Pakistani Bitter Gourd

August 8, 2016 , Haiya

Bitter gourd is one of my absolute favorite vegetables to eat. If you cook them right, they taste incomparably delicious, and not in a masochistic way. My favorite way to eat them is when they’re cooked the Pakistani way, which ensures they are super oily (which M is never happy about), and super spicy (which he is always happy about). Served with a dallop of yogurt; a light, airy phulka or roti fresh off the fire; and a piping hot cup of cardamom chai will make this one of the most ideal meals to enjoy on a rainy day.

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Here’s how it’s done:

Pakistani Bitter Gourd

Pakistani Bitter Gourd


  • 1 kilo bitter gourd
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • Red chili powder (as much as you can handle)
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric


  1. Cut the bitter gourd in half, lengthwise.
  2. Using a small spoon, completely scrape out the seeds and discard.
  3. Slice the hollowed out bitter gourd super thin, ideally 2 mm wide.
  4. Toss the bitter gourd (until fully coated), in the yogurt and 2 Tbs of salt, and let it sit for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator. This reduces the inherent bitterness in the gourd.
  5. Rinse the marinated gourd thoroughly and let drain thoroughly.
  6. Deep fry the drained out bitter gourd in oil. You can stop once it’s translucent or you can fry to a semi-crisp, the way I like it. Also, this might spurt oil so a lid would come in handy at this point.
  7. Remove the fried gourd onto some kitchen towels, and let as much oil get absorbed as possible. Believe me, they’ll still be super oily.
  8. In the meantime, in just half a cup of the oil left behind, braise the turmeric, red chili, garlic, ginger, and onions.
  9. Add in the chopped tomatoes and bitter gourd, give it a stir, and you’re pretty much done.

Toldja. Easy Peasy.