Bitter Gourd Pickle/ Karathe Nonche


Pickle makes any lunch taste better. This is my mom’s recipe. She used to make it, if there are any sweet curries for meal. I usually make it with avial (kerala vegetable curry)/ valval (a konkani vegetable curry), dal rice. The bitter, sour, spicy pickle goes well with curd rice, dal rice, dosa, idly etc. Refrigerated, it will stay good for 5 -7days.



1 bitter gourd

1-table spoon coriander seeds

2 table spoons mustard

8 pepper corns

¼ teaspoon methi/fenugreek seeds

6 byadgee chillies dried/ 3 teaspoon kashmiri chilli powder

2 red chilles dried (medium hot)

1 teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon asafoetida

3-4 table spoons vegetable oil

1 spoon tamarind extract

salt to taste


For roasting the bitter gourd

Cut bitter gourd into small cubes (4cm by 4cm). Discard the seeds. Apply ½ teaspoon of salt and keep aside for ten minutes. Squeeze the water and fry it with 2 table spoons of vegetable oil. Fry till golden brown and crisp. Remove the pieces in a container. (If you use more oil the frying will be faster, the oil becomes bitter but healthy. So I use less oil and try to consume it in the pickle itself)

For the masala gravy

In the oil that’s left out after frying the bitter gourd, roast coriander, mustard, pepper, methi, and both the varieties of red chillies. If needed add some oil. If you are adding chilli powder instead of chillies, no need to roast. When the mustard starts to splatter, turn off the heat, add the turmeric powder and asafoetida. Grind the roasted ingredients with tamarind to a smooth paste. Add salt to taste. If the paste is too thick add few spoons of water. Add fried bitter gourd pieces. Pickle is ready to be served.

© Vinaya Pai 2018




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