KARELA & ONION FRY – Bitter Gourd with Onions

Karela with Onions is a simple but delicious recipe. This is an easy recipe and requires just your pantry staples. The cooking time is quite quick and like most Indian food, it can be precooked and heated up to eat at a later time. I find a side serving of spicy Tamarind Chutney or any other sweet and sour pickle or chutney balances the bitterness.

KARELA & ONION FRY - Bitter Gourd with Onions

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6 as part of an Indian meal.


  • 500 g karela
  • 3 medium onions, thinly sliced 
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 chilli, chopped
  • ½ tsp methi seeds½ tbsp extra salt
  • 6 tbsp Oil 
  • 2 par boiled potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes(optional)


  • Using a potato peeler, peel off the knobbly ridges of the karela and discard.   Slit part way along one side, scoop out and discard the seeds.
  • Thinly slice karela into rounds.  
  • Heat the oil on high heat.  Add methi seeds and fry quickly taking care not to burn.
  • the karela discs and cook until some of the karela discs start to get brown on the edges.
  • Lower the heat to medium, add the sliced onions,garlic, chilli (and diced boiled potatoes if using).
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Cook stirring occasionally for 20mins or until the onions and karela slices are brown and crispy.
  • Serve hot or at room temperature with dahl, rice and tamarind chutney or with roti. 


Add 1 tspn each of ground Coriander and ground Cumin to the sautéed Onions along with 1.2 tspn of Turmeric.  Add 1/s tspn of Garam Masala when adding the Chillies.  
Add 1 thinly sliced Green Mango after step 5 and cook until softened.