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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.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
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.