Sambar,Rasam,Gojju & Dal/ VIDEO RECIPES



Here I m today with one of the most hated Veggie – Bitter Gourd. The bitter gourd haters may feel shocked to know I infact love this gourd in any avatar.Before bitter gourd haters run away seeing today’s post , i tell you today’s recipe is worth a try.  ” Bitter Gourd Curry ” can be made in N number of ways , out of which today i have for you all the Authentic Karnataka way of making ” Bitter Gourd Curry / Hagalakayi Gojju “. In coastal Karnataka, it’s known as ” Hagalkayi Menaskai ” .It has a special taste, a combination of sweet, tangy, spicy and a light touch of bitterness.


My granny was a diabetic and as all are aware Bitter Gourd is very good for diabetes. So bitter gourd was cooked often at home and as far as i remember i didn’t have fuss eating them then too.I actually feel surprised when people say they just hate bitter gourd. I think that’s purely because they either don’t know how to cook bitter gourd or have a misconception that since the veggie has been named so, it has to be bitter . You can see health benefits of Bitter gourd  here , so that all those self confessed bitter gourd hater out there would be inspired to give this veggie a try .

The dish I am sharing today, Hagalakayi Gojju / Hagalakayi Menaskai is one of the classic dishes from Karnataka made from Bitter gourd. Bitter, sweet, sour and spice blends together to make this dish very appetizing. A perfect side dish be it with rice, chapati, dosa,idly etc. It is also one of the common dishes that you can find in Karnataka brahmins function. The method of making this is same as pineapple curry I had shared before.

Do check out the video recipe here :

Here goes the recipe..



Smitha Kalluraya
Authentic Karnataka way of making " Bitter Gourd Curry
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine karnataka
Servings 4 serving


  • 1 Cup Bitter gourd / Hagalakayi , You can add more also if you like )
  • Small Orange size Jaggery, ( Can + or - this quantity )
  • lemon size Tamarind, soak in water
  • Salt, As per taste
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric / Haldi
  • 1-2 tsp Oil , coconut oil preferred

For Grinding (Masala)

  • 1 cup coconut
  • 2 tsp Black Gram / Urad Dal
  • 1 tsp Bengal Gram/ Chana Dal
  • 1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds/ methi
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds/ Jeera
  • 1.5 - 2 tsps Sesame seeds/ Til , ( Black / white )
  • 4 - 8 Red Chillies, As per your spice level ; byadgi + guntur
  • 1-2 a big pinch Hing
  • few Curry Leaves

For Tempering :

  • 2 - 3 tbsps Coconut oil /Oil/ Ghee,  ( Coconut oil preferred )
  • 1 tsp Mustard
  • a pinch Hing
  • few Curry Leaves


  • Wash the bitter gourd, cut it lengthwise and remove all seeds. Chop it to small pieces.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder to bitter gourd slices and mix well. Keep it aside for 30 to 40 mins. Bitter Gourd would have left some water. Discard it. Again sprinkle little water, mix and squeeze the bitter gourd slices with your hand. This helps to reduce the bitterness of bitter gourd. Soak tamarind in warm water.
  • In a pan or vessel , add little oil. When its hot add turmeric and bitter- gourd pieces.Saute it for 4-5 mins. This step enhances the flavors from the veggie.
  • Next to the sauteed bitter gourd pcs, add water,salt, tamarind and jaggery. Close a lid and cook.
  • Meanwhile in a small pan add few drops of oil.Add all the ingredients mentioned under masala except coconut and sesame.Roast them in medium low flame till red chillies becomes crisp and dal turns golden color. Add coconut to that and just saute it , may be for 1 min.Transfer all the ingredients to a mixer jar.
  • Next,dry roast sesame seeds in the same pan till it turns golden. Add it to the mixer jar containing other roasted masala ingredients. Once its little cooled , add little water and make a very smooth paste.
  • Add this ground paste to cooked bitter gourd and mix well.Cook this in a medium flame till the gravy starts boiling.
    karela curry
  • Reduce the flame to sim, add a *tbsb of raw coconut oil and allow it to boil for another 8-10 mins. Stir in between.Let the gravy thicken. *REFER NOTES
  • Season with mustard,hing and curry leaves.Switch off .
  • Serve Bitter gourd gojju  hot / warm with plain Rice / roti / dosa / Idli .



