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Kakarakaya Podi Kura (Bittergourd Dry Curry)

Kakarakaya podi kura is a delicious side dish made with bitter melon. Fresh spice paste made with coriander, onions and coconut adds lot of flavor.
Author: Pavani
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: andhra, Indian, south indian
Servings: 4 serving


For Spice Paste:

  • 2 tsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Chana Dal (Senagapappu)
  • 2 tsp Coriander seeds
  • 3 - 4 Dry red chilies
  • 1 Small Onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp Tamarind paste
  • 2 tbsp Dry grated Coconut

For the Curry:

  • 6~8 Medium Bittergourd/ Kakarakaya, diced
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • To taste Salt


Make Masala/ Spice Paste:

  • Heat oil in a small saute pan and fry chana dal, coriander seeds and red chilies until dal is lightly browned and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Remove into a bowl.
  • To the same pan, add onions and fry until browned around the edges. Remove from the pan and let cool slightly.
  • Grind the chana dal mixture until smooth. Add onions, tamarind paste, grated coconut and salt; grind until smooth without adding water. Set aside.

To make the Curry:

  • [Optional] Prep the bittergourd if you want to remove the excess bitterness. See tips.
  • Heat oil in a saute pan, add the chopped bittergourd and fry until it turns golden, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Add the ground masala paste, mix well and cook for 4-5 minutes on medium-low flame.
  • The spice paste will start of a little wet but once cooked on low flame, it will dry up and coat the veggie.


Tips to mellow the bitterness of Kakarakaya:
  • Boil or microwave chopped bittergourd with sour yogurt or tamarind paste and salt until the veggie is par-cooked. Let cool for a few minutes, then squeeze the pieces to remove some of the bitterness.
  • Mix chopped raw pieces with salt and a pinch of turmeric. Set aside for as long as you can - at least 1~2 hours, up to overnight. Refrigerate if soaking for more than hours. Then squeeze the pieces.
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