Achari Karela | Bitter Gourd in Pickle Spices


Indian Cuisine, Vegetarian Recipe, Vegan, Food Blog, Achari Karela (Bitter Gourd in Pickle Spices), Rumki's Golden Spoon
It is a very quick recipe and gets cooked within half an hour excluding the soaking time of bitter gourd. In this preparation, first, I have soaked the sliced bitter gourd in salted water for half an hour. Though it does not remove bitterness of bitter gourd completely but reduces it to a great extent.

In this preparation, I have used Paanch phoron for tempering. Paanch phoron is a mixture of five whole spices with equal portions of Fenugreek seeds (Methi), Cumin seeds (Jeera), Nigella seeds (Kalonji), Fennel seeds (Saunf) and Trachyspermum Roxburghianum (Radhuni). Normally, anywhere outside of West Bengal, Radhuni is replaced by black Mustard seeds (Sorshe). In fact, the Paanch phoron I have used contains black mustard seeds.

I have used gram flour in this preparation. Normally, in traditional recipe, it is not used. I have added it because it gives a nice binding effect and the pickle masala gets coated better with the slices of Bitter Gourd. It increases the density of the dish and enhances the taste.
Indian Cuisine, Vegetarian Recipe, Vegan, Food Blog, Achari Karela (Bitter Gourd in Pickle Spices), Rumki's Golden Spoon

Bitter gourd is a nightmare for almost every child and hence a Mom’s toughest challenge is to make their children eat it. Even I am a die heart Bitter Gourd hater and I know many of you are on the same side with me.

I had this dish for the first time when I was in Pune and one of my colleagues invited me on her birthday. But my opinion for bitter gourds has completely changed after I had Achari Karela since then.  Achari Karela is a brilliant combination of vegetable side dish and Pickle. When I took the first bite of it, it was like all the flavours were dancing inside my mouth.

In this preparation, either Sugar or Jaggery can be used. As jaggery is not available in my kitchen right now, so I have used Sugar in it. I have also used Amchur and ground roasted Cumin seeds. First, I have dry roasted the Cumin seeds in a pan for few minutes in low flame and then allowed the Cumin seeds to cool down. Then I have grinded them in a grinder.

Bengalis celebrate a day called as Chaitra Sankranti, the last day of Bengali Calendar year. On that day it is compulsory to eat Bitter Gourd, Neem leaves, Paat shaak and few other bitter greens.

I still remember my childhood days on how I used to swallow bitter gourd with water. My mom used to scold me and always tried hard to explain me the goodness of Bitter Gourd. Today I can understand her struggle with me because now I have myself become a mother and want to make my daughter eat all healthy and beneficial green vegetables.

Bitter gourd is very good natural remedy for cough and cold. It reduces liver problems, builds immunity and is excellent in reducing skin infection. It is a very good source of vitamins and zinc which makes hair stronger. It is a boon to diabetic patients. It helps in reducing bad cholesterol levels as well.

This dish goes excellent with Rotis and Parathas. It can be a great companion with Dal and plain Basmati Rice as well. If you are a bitter gourd lover, then I am sure you wouldn’t need any other companion to finish your meal.


You can check my other Bitter Gourd recipes here.
Indian Cuisine, Vegetarian Recipe, Vegan, Food Blog, Achari Karela (Bitter Gourd in Pickle Spices), Rumki's Golden Spoon





Ingredients:
  • 3 large Bitter gourds, deseeded and medium sliced
  • 3 tablespoons Gram flour
  • 2 tablespoons Tamarind pulp
  • 1 teaspoon Paanch Phoran
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon Amchur powder
  • 1 teaspoon Roasted cumin powder
  • 4 tablespoons Sugar (can vary according to taste preference)
  • Salt to taste
  • Mustard oil to cook
Indian Cuisine, Vegetarian Recipe, Vegan, Food Blog, Achari Karela (Bitter Gourd in Pickle Spices), Rumki's Golden Spoon



Instructions:

  1. Soak the sliced Bitter Gourd in salted water for half an hour.
  2. Then drain the water and keep them aside.
  3. Add Oil into the pan.
  4. Once the oil is hot, add Paanch Phoran and let them crackle.
  5. Add Turmeric powder, Chilli powder and give a nice mix.
  6. Add Gram flour and mix it well.
  7. Cook it for 2 minutes in low flame until the raw smell disappears.
  8. Add Bitter Gourd and mix it nicely.
  9. Cover the pan and cook it for 5-6 minutes in low flame.
  10. Stir occasionally.
  11. Add Salt and mix them properly.
  12. Cook them with cover in medium flame for another 3-4 minutes.
  13. Add Tamarind pulp and stir it.
  14. Cook it in low flame until the Bitter Gourd slices get soft.
  15. Add Amchur powder, ground roasted Cumin seeds and mix it well.
  16. At the end add Sugar and mix it properly.
  17. Cook it for a minute and switch off the flame.



Serving Instruction
Transfer the Achari Karela on a Serving plate. Serve the dish with onion, green Chilli and Rotis and enjoy the meal.

Indian Cuisine, Vegetarian Recipe, Vegan, Food Blog, Achari Karela (Bitter Gourd in Pickle Spices), Rumki's Golden Spoon

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