Bitter gourd chutney

Posting yet another classic coastal Karnataka recipe –  ” Hagalakayi chutney or Bitter gourd chutney “. This dish is a very simple one, yet the taste is very appetizing .Bitter gourd chutney has a special taste, a combination of sweet, tangy, spicy and a light touch of bitterness. Tastes amazing with hot rice ( drizzle few drops ghee / oil ) , curd rice , dosa , idli , coorgi rotti etc .

Bitter gourd chutney

I agree Bitter gourd is one of those vegetables which many of them hate because of its bitterness. But i think cooking with bitter gourd is an art and when cooked right with right ingredients it really tastes good. Actually bitter gourd recipes get a unique taste by inheriting bitterness itself. From health benefits perspective bitter is also better

Bitter gourd is one among the healthiest vegetable.You can see health benefits of Bitter gourd here, so that all those self-confessed bitter gourd haters out there would be inspired to give this veggie a try. But thank God, in my home, everyone loves bitter gourd and its diverse dishes.

I have shared couple of recipes using this veggie in my blog before like bitter gourd chips, bitter gourd gojju , bitter gourd pachadi and today its time for bitter gourd chutney.

Whenever  I’m going out of station for a few days,  my FIL brings home a few bitter gourds and I know I’ve to make a chutney out of this and stock in our refrigerator. he and my daughter love this chutney a lot.

Few variations you can do while making this Bitter gourd Chutney are as follows :

  • You can add finely chopped onion while tempering, roast them to golden brown and later add ground bitter gourd paste.
  • Another option is: Deep fry karela pcs. Separately grind masala and karela. Roast the masala for 10 mins and finally add karela paste to the roasted masala. Mix well. Fry for 5 more mins.  But the procedure is lengthy and also deep-frying karela in oil is more calorie.Taste-wise also they do not make any difference.

Those of you who haven’t tried it pls give it a try you’ll be hooked and I assure you they would really not taste that bitter … Here you go …

bitter gourd

 note : this post has been revised and updated with new pics on 0 mar 2018
Bitter gourd chutney


Smitha Kalluraya
Karnataka style bittergourd chutney . It spiy tangy with mild sweetness
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine karnataka
Servings 4


  • 1 bitter gourd
  • 2 - 3 tbsps grated coconut, ( optional )
  • 1 tsp Dhania/ Coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Jeera / Cumin seeds
  • 5 - 6 Red Chilli
  • lemon size Tamrind
  • lemon size Jaggery
  • Salt

To Temper

  • 2 - 3 tbsps Ghee / Coconut oil / any oil, ( ideally ghee / coconut oil tastes best for this dish)
  • 1/4 tsp Mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Urad dal
  • 1/4 tsp Chana Dal
  • few Curry Leaves
  • a pinch Hing


  • Wash the bitter gourd, cut it lengthwise and remove all seeds. Chop it roughly.Add 1 teaspoon of salt and little 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 out water if you want .squeeze the bitter gourd slices with your hand. This helps to reduce the bitterness of bitter gourd. ( i don't do )
  • Soak tamarind in water for min 5 mins.
  • Transfer bitter gourd,coriander seeds,jeera,red chilli,salt,tamrind and jaggery to a mixer jar. Grind them to semi smooth paste to semi coarse paste by adding little amount of water.
  • In a kadai or pan make a tempering with little more oil. Heat oil.Add mustard seeds .When they splutter add urad dal,chana dal and  hing. When the dal turns to golden brown color add curry leaves and haldi. Give it a mix.
  • Now transfer the bitter gourd paste to the tempering.Add some water and mix well .
  • Keep on medium low flame and cook with lid closed. Mix in between .Dont forget to cook with closed lid. Else your kitchen slab would have turned a mess :(...
  • After about 15 mins, bitter gourd would have cooked and you would have got the nice semi soild consistency. Colour of the chutney would have would have turned to deep reddish brown .
  • Transfer the chutney to a serving bowl and relish them with hot rice topped with ghee or coconut oil / dosa / idly /roti etc. U can keep it for 3-4 days without refrigeration and in fridge for at least 15 days.
    Bitter gourd chutney

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  • Reply
    nandoos Kitchen
    October 4, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Bittergourd chutney looks very inviting Smitha.

  • Reply
    Linsy Patel
    October 4, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    never thought making chutney out of karela. looks yummy.

  • Reply
    Resna Nishad
    October 5, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Sounds great..looks so tasty…thank you for new recipe with bitter gourd..

  • Reply
    Subha Bose
    October 5, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Never tried this one, will try it as it’s very healthy.

  • Reply
    Eli Z
    October 6, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    I have seen bitter gourds in the shops- but now I will try to cook with them too:-) new vegetable for me:-) Thanks for sharing! Best:-)

  • Reply
    Swathi Iyer
    October 6, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Delicious bitter gourd chutney I love anything with Bitter gourd.Here is my new web site. Zest South Indian Kitchen

  • Reply
    Babitha costa
    October 8, 2013 at 7:34 am

    nice idea to make chutney with it

  • Reply
    Nilu A
    October 8, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Bookmarked this recipe Smitha.. Will definitely try it.. Thanks for sharing dear 🙂

  • Reply
    October 8, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Never knew bitter gourd item could look so tempting. Great post!

  • Reply
    Asiya Omar
    October 9, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    This is new to me. Looks nice.Thanks for linking to WTML Event.

  • Reply
    Prerana Khanwalkar
    December 12, 2013 at 5:08 am

    very nice ..thanks for linking

  • Reply
    March 29, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Thanks Smita for sharing such a wonderful recipe. I tried and it cam eout very well. Every one in home loved it!!! still have that mix taste (swalpa huli, swalpa kahi, swalpa sihi).

  • Reply
    Mamata Naik
    November 3, 2014 at 4:31 am

    Thanks for the recipe Smitha…tried it and came out very well…the one i used to do before was dry/poweder version with roasting the bittergourd…but this recipe is easy to do at the same time tasty.

  • Reply
    September 10, 2017 at 6:52 am

    This recipe looks yum and is quite unique ….will definitely try to find how the bitter taste of bitter gourd translates in it.

  • Reply
    Rajani Abhilash
    April 1, 2018 at 5:09 am

    The one veggie which i can never have in any form. Your recipe looks intresting

  • Reply
    Rani von Wurttemberg
    August 16, 2018 at 4:41 am

    What a wonderful idea. I will try your method. Thank you for posting it.

  • Reply
    April 4, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    I did the bitter guard preparation as per guidense it came well and tasted nice, for the
    first time,. I will also try the other recipes also . Thank you.

  • Reply
    November 25, 2020 at 11:55 pm

    So glad this recipe is still up and I found it. It was real simple and easy to make but, oh, so delicious. I will definitely be making again. Thank you!

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