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Karele Ka Salan(Bitter Gourd in Creamy Gravy)

Karele Ka Salan(Bitter Gourd in Creamy Gravy)

Karele Ka Salan is a Hyderabadi dish which traces its roots to the Nizami Era.Its traditionally made using the big Green Chilies called Mirchi Ka Salan but here its a twist with Bitter Gourd.The curry is so tasty that it will make the Bitter Gourd hater adopt a better attitude towards the vegetable and finally come to like it.Believe me I have seen it happen.

The curry here is very different made from nuts and ground to a paste and the Karela stuffed and cooked in the same paste.Its best served with Hot Rotis spread lavishly with Ghee or with a plain Steamed Rice also dotted with Ghee to give a luxurious taste to the combination altogether.


Preparation Time – 1 hour

Makes – 4 Servings


4 Bitter Gourds(Karela)

1 tsp Turmeric Powder(Haldi)

2 tbsp plus 2 tsp Salt

2 Onions – chopped

2 tsp Ginger and Garlic – chopped(or 2 tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste)

1 tbsp Coriander seeds(Dhania)

3/4 tsp Cumin Seeds(Jeera)

1 1/2 tbsp Sesame Seeds(Til)

2 tbsp Peanuts

3 Dried Red Chilies

2 tbsp Tamarind soaked in water/2 tbsp readymade Tamarind pulp

2 tsp Jaggery/brown sugar

1/4 tsp Garam Masala

4 tbsp Oil

2 tbsp fresh Coriander Leaves – chopped


To prepare the Karela:-

Scrape the skin off the Karelas with a scraper.Apply the 2 tbsp Salt and 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder on them and keep aside for 30 minutes.In this time the salt will remove all the bitterness from the Karelas and they will be “edible”.After 30 minutes wash under running water to remove all the salt and turmeric and drain.

To prepare the Salan Paste:-

Heat 1 tbsp Oil and add Cumin seeds,Coriander seeds and dried red chilies.When the Cumin seeds turn brown add Sesame seeds and Peanuts.Fry till peanuts turn a little dark.Now add the chopped Onions and fry till they start turning brown.Now add the ginger and garlic(or ginger garlic paste) and stir well.Let it cool to room temperature.Spoon it into a blender jar with approx 1/4 cup water and make a fine paste.Add the Tamarind pulp here with the Jaggery/brown sugar and Garam Masala and pulse for 4-5 seconds.

Preparing the Salan:-

Stuff the prepared Karelas with this Masala and tie with a string.Heat the remaining 3 tbsp Oil and pan fry them till they change color – to a light brownish.Now add the remaining Masala and 1/2 cup water.Cook on medium heat till the Karelas are coated with the Masala.Sprinkle chopped Coriander Leaves on top.

Remove from heat and serve hot.


Served with Hot Rotis!


Served with Rice!

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