Pan Fried Bitter Gourd (Karathe Fry)

Pan Fried Bitter Gourd (Karathe Fry)

Lots of people hate bitter gourd for it’s bitterness. When prepared right bitter gourds are a pleasure to eat. Trust me! Especially when bitter gourds are pan fried and are deep fried they taste amazing. I pan fry bitter gourds many ways (shall share the recipes with you some time soon) and deep fry bitter gourds just like how I would kantola. Bitter gourd tastes the best when are pan fried or deep fried and are made crispy. Here’s one such recipe where bitter gourds are salted and pan fried until they get crispy. You won’t even know it’s bitter gourd, it tastes that good! They make an amazing appetiser, starter for lunch and dinner.

My MIL has diabetes and when she was reluctant to eat bitter gourds. I would pan fry them like in this recipe for her. But would not make them completely crispy for her. I would keep them just cooked so that she would get the goodness out of them. The salted, just cooked bitter gourds with an amazing flavour of coconut oil are pretty tasty. My plan did work, but she would always eye the crispy ones on the plate that are more tasty, the ones that were prepared for us. :-) And then she got them too.


  • 1 medium sized bitter gourd
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for shallow frying

Serves: 2-3

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Resting Time: 15 minutes

Preparation Method:

  1. Wash and slice the bitter gourd as thin as possible. The thinner the slices, the faster they cook and crispier they get.
  2. Add the slices into a mixing bowl, add in salt and mix well.
  3. Allow it to stand for 15 minutes so that they take in salt. The longer you let them stand, the more salt they take in.
  4. Heat up a frying pan, arrange the bitter gourd slices on the pan. Drizzle little oil on top of each slices. 
  5. Cook closed on high heat for 1-2 minutes and put off the flame. Keep it closed for 5 minutes. During this time the bitter gourds get crisp. 
  6. Remove off the lid and serve them hot.
  7. If the bitter gourds haven’t got fully crisp as much as you would like them to, then flip them and cook them on that side for a minute on high heat. If the slices are thick they take longer to cook, but be careful not to burn the thin slices.
  8. For best results use an iron cast pan for frying the bitter gourd.

Here's a trick to reduce bitter gourd's bitterness:

Once you add salt to bitter gourd slices & keep them aside, after about 15 minutes, bitter gourd slices would have taken in salt and give out water. Then squeeze bitter gourd slices well to remove excess water present in them. This helps get rid of some bitterness in them.

Find more fritter (bajo, phodi) recipes here.

Tags: karathe fry, bitter gourd, Konkani cuisine, Konkani food, Konkani recipe, bachelor recipe, GSB Konkani recipe, vegan, vegetarian recipe, South Canara Konkani recipe, Konkani cooking, GSB Konkani cuisine.