Bitter Gourd Fritters Recipe (Karathe Bajo)

Bitter Gourd Fritters Recipe (Karathe Bajo)

Bitter gourds are coated with a spicy rice batter & are deep fried to make delicious bitter gourd fritters. They turn out spicy, crispy & delicious. You can serve these bitter gourd fritters as a starter, side for lunch, dinner.

Bitter gourd fritters are called karathe bajo in Konkani. Karathe means bitter gourd in Konkani. Bajo refers to fritters in Konkani. 

Love bitter gourds? You’ll love these bitter gourd recipes too:

Bitter Gourd Chips Recipe (Karathe Fry)

Pan Fried Bitter Gourd Recipe (Karathe Fry)

Konkani Cuisine Bitter Gourd Salad Recipe (Karathe Kusumbri)

Here’s an easy recipe to make delicious bitter gourd fritters at home. Spicy & crispy & delicious! :) 


  • 1 small bitter gourd 
  • 1/2 cup medium grained rice
  • 3-4 dried red chillies
  • A chickpea sized tamarind
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 8-10 minutes

Deep frying time: 5-10 minutes

Preparation Method:

  1. Soak rice grains for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, wash & slice bitter gourd. Make thin slices. Not too thick nor too thin.
  3. Thick slices don’t get crispy & you take longer to deep fry them. Too thin slices & they will have to be deep fried carefully or they get burnt/over fried easily. The perfect slightly thick slices turn out crispy on the outside on deep frying. They’ll be soft on the inside & will taste delicious. If you like super crispy bitter gourds then you can keep them thin.
  4. Transfer bitter gourd slices into a bowl, add in a teaspoon of salt, toss them well & keep them aside for 25 minutes so that they take up salt.
  5. Wash rice grains after 30 minutes of soaking, drain out all the water completely. 
  6. Grind them along with dried red chillies, salt, tamarind into a smooth paste using as little water as possible.
  7. Transfer the rice batter into a bowl. Add in little water if required. We want the batter semi thick. We want it between dripping thin & thick. 
  8. The bitter gourd slices should hold a layer of batter up on them. If the batter is watery, it’ll drip off the slices. In that case, add a tablespoon of gram flour to thicken the batter.
  9. If the batter’s too thick, it’ll stick onto the bitter gourd slices as a thick layer. So, we want a semi-thick batter that’ll get crispy on deep frying.
  10. After 25 minutes, bitter gourd slices would have given out water while they’ve taken in salt.
  11. Give the bitter gourd slices a little squeeze using your hands to remove out the excess water present in them. That way they’ll cook faster when deep fried.
  12. Heat up oil for deep frying. Once the oil’s rolling hot, that’s when a piece of batter dropped into it, floats to the top of the oil, it’s ready for use.
  13. Dip the bitter gourd slices into the batter one by one & drop them one after the other into rolling hot oil. 
  14. Fry them on medium heat until they’re cooked on both the sides, you’ll know it by the change in colour of the batter. High heat & they’ll get over fried quickly, low heat will make them absorb in more oil.
  15. Transfer them onto a blotting paper. Similarly, fry rest of the slices in batches of 5-8. Do not over crowd your oil.
  16. Serve them hot as a starter, side for lunch, dinner.
  17. They get soggy, lose their crunch & tend to get oily with time. So, enjoy them while they’re still crispy. Empty them within half an hour of deep frying.

Here's how I fed these to my niece while she was busy playing. :) ;)

Tags: Bitter gourd, karathe, bajo, fritters, starter, side, lunch, dinner, Konkani food, Konkani recipe, GSB Konkani cooking, Konkani cuisine, recipe, vegan, vegetarian recipe, South Canara Konkani recipe, karathe phodi, Ganesh chaturthi, chauthi