Konkani Cuisine Bitter Gourd Salad Recipe (Karathe Kusumbri)

Konkani Cuisine Bitter Gourd Salad Recipe (Karathe Kusumbri)

Hard to make someone at home eat bitter gourds? This good old Konkani cuisine style bitter gourd salad should do the work for you. Those stubborn guys at home will definitely not notice bitter gourds in this dish. Not even after eating it. ;) That’s because this Konkani style salad is delicious. 

It's quite easy to make. Shallow fry bitter gourds, mix them well with finely chopped onions & a dry, spicy, coconut chutney. Its served as a side dish for lunch, dinner. It tastes delicious on its own, goes well with a bowl of steaming hot brown rice/white rice congee, curd rice, rice & dalithoy (Konkani style dal) or with anything. 

You can even make a simple, delicious salad like the one on the left in the picture above. Just mix shallow fried bitter gourd with freshly grated coconut, finely chopped onions & salt. I simply love it!

They're both called karate kusumbri in Konkani. Kusumbri in Konkani refers to salad and karate means bitter gourd in Konkani. 

Here goes the recipe for you. Give it a try & let me know how you liked it. 

P.S: This recipe is similar to teasel gourd/kantola/Indian gourd salad (phagla kusumbri).


  • 1 medium sized bitter gourd
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • 2 chickpeas sized tamarind
  • 3-4 dried red chillies
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 4-5 tablespoons of oil

Serves: 2

Preparation Time: 35 minutes

Preparation Method:

1. Finely chop bitter gourd. Dice them into small cubes.

Not into very tiny pieces, though, as they shrink considerably on frying. If they’re tiny in size to begin with, they’ll get even smaller in size on frying. They’d then have to be fried with care or will start to get burnt before rest of the pieces fry through. We want a nice bite into fried bitter gourds.

2. Transfer them into a bowl. Add a teaspoon of salt & toss them well. 

3. Keep it aside for 15-20 minutes so that bitter gourds take in salt.

After 20 minutes, my mom gives the bitter gourd pieces a nice squeeze using her hands, to remove out all the water, bitter gourds have given out. That helps get rid of excess bitterness present in bitter gourds. However, I skip this step so as to not lose any goodness from bitter gourds. So, it's up to you. However, if your bitter gourds are too bitter, I suggest you squeeze out excess water present in them. 

4. After 20 minutes, transfer bitter gourds onto a hot frying pan and saute for a minute. All the excess water evaporates. 

5. Then add in 2-3 tablespoons of oil and saute to mix well. Later on, add more oil in between if needed. 

6. Fry them on medium heat until they start to brown. Saute in between for uniform frying. 

7. Remove the pan from heat & let the shallow fried pieces cool down completely.

8. Meanwhile, grind coconut chutney.

You can serve shallow fried bitter gourds mixed with 1/2 cup of freshly grated coconut, finely chopped onion (1 medium sized onion) and salt. That tastes delicious too. It's the salad on the left in the first picture above.

9. To make the spicy bitter gourd salad on the right in the picture above, grind a spicy, coconut chutney.

10. To do that, heat a tempering pan, add in, a teaspoon of oil.

11. Add in coriander seeds, dried red chillies roughly broken into pieces & fry them for a minute. We want to fry them just a little to remove off their rawness. 

12. Then let them cool down completely & grind them along with grated coconut, tamarind, salt into a coarse powder without using any water.

13. If you've freshly grated coconut, then the coconut chutney might turn out to be a little sticky. 

Ideally, we want a powdery coconut chutney. You can grate coconut 2-3 hours before you intend to make the chutney, to avoid it from getting all sticky & to get a dry chutney. Keep the grated coconut spread out on a plate, in the open, so that it dries out a little. 

If you're in a hurry & your chutney turns out a little sticky, even then it'll taste delicious. There'll only be a minor difference in the texture of the chutney. It definitely won't alter the taste. So, don't fret. :)

14. Transfer the ground chutney into a bowl. 

15. Just before serving, mix in finely chopped onion, fried bitter gourd pieces. Mix well & serve.

Other delicious bitter gourd dishes to try:

Bitter Gourd Chips (Karathe Fry)

Pan Fried Bitter Gourd (Karathe Fry)

Tags: karathe, karate kusumbri, karathe kismuri, side dish, dinner, lunch, recipe, GSB Konkani cooking, GSB Konkani recipe, GSB Konkani food, Konkani cuisine, vegetarian, vegan, comfort food, recipe, bachelor recipe, quick & easy recipe, kosambri