Sunday, June 10, 2012

Kakarkaya Pulusu - Bitter Gourd in Sweet and Sour Sauce

This is a dish that has all tastes - the bitter, the sour, the sweet with salt to taste!  If you do not like the bitter taste of the vegetable, this is ideal since the sweet kind of camouflages the bitterness.. not totally, but most of it.
This recipe is from Sailu's Kitchen.

Bitter Gourd - 1 large / 2 medium
Onion - 1 large chopped
Green chilies - 2-  slit along the length
Garlic - 2-3 nos - chop
Ginger - 1/2 "
Tamarind paste - 2 tbsp - dissolve in water and keep ready
Grated Jaggery or sugar - 2-3 tbsp -
( preferable to use jaggery and use less of tamarind and jaggery initially - you can always add more)
Curry leaves - few
Coriander leaves for garnish
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Chilie powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 2-3 tbsp may be required

Wash the bitter gourd. Scrape the skin if you wish ( optional)
Cut lengthwise and de-seed and then cut into one inch pieces
Put in a vessel with water and a little salt and place on heat - till veg pieces are half cooked
Drain the water and keep ready.

In a pan, take about a tbsp of oil.
Fry the bitter gourd pieces for about 5 minutes.  Keep aside.

In the same pan add the onion, garlic and ginger and  Sauté  till the onions are translucent
Grind to a coarse paste

Heat oil in the pan once again
Add the curry leaves and the green chilies. Sauté
Add the coarsely ground paste.  Sauté again
Then add the powders and the jaggery 
And now the bitter gourd pieces and the tamarind sauce and required amount of salt.

Taste and adjust the tamarind, jaggery and salt.
Simmer for a while

Take off fire. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Ideally eaten with rice to which ghee is added and spoonful of mudda pappu ( plain cooked roasted red gram dal which has been seasoned with salt) and maybe a few crispies

Do keep the bitter gourd cooked just enough - there should be a bite left - do not overcook
The finished product should be fairly thick - so the sauce needs to be simmered till then and only after it is achieved, add the bitter gourd, combine.


  1. this looks just delicious. awesome recipe radha

  2. I love anything with bittergourd.Ur gravy is so tempting and inviting and delicious looking too.

  3. Hi Radha ,

    Bittergourd is my favourite one:)

    Nicely presented :-)

  4. very tempting and yummy...

  5. Yummy,delicious and inviting dish.

  6. This looks similar to the Theeyal recipes of South Kerala.
    Perfect with plain rice and a little yogurt.:-)

  7. spice,sour & bitter all in one go,Awesome flavors:-)

    Ongoing Events at(Erivum Puliyum)-
    1. The Kerala Kitchen(June'12)

    2.EP Series-Basil OR Cardamom

  8. Nice recipe dear..bit similar to Kayirasa what we call @ our home. Just followed your comment at my space n reached here! Loved your recipes and happy to follow you :)


  9. Yummy yummy

    Event: Dish name starts with M

  10. We too make theeyal almost the same way..It's absolutely wonderful I must say !

  11. oh my goodness..I love to taste this now..
    Tasty Appetite

  12. Love the combo,spicy tangy and sour..looks awesome.

  13. looks yummy.. makes me drool:)

  14. nice learnign new recipes from here...

  15. Super tempting kakarkaya pulusu , looks so yummy n tangy.

  16. Please collect your award @ ""

  17. Delicious Love this sweet sour bitter curry. Bittergourd is my favorite.

  18. that bitter gourd looks delicious.....never cook with bittergourd.......might just try now. Thanks for sharing.

  19. I have always hated kakarkaya as a kid, wondered how my dad could eat such a bitter thing... I remember eating is rarely in the past decade.. but I am very keen on try this recipe, will ask the Mrs to try this. Just can't resist a pulusu ;-))

  20. i have never tried bitter gourd in a sweet & sour gravy. it has always been bitter gourd with coconut or the punjabi bharwan karela


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