Vegetarian Food – Bitter Melon/Karela Tarkari (Nepali Food Recipe)

(Bitter Melon Curried in Yogurt)

  • 4 cups bitter melon, sliced in 1-in. length
  • 1 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup red pepper, sliced in 1-in length
  • 5 dried red chilies
  • 3 fresh red chilies, minced
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (for garnish)


  • In a large pot of well-salted boiling water blanch bitter melon slices for a few minutes and transfer to ice bath.
  • Blanching in heavily salted water reduces the bitterness of bitter melon.
  • In a non-stick sauce pan, heat oil and fry mustard seeds and red chilies until dark.
  • Add onion and green pepper; fry until light brown.
  • Add turmeric, curry powder, chilies, garlic and ginger; mix for a minute or so.
  • Add the blanched bitter melon and stir fry for five minutes.
  • To the bitter melon mixture, add yogurt and salt; mix well to incorporate all ingredients.
  • Cover and cook on medium heat for ten more minutes.
  • Once a desired consistency of stew has been achieved, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with steamed rice.

Author: Tulsi Regmi

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