, bitter squash, bitter apple , Ampalaya in tagalog, peria in Malay. In local indian languages as karela in Hindi, pavakkai in Tamil, hagalakai in Kannada, karakaya in Telugu and kaipaka in Malayalam.

Here are the previous recipes on the blog with bitter gourds

Bitter gourd salad

Poricha kozhambu

Pavakkai bajji – Bittergourd fries

Dudh Shukto

Picking the best bitter gourd

The bright green pods of bitter gourd are the best ones to pick. Now you may find the ones with plump firm protrusions or smooth ridged ones. The ones you want to pick are the ones that are firm not soft, not yellow as well. The pods should be small to medium, avoid the giant ones. the protrusions should no fall off as you rub gently against it.  Hope this hint helps in your next pick.

kaipakka mezhukku peratti

Getting this bitter gourd stir fry recipe right

Since there are very few ingredients in this bitter gourd stirfry recipe the heat and quality of the ingredients used matters more. The coconut oil to me is one I will never change. But if you are not used to it, you can try olive oil… works but not the same fragrance. Then comes the crushed chillies.. not chilli powder but the crushed ones with the real heat packed in that helps the cut bitterness. To serve this try it with steamed rice or cooked millets and pressure-cooker sambhar.
Now, you gave the secrets, jump into our bitter gourd lovers team and enjoy this recipe. 

bitter gourd stir fry

Kaipakka mezhukuperatti

Bitter gourd stir fry.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course sidedish, Traditional
Cuisine Autumn, diabetic friendly, gluten free, Indian, Karnataka, Kerala, Malabar, Medicinal, One pot, South indian, Spring, Summer, tamilnadu, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 4 people


  • 2 medium bitter gourd
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 medium bird's eye chilli tone down with a serrano pepper if you prefer.
  • salt to taste


  • Wash and pat dry the bittergourds.
  • Cut off the tapering top and tail. then cut it into roundlets. the roundlets are about 2mm thick. Don't worry about the seeds, they will fall off as you stirfry them.
  • Finely chop the garlic and chillies and set aside
  • Set a frying pan on medium heat and add the coconut oil.
  • As it heats up add the garlic, chillies and curry leaves.
  • Add the bitter gourd and slow roast them turning them over as they turn crisp on one side.
  • Sprinkle salt and stir fry them further.
  • Once the sides appear with golden and the bitter gourd is fork-tender the bittergourds are ready.
  • Serve hot with rice and sambhar.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Poonam bachhav
7 months ago
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I love bitter gourd and look for different ways to cook it. Many times the real flavors of veggies come out when cooked with minimal spices. We do make a similar stir fry with butter gourd roundels but used coriander powder amd red chili powder instead.

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