Bitter gourd masala rice

Bitter gourd tamrind rice final


Due to its extremely bitter taste we tend to avoid. But soaking in salt turmeric helps to reduce its bitter taste and sautéing in tamarind pulp/juice adds taste to the gourd.  This is a flavourful rice with spices. This dish can be served for breakfast/lunch with raita/yogurt dip.

Health benefits:

We usually hear of bitter gourd and diabetes together. It is a well known fact that bitter gourd cures diabetes. For example, did you know that bitter gourd is a medicinal food for people with liver disorders. One of the prime health benefits of bitter gourd is that, it helps to cleanse the liver and regenerate the liver cells. Bitter melon is invariably good for your skin. It helps gets rid of acne and gives you a flawless complexion. There are several other health benefits of bitter gourd like weight loss.

Serves – 2-3
Preparation time-15 minutes
Cooking time-20 minutes


  • Red rice – 2 cups
  • Chopped Bitter gourd-1 medium
  • Chopped onion-1 medium
  • Chopped garlic-3 cloves
  • Tamarind pulp-2 tbsp
  • Oil-2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds-1 tsp
  • Salt- to taste

For grinding:

  • Coriander seeds-8-10 seeds
  • Fennel seeds-1 tsp
  • Pepper corns-4-5
  • Dry Red chillies- 2-3
  • Fenugreek seeds-1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Curry leaves-5-6
  • Deseeded and finely chopped dates-3
  • Grated fresh coconut-1/4 cup (alternatively desiccated coconut can be used)


  • Rinse and soak rice for 20-30 minutes.(helps to cook faster). After 30 minutes rinse again drain and keep aside.
  • Heat water in a sauce pan; Add drained rice and cook for 18 – 20 minutes or until fluffy,
  • Sprinkle some salt, turmeric on chopped bitter gourd give it a toss and leave it on the counter for 15-20minutes. After resting time rinse thoroughly squeeze out the excess water and set dry on the paper towel until used (this process helps to reduce the bitterness of the gourd)
  • In a pan dry roast fennel seeds, red chillies, coriander seeds, pepper corns, curry leaves, fenugreek seeds (if using) for 2-3 minutes and allow it to cool a bit.
  • Then combine the roasted mixture, coconut, chopped dates in a blender/food processor and blend it to smooth.
  • Heat oil in a pan add in cumin seeds as it splutters add onion and saute until transparent. (~2-3 minutes)
  • Then add bitter gourd and fry for 4-5 minutes/ until slightly tender.
  • Then add tamarind pulp, ground spice mixture, salt and saute until the spices blends with gourd (~5-7 minutes)
  • Then add cooked rice; Mix well and simmer until heated through
  • Turn off the flame and then garnish with Coriander and peanuts

Transfer to serving plates and serve with yogurt dips/raita.

I served this with flavoured dip (recipe link)

Chives Thyme raita


  • If you feel adding fenugreek might make the dish bitter then feel free to skip fenugreek seeds.
  • Soaking in turmeric-salt and rinsing well reduces the bitterness to some extent.

About Chitra Jagadish

My passion for Cooking & love to explore healthy recipes. This blog is a result from it and am here to share 'Recipes for Healthy living'...Its all about 'FOOD and HEALTH'

Posted on January 28, 2015, in Indian, Main dish. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Lovely as always Chitra!!! Just now for lunch I finished rice and bitter guard curry 🙂 Next time I will try to use your method 🙂


  2. Bitter gourd rice that’s brilliant dear

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mr. Militant Negro

    Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is really amazing Chitra……can’t think of making rice with bitter gourd….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice recipe chitra thanks

    Liked by 1 person

Please leave your comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: