Gujarati Karela Bateta Nu Shaak has a medley of flavors. The slight bitterness from Karela, sweetness from Sugar, and crunch from the cashews. In all, a person who hates karela, like me will start loving it. Try it and I am sure you will be making it again.
This is the first recipe with Karela or Bitter melon I am posting on my blog. Well, as said I do not like it and hence it is rare for me to make it. However, I sometimes get tempted to make the Bharwa Karela which my mom mare or the karela chips. But never made it.
So this time I was determined to try something from this Bitter gourd for my Gujarati Thali. Hence I decided to try this Karela Bateta Nu Shaak for my Gujarati Thali. And yes Shaak means Sabzi or Dry stir fry vegetables in Gujarati.
Why this? Because the recipe promised that it was delicious and will not taste bitter. And as promised in this recipe from Tarla Dalal, it was one of the best, lip-smacking, sweet, and bitter shaak. It was. I fell in love with this recipe of hers and I added it to my recipe list.
A little about Karela
Karela, or bitter gourd or bitter squash or bitter melon is amongst the most bitter of all the vegetables. Oblong in shape and has a rough and spiky looking exterior. They have seeds inside which turn red when they are ripe and the flesh is crunchy and watery.
Recipes with Karela
One of the most common vegetables used in India. Bharwa karela is a very famous recipe, where the bitter gourd is stuffed with different spices. Different states have different recipes and generally, the seeds are removed and the skin is peeled to reduce the bitterness. The skin is completely edible and even Bitter gourd chutney is quite famous. Bitter gourd Juice is considered excellent for diabetes.
Karela the Creeper plant
Even though I never liked this vegetable, I grew it in India for my parents. They loved it. And this veggie is a creeper, with beautiful yellow flowers. It needs little care and is easy to grow. You can grow them in containers as well and it is satisfying to use your own harvest for your veggies.
How to Select Karela, bitter gourd
Choose the ones that have a dark green color and are tender. They are best when they are young and tender. The mature and softer ones will have the red seeds inside as well as taste more bitter. Also, they might lose their crunch, so they are best when young.
If Karela is cooked properly, you will love this vegetable. The bitter taste would be less and you will enjoy it. Yes, I am not saying that you will not taste the bitter taste, as many claims. You will get it and what is a cooked veggie, when you cannot taste its natural taste? Right.
So sharing below the recipe, which has tips and tricks on how to reduce the bitterness and make it yummy and delicious.
Recipe process of Karela Bateta Nu Shaak
The first one needs to wash and deseed the karela. One can keep the seeds if they are tender, but I removed them, as I wanted. Then cut them into 1 inch small strips and sprinkle salt all over it. Leave it for 15-20 minutes. This will release some water. Gently squeeze the karela between your palms to remove the bitter juice.
Next, I cooked this vegetable with some spices like turmeric, cumin seeds. Add a bit of potato, along with sesame seeds, cashew, a lot of freshly chopped coriander, and spices. A tiny bit of sugar is added to reduce the bitterness as well as to add the typical sweet Gujarati taste.
A lip-smacking sweet and bitter Karela Bateta Nu Shaak is ready. This shaak tastes better the next day, so do make a little extra.
Few Similar Stir Fry or Dry Vegetables & Sides
- Watermelon Rind Sabji (Using the Green Peel)
- Gobi Aloo Matar ki Sabzi (Cauliflower, Potato & Peas Dry Vegetable)
- Mizoram’s Panch Phoran Tarkari
- Broccoli Cheese Stir Fry
Gujarati Karela Bateta Nu Shaak
- 2 medium size – 200 grams Bitter Gourd (Karela)
- 2 tablespoon Oil
- A pinch of asafoetida
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 very small potato -around ¼ cup – chopped into cubes
- ½ Cup Fresh Chopped Coriander
- 1 tablespoon Sugar
- 2 tablespoon Broken Cashew nuts
- 2 tablespoon Sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
- 1 teaspoon Cumin Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Dry Mango Powder (Amchur)
- 1 tablespoon Chilli powder -or to taste
- Salt to taste
- Clean and deseed the karela. (One can keep the seeds if they are tender, but I removed them).
- Cut them into 1 inch small strips and sprinkle salt all over it.
- Leave it for 15-20 minutes.
- This will release some water. Gently squeeze the karela between your palms to remove the bitter juice.
- Add cumin seeds and let it crackle.
- Once the cumin seeds crackle, add asafoetida and turmeric powder. Saute for 10-15 seconds.
- Add the chopped and squeezed karela.
- Mix, Cover and let this cook on slow for 8-10 minutes.
- Now add the potatoes, salt and mix well. (Go easy on the salt as we already added a bit in the start).
- Cook this again for slow to medium flame for 8-10 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.
- Add the freshly chopped coriander, broken cashew nuts, sesame seeds and mix well.
- Cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Now add the coriander powder, cumin powder, chilli powder, sugar and dried mango powder.
- Mix everything and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Serve with some roti or rice.
- 1 Cup = 240 ml, 1 tbsp = 15 ml, 1 tsp = 5 ml
- Asafoetida (Hing) powder available in shops contains wheat and is not gluten free. Gluten intolerant people can either skip completely or opt for Gluten Free Asafoetida (Hing)
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