Karela-Potato Gravy Curry is a South Indian recipe from Karnataka, India, and is called nalahari. The gravy is a sweet-sour mix of tamarind and jaggery which lessens the bitterness of karela (bitter gourd).
Karela provides iron, calcium, potassium, and fiber, and studies show that it helps regulate blood sugar. If you want to add karela to your diet but don’t know how to make this healthy vegetable more palatable, try this easy vegetarian/vegan recipe.
Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes
- 1 cup karela (bitter gourd/melon), cut into small cubes
- 1 1/2 cups potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1 cup plantain (raw banana), peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
- 2 tbsp jaggery (adjust to taste)
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp chana dal (split bengal gram/yellow lentils)
- 1 tbsp urad dal (split black gram)
- 1/4 tsp methi seeds (fenugreek)
- 5-6 red chillies
- 1/4 tsp black pepper corn
- 3 tbsp coconut (freshly grated or dried)
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- Asafoetida powder (hing), a pinch
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
- Roast the chana dal, urad dal, red chillies, fenugreek seeds, and pepper corn separately until golden and aromatic. Roast the fenugreek seeds until they’re almost black to reduce bitterness. Let cool and grind with the coconut into a smooth paste, and set aside.
- Heat oil in a wide skillet. Add the asafoetida powder and mustard seeds. As they start to pop, add the turmeric powder and the vegetables. Saute for a minute.
- Add the tamarind paste, salt and 3 cups water and cover and cook on medium heat until the veggies are tender.
- Add the ground masala, salt, jaggery and 1-2 cups water and let the karela-potato gravy curry simmer for a minute and remove from heat.
- Serve the karela-potato gravy curry hot, with plain rice and pappadums.