Bitter gourd, hog plums in a coconut gravy (Karathe, ambade gashi)

Bitter gourd, hog plums in a coconut gravy (Karathe, ambade gashi)

Bitter gourd and hog plums are a great combo! Cuz they compliment each other's taste. When they are paired with some jaggery in a coconut gravy, they make a delicious curry.

Here's a Konkani cuisine speciality. A curry that's tangy, spicy and sweet, all in one bite.

This bittergourd, hog plum gravy is a myriad of flavours and is absolutey yum! It has bitterness from bitter gourd, tanginess from hog plums, sweetness from jaggery (added to balance the bitterness and tanginess). A spicy, flavourful masala is prepared using spices and grated fresh coconut. The curry is then seasoned to elevate the flavours. 

This delectable curry is called karathe ambade gashi in Konkani. Karathe refers to bitter gourd in Konkani and ambado refers to hogplum. Gashi/ghashi in Konkani means a coconut curry. 

This curry is a must, as part of the spread for varshik (a ceremony performed on death anniversaries) and during ganesh chathurti festival.


  • 1 bitter gourd
  • 6 hog plums
  • 4 yard long beans (optional)
  • 3/4 cup grated coconut
  • 1 lemon sized tamarind (use only if the hogplums aren't tangy enough)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of powdered jaggery 
  • 1 teaspoon of urad dal
  • 6 fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
  • 5 dried red chillies
  • 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 2 leaflets of curry leaves
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • Salt to taste

Serves: 2-4

Preparation Time: 35 minutes

Preparation Method:

1. Wash the veggies well. Chop bitter gourd into thin, long slices. Chop yard long beans into 2-3cm long pieces.

2. Smash hog plum well using a pestle so that the gravy gets infused into it and it's tanginess gets into the curry.

3. Cook all of them together in a cooking vessel, using 1.5 cups of water. 

4. When they are half cooked, add in salt, jaggery and continue cooking.

Add jaggery depending on how bitter the bittergourds are and how tangy the hog plums are. Jaggery is added to balance the bitterness from bitter gourd and tanginess from hog plums. Add jaggery according to your palate.

5. Meanwhile prepare the masala.

Preparing the masala:

6. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a tempering pan. Add in fenugreek seeds, urad dal, coriander seeds, dried red chillies broken into pieces and fry them until the urad dal starts to brown. 

7. Allow it to cool down and then grind it along with grated fresh coconut into a smooth paste using as much water as required.

Add tamarind to the masala while grinding only if required, ie, if your hog plums aren't tangy enough. 

8. When the veggies are almost cooked, add in the ground masala and mix well.

9. Add water if required to bring the curry to a medium thick consistency. Allow the curry to come to a boil.

10. Once the curry comes to a boil, simmer it for few minutes until the rawness of the masala goes off. Check and adjust salt.

11. Remove off heat and season the curry.

12. Seasoning: Heat remaining oil in a tempering pan, add in mustard seeds. When they begin to splutter, add in curry leaves and let them sizzle for few seconds. Add the seasoning to the curry and mix well.

13. Serve the curry hot with a bowl of steaming hot rice and enjoy!

For more Konkani cuisine curry recipes look here

Tags: curry, gravy, ghashi, gashi, lunch, dinner, spicy, karathe, bittergourd, hog plum, alsando, yard long beans, Konkani recipe, Konkani dish, Konkani cuisine, Udupi cuisine, Mangalore food, Konkani food, Ganesh chaturthi.