Bitter Gourd Curry Indian name: Karela

Source: JIVA Newsletter  be Dr Partap Chauhan


Taste: Tikat (pungent) and katu (bitter)

Quality: Laghu (light) and ruksh (dry) 

Potency: Ushna (warm)

Taste: Tikat (pungent) and katu (bitter)

Medicinal properties of karela (bitter gourd)
A healthy and balanced diet should comprise all the six tastes-sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent. Generally we eat foods that have sweet, sour, salty and astringent tastes, but not those that have bitter and pungent tastes. Karela has these two tastes. This recipe is very healthy, so you should make it a part of your diet. If you have eaten lots of sweets during the day, then dinner should include karela. It helps to cleanse the toxins that have been accumulated due to excessive intake of sweets in daytime.

It is very good for treating diabetes. It lowers blood sugar and cleanses toxins from the body. It improves liver and stomach functions and stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin. It is also good for amenorrhoea. It is good for worm infestation. It increases appetite and stimulates digestive fire. It is also good for reduction of weight.

Dosha analysis of karela 
It pacifies kapha and pitta dosha. If taken in moderate quantities, it does not increase vata dosha. This is because of its warm property. People with pitta constitutions should add one teaspoon of ghee for balancing its warm property; otherwise it can increase pitta dosha.


Wash the karela. Do not peel it. Cut into small pieces from the edges. Heat some oil in a pan. Add the fennel seeds. When they begin sputtering, add the onion to the pan, and fry till pink. Add the chopped tomato and the other spices. Keep stirring till all the spices mix with the tomato. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes till all the spices are mixed well with the tomato and onion gravy. Then add the chopped karela. Add enough water to cover the karela. Cover the pan with a lid. Cook until the karela is soft. Using a pressure cooker would reduce cooking time.