  1. * The tip of adding raw coconut oil while boiling , i got it from a cook who is a regular in my home for all functions. He was right ,It takes it to a new level.Actually ,he adds more than a tbsp but atleast to go near to that taste i add just a tbsp. If you want you can increase the qty or omit it completely.
  2. *Another tip , the cook gave me was to boil this gravy well in a low flame. The more you boil the more tasty it becomes .The consistency also thickens. Boiling it well also increases its shelf life. It does not spoil for a week if refrigerated and stays good without fridge for 2 days.this also enhances the taste.
  3. You have to roast sesame seeds very well. if its raw this dish will turn flop.
  4. Basically this dish (menaskai) will be tangy ,sweet n spicy. So to get the authentic taste add more jaggery ,tamarind n chilli. But you can vary it depending on your pref.
  5. You can substitute bitter gourd with raw mango / pineapple /Hog plum/ dry raisins/ ladies finger/ Capsicum / orange peels.
Keyword bittergourd curry, hagalakayi gojju, hagalakayi menaskai, karnataka style bittergourd curry

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  • Reply
    Meena Kumar
    November 26, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Ohhh yummm. Love sweet and sour with tangy bitter gourd curry. I always think people drink bitter alcohol knowing very well it is harmful to health but u offer them healthy bitter stuff they go bahh! What a world we live in! :)))

  • Reply
    Vibha Sp
    November 26, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Nice gojju , luks tempting

  • Reply
    Sony P
    November 27, 2014 at 1:57 am

    Very healthy and tempting curry!

  • Reply
    Ree Kasirajh
    November 27, 2014 at 5:01 am

    That looks very yummy!!

  • Reply
    November 27, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Very nice

  • Reply
    Poornima hegde
    November 27, 2014 at 11:04 am

    I like Bitter gourd Menskai better than pineapple one.. My granny makes it whenever she comes home. Looks so tempting..

  • Reply
    November 28, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Its wonderful recipe.Thank you for posting this recipe.

  • Reply
    July 17, 2015 at 8:56 am

    How many days we can store this in room temperature

  • Reply
    Smitha Kalluraya
    July 17, 2015 at 9:34 am

    If you have boiled it really well it will stay good without fridge for 2 days

  • Reply
    Shalini Mohan Poojari
    August 10, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    I tried this, the taste of this gojju is yummy. Actually my sister hates the taste of karela, but even she liked the taste of this gojju.Thanks for posting such a wonderful recipe & also making my sis to eat karela.

  • Reply
    Smitha Kalluraya
    August 11, 2015 at 5:14 am

    Welcome Shalini .. glad to know that…

  • Reply
    October 3, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Wonderful recipe – tried it and my daughter loves it!!

  • Reply
    October 3, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Wonderful recipe!! I tried it just now and my daughter loved it:)

  • Reply
    October 26, 2015 at 8:15 am

    Hi Smitha,I tried this recipe yesterday at the request of my karela-hating husband. Seems that he had savoured a delicious karela dish at some wedding. It turned out pretty close to what he wanted and we both absolutely loved it. This tastes amazing with chapati. Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    October 26, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Hi Smitha,I tried this recipe yesterday at the request of my karela-hating husband. Seems that he had savoured a delicious karela dish at some wedding. It turned out pretty close to what he wanted and we both absolutely loved it. This tastes amazing with chapati. Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    October 26, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Hi Smitha,Tried this recipe. absolutely loved it. Actually it was requested by my husband who hates karela. He had eaten some karela dish in a wedding and was asking me if I could make a nice sweet gravy with karela. This recipe hit the spot and we both savoured it. Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Mangala Alevoor
    August 10, 2016 at 1:12 am

    His Smitha, this is exactly how my mom makes it. As she is no more, I was thrilled to get a recipe close to hers, giving me a nostalgic feeling. Thanks so much. Enjoyed making it ????

  • Reply
    Smitha Kalluraya
    August 10, 2016 at 5:32 am

    Thx @Mangala .. very glad to hear that you could recall ur sweet memories here. May ur moms soul rest in peace…

  • Reply
    Keerthana Dakhe
    September 22, 2016 at 1:14 am

    Hello Smita,

    I read many posts, and noted them down. Will be trying one by one.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    January 24, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Superb recipe smitha…

  • Reply
    Anitha Hebbar
    June 26, 2017 at 4:18 am

    Hi Smitha,

    The curry turned out little bitter. Is that how it is supposed to taste??

    • Reply
      Smitha Kalluraya
      June 26, 2017 at 6:03 am

      usually it will be llong with sour n sweetish . bitterness also depends on nature of bittergourd .. some are very very bitter . in that case u may increase jaggery n tamarind quantity to reduce bitterness

  • Reply
    Anitha Hebbar
    June 27, 2017 at 10:55 am

    Thank you for the quick response. ????????

  • Reply
    Roopa Sudarshan
    September 4, 2017 at 9:00 am

    I tried this recipe… However, I did some minor deviations… I squeezed the salted bittergourd pieces before putting them for fry. And secondly, after sauteing in the cooker, I put some water added a lemon sized tamarind and some jaggery… And used the entire water post cooking in the curry… Ur recipe is amazing!! Thank u for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    Wheatgrass Cure
    September 10, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Thanks for sharing yet another unique healthy and innovative recipe.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Going to try it today for Vishu, kottilla with menaskai. ….

  • Reply
    April 12, 2020 at 9:23 am

    Tried it today Smitha, it came out very well. Very nice, easy and tasty recipe. Thanks alot for such a yummy recipe

  • Reply
    January 6, 2022 at 12:45 am

    Wonder Recipe Smitha thanks for sharing.

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