Karela Sabzi (करेले की सब्ज़ी)is a north indian recipe made using bittergourd and typical indian spices. It is one superb dish for anyone with diabetes, at the same time acts as great side dish. Not everyone would be a fan of Karela due to its bitter taste, but if you follow this recipe step by step, you will find ways to get rid of bitterness and will enjoy the flavours. Must confess that this food is for people with acquired taste, but have immense health benefits and is one food that I try to make at least once in fortnight.
Some of the benefits offered by Karela (bittergourd) are:
Excellent for diabetic people.
Helps in skin disorders.
Good for heart.
Rich in Iron, Calcium and Phosphorous, along with Vitamins like B and C.
Wash the karelas thoroughly and pat dry. Cut them into thin round wedges and spread 1 teaspoon of salt over them and mix well. Keep them aside for 1-2 hours. This step helps in reducing the bitterness of karelas. After that wash them properly in a colander and let them drain.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan / kadhai. Add Asafoetida and Cumin seeds, once they crackle add chopped onions, ginger and garlic in the pan and sauté on medium heat till the onions are pinkish brown.
Now add all the spices and sauté for 1 minute.
Add chopped tomatoes and sauté till they are cooked and Masala starts leaving Oil.
Add the Karela wedges and mix well. Cover with lid and let them cook for 10 minutes.
Stir and again cover the lid and let them cook for 5-7 minutes till they are cooked properly. Open the lid and roast them for 2 more minutes. Switch off the flame and transfer them to a serving bowl.
Serve the Masala Karela Sabzi along with Chapati, paratha or any bread of your choice.
You can use 1 tablespoon jaggery or 1 teaspoon of sugar while making Masala to give a little sweeter taste to karela.
If you don't have time to keep karelas, and want to make them really quick, you can pressure cook the raw karela wedges with salt and 1.5 cup of water for 2 whistles. Drain and then fry them with the onion tomato Masala.
Do not add any water while cooking Karela, as it's being a green vegetable, leaves its own water while cooking.
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If you like Karela, you can try another variant of this in the Stuffed Karela format.