Simple Indian Recipes...
Delicious and healthy dishes that can be made even by first timers.

Bitter Gourd Pickle

 Published 2013-Apr-24   Updated 2014-Jan-21

- Submitted by Raji Ramakrishnan

(Bittergourd Pickle, Bitter Melon Pickle, Karela Pickle, Pavakka Pickle)

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Bitter-gourd (or Bitter melons) is a vegetables that is low in calorie but rich in many nutrients. It is an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2 and B3, Vitamin C, magnesium, folic acid, zinc, phosphorus, manganes, iron, calcium, beta-carotene and has high dietary fiber.  a hypoglycemic effect called charantin. It also has polypeptide, an insulin like compound that is good for diabetic patients.

Recipe For Bitter-Gourd Pickle

Preparation time: 20-25 minutes
Cooking time: approx. 45 minutes
Yield: 250 - 300 gm


  • Bitter gourd – ½ kg
  • Oil 200 ml
  • Salt
  • Red chilli powder - 50 gm (or as per your requirement)
  • Green chillies – 3-4 cut into 3-4 pieces.
  • Garlic cloves – 8-10
  • Curry leaves few
  • Mustard seeds 1 tsp
  • Tamarind pulp – ¼ cup
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  • Asafoetida – ¼ tsp.
  • Jaggery – 2 tbsp


  1. Wash the bitter gourd and pat dry it. Cut it into small pieces. Remove the seeds if they are hard.
  2. Heat oil in a kadai. When it is hot, splutter the mustard seeds.
  3. Add asafetida, curry leaves, green chillies, garlic and saute.
  4. Add the bitter-gourd pieces and sauté till it is soft.
  5. Add the turmeric powder, tamarind pulp, jaggery, salt and sauté again till the raw taste of the tamarind pulp goes.
  6. Remove from the stove. Add the chilli powder and mix well. Keep aside to cool.


  • For any kind of pickle, the oil should be above the level of the pickle contents to avoid fungus formation. If the oil is less, heat some oil, cool it and pour on top of the pickle.

Recipe For Bitter-Gourd Pickle

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Comments (2)

Person   ()
What colour mustard seeds? I have the yellow ones in my pantry right now. Are black mustard seeds more common in Indian cuisine? Thanks.
Person   ()
Yes black mustard seeds are more common in India. You can use yellow mustard if you have it readily available.

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 Published by on and last updated on 2014-01-21.