kakarakaya ulli karam

Kakarakaya ulli karam, Bitter gourd onion masala

Kakarakaya ulli karam is a spicy and lip smacking side dish from Andhra cuisine prepared by adding fried bitter gourd /karela to spicy onion mixture. This bitter gourd dish is very peculiar one from usual curry, stir fry or masala, so anyone who wouldn’t like bitter gourd will start loving it as it tastes yummilicious when served with hot rice topped with few drops of ghee.

This recipe was given to me by my sister as her MIL is an expert in cooking and when she makes this at home it tastes out of the world as it is one of her signature recipes. Though there are many versions to the same recipe like stuffing the masala into karela, making onion mixture by grating or chopping onion but this method given by my sister was hassle free and easy to make. Many thanks to her MIL for introducing us to such delicacy.

For this recipe I have used 1 long bitter gourd only as my family don’t like bitter gourd except me, but trust me they surely made an attempt to taste this recipe. So when you increase the number of bitter gourd, increase the quantity of other ingredients accordingly for the onion mixture for better taste. So let’s get to the making!
kakarakaya ulli karam recipe

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Kakarakaya ulli karam, Bitter gourd onion masala
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1. Bitter gourd / Karela/ Kakarakaya – 1
  2. 2. Onion – 1 (big sized)
  3. 3. Garlic – 1 pod
  4. 4. Curry leaves – a spring
  5. 5. Red chilli powder – ½ to 1 tsp (depending on spice level)
  6. 6. Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp (optional)
  7. 7. Salt – to taste
  8. 8. Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp
  9. 9. Jaggery – a small pinch (optional)
  10. 10. Tamarind extract – 1 tbsp
  11. 11. Oil – 5 tbsp + oil for shallow fry
Note
  1. * 1 cup = 235 ml
Instructions
  1. Now chop each karela/ bitter gourd into 3 pieces and clean the inside pulp. Now to remove the bitterness you can boil bitter gourd in buttermilk + 2 cups of water or boil for 2 to 3 minutes in tamarind extract + 2 cups of water. But I haven’t done any of the above procedures as I like its bitterness.
  2. In a pan add enough oil for shallow frying. pat bitter gourd dry with paper towel or cloth as it will splutter a lot when added to oil for frying. Now fry the bitter gourd pieces in oil in medium flame until crisp. When bitter gourd turns golden brown in color remove the fried bitter gourd using slotted spoon.
  3. Now in a blender add chopped onion, garlic, curry leaves, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, tamarind extract, salt and cumin seeds. Grind it into a fine paste.
  4. Now heat oil in a pan add curry leaves then add the ground paste in oil and allow it to cook till the raw smell is gone. This should take about 10 minutes. When the raw smell of the onion mixture is gone add the piece of jaggery and fried kakarakaya/ bitter gourd. Mix it well. I added 1 tbsp of water for the mixture as I felt it was dry. Now toss the bitter gourd / kakarakaya in the onion mixture well. When everything looks combined switch off the flame and serve it with hot rice.
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How to make Kakarakaya ulli karam with step by step images


kakarakaya ulli karam

  1. Now chop each karela/ bitter gourd into 3 pieces and clean the inside pulp (discard pulp and seeds). Now to remove the bitterness you can boil bitter gourd in buttermilk + 2 cups of water or boil for 2 to 3 minutes in tamarind extract + 2 cups of water. But I haven’t done any of the above procedures as I like its bitterness.
    kakarakaya ulli karam
  2. In a pan add enough oil for shallow frying. Now fry the bitter gourd pieces in oil in medium flame until crisp. When bitter gourd turns golden brown in color remove the fried bitter gourd using slotted spoon.
    kakarakaya ulli karam
  3. Now in a blender add chopped onion, garlic, curry leaves, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, tamarind extract, salt and cumin seeds. Grind it into a fine paste.
    kakarakaya ulli karam
  4. Now heat oil in a pan add curry leaves then add the ground paste in oil and allow it to cook till the raw smell is gone. This should take about 10 minutes. (the mixture will splutter a lot)kakarakaya ulli karam
  5. When the raw smell of the onion mixture is gone add the piece of jaggery and fried kakarakaya/ bitter gourd. Mix it well. I added 1 tbsp of water for the mixture as I felt it was dry. Now toss the bitter gourd / kakarakaya in the onion mixture well. When everything looks combined switch off the flame and serve it with hot rice.
    bitter gourd onion masala

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