Bitter Melon/Gourd Chickpeas Gravy

Bitter gourd3


Bitter gourd is combined with chickpeas and Peanuts makes the dish more nutritious in a spicy coconut gravy. To reduce the taste of bitter gourd it is cooked in sweet tangy tamarind and dates paste.

Health Benefits:

Bitter melon, also known as bitter gourd or karela (in India), is a unique vegetable-fruit that can be used as food or medicine. In addition to being a food ingredient, bitter melon has also long been used as a herbal remedy for a range of ailments, including type 2 diabetes.

So enjoy this as a side dish with rice or rotis.

Preparation time-15 minutes
Cooking time-30 minutes


  • Bitter gourd- 2 num (Medium)
  • Black chickpeas -1/2 cup
  • Peanuts- ¼ cup
  • Mustard seeds-1/2tsp
  • Oil-1tbsp
  • Dates paste-1tbsp
  • Tamarind pulp-2-3tbsp
  • Salt-as per taste

To grind:

  • Almonds-10-12num
  • Flaxseed-1tbsp
  • Fennel seeds-2tsp
  • Cinnamon-1 inch stick
  • Clove-3num
  • Green chillies-4-5num
  • Desiccated coconut-1/2cup
  • Chopped Fresh coriander- a handful


  • Wash and soak chickpeas and peanuts overnight.
  • Once soaked drain and pressure cook for 4-5 whistels with enough water and 1/4tsp salt.
  • Trim the ends of the gourds, slit in half and remove the seeds and chop the gourds into tiny pieces.
  • Transfer to bowl, add salt, turmeric, sprinkle some water and let it soak for 15-30 minutes (this process helps to reduce the bitterness of the gourd)
  • Rinse thoroughly, squeeze water and set aside.
  • Combine all the ingredients mentioned under “grinding” table in the blender and blend in to coarse paste by adding some water.
  • Heat oil in the pan add mustard seeds, as it crackles add bitter gourd, and fry for 10-12 minutes.
  • Add ground paste, tamarind pulp, dates paste, water as per the consistency and cook on a medium high flame for 8-10 minutes stirring in between.
  • Then add cooked chickpeas, soya, peanuts, salt and simmer for 5-8minutes more or until well combined.

Turn off the flame and serve hot with rice/roti.


  • You can use jiggery/sugar instead of dates paste.
  • I prefer thick gravy so didn’t add much water to my curry you can add as much consistency as required

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 April 5, 2015, in Indian, Side dish. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Never tasted bitter gourd. Is it really bitter? Because of it’s amazing medicinal properties it sounds like everyone should eat this fruit/vegetable. The curry or stew looks delicious.


    • Yes Suzanne. It is bitter for sure hence soaking method helps to reduce bitterness. In this recipe have served with peas so the bitterness will reduce while you still enjoy the gravy. It has many medicinal properties and people do drink its juice.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Recently i have such a craving for chickpeas and hummus. Thanks so much for this delicious recipe! Have a lovely evening Chitra.


  3. Mr. Militant Negro

    Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.


  4. I also heard bitter melons help reduce cholesterol. Is it true? My husband has slightly elevated cholesterol. He’s not on medication for it, but is advised to control it through diet. Maybe I’ll feed him bitter melons :D.


    • It does Angie. These melons have tons of benefits when it comes to better health. Just because of its bitterness people try to avoid its use. I am trying ways to blend them with other veggies or beans so the bitterness is not felt…Please try this recipe and hope he will like it


  5. With bitter guard and chickpea we cook Pitalai your version of curry looks flavorful and yummy C:-)


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