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Karela ka bhartha

Karela ka bhartha is a flavourful gluten free, nut free, vegan, diabetic friendly, low carb, bittergourd mash made with tomato onion masala and grtaed bittergourds
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Autumn, diabetic friendly, Indian, One pot
Servings 4 people


  • frying pan


Main ingredient

  • 3-4 long bittergourds

For the buna masala

  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger root
  • 1 long green chilli
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 3/4 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp aamchur (dry mango powder)
  • 1/4 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1 pinch Asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder

For the dungar

  • 1 tsp ghee / clarified butter ( use 1 tsp cooking oil for vegan)
  • 1 small piece charcoal


  • 2-3 tbsp coriander leaves chopped


  • Prep all your ingredients:
    Mince the garlic, green chilli and ginger, chop the onion, tomato and as fine as you can the bittergourds and keep them ready.
    indian vegetable curry
  • Heat a pan and add the oil.
  • As the oil heats up add the cumin, garlic, ginger and green chillies.
  • When they turn golden brown saute the chopped onion.
  • As the onions start turning translucent add the tomatoes and let them cook down.
    buna masala
  • Keep mixing as it tends to catch the bottom of the pan ( kadai).
    the masala mix
  • As the tomatoes start mashing, turn the heat to medium, add the spice powders and the masalas.
  • Keep saute on and dont leave the stove.
  • Once you can see a thin film of oil separating, add the bittergourd chopped.
    chopped bittergourd
  • Mix well, add about 1/4 cup of water and cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  • The bittergourd would have leached more water by now and become softer. If there is no water add a bit more, mix well , cover and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Mash this mix a bit to have a even mix of the sabji.
  • Sprinkle the coriandler leaves, cover and remove from heat.

for the dungar

  • Make a small well in the middle of the sabji and place a steel katori ( bowl) in it.
  • Burn the charcoal piece using tongs. once it has caught on fire, place it in the katori.
  • Keep the lid handy.
  • Pour a few drops of ghee or oil on the burning coal amd immediately close the lid.
  • Allow this set up to stay for 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Open the lid after the time, remove the katori and the charcoal.
  • Mix the sabji well and it would have infused the smokey flavour.
  • Serve the sabji warm with phulkas or bread.
    bittergourd mashed sabji
Keyword bittergourd recipes
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