Recipes - Karathem Sukka (Bitter Gourd)


½ Kg Karathem (Bitter Gourd)

3-4 Ambadde (crushed)

Little jaggery

1 tbsp. oil

Salt to taste

2 spoons grated coconut

4-5 flakes garlic (crushed)


For Masala:

4 long red chillies

2 small red chillies

¼ tsp. pepper corns

½ tsp. jeera

½ tsp. mustard

1 onion

Small ball of tamarind



Cut Karathem into ½” pieces.  Add 2 tsp. of salt mix well and keep for 5-6 hours.  Later squeeze the karathem pieces and remove the salt water.  Grind the masala ingredients with little water.  Mix karathem, masala, crushed ambadde and cook with masala water till soft.  Add jaggery.  Check for salt.  If required, add salt.  Add grated coconut. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes.  Heat 1 tbsp. oil, fry crushed garlic till brown and pour over cooked karathem.

Note: Ambadde may be substituted with tomatoes.

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Comment on this article

  • Maureen Rego, Mangalore Dubai

    Sat, Sep 24 2022

    I don’t have Ambade so how many tomatoes should I use .

  • Gracy Dcruz, Moodbidri/Dubsi

    Tue, Sep 29 2020

    Hi Meera Nazreth
    Where is this Fijian store in Vancouver?

  • Rita Rodrigues, Belman / Kuwait

    Sun, Sep 16 2018

    Tried this recipe step by step. Did not add salt and keep for 5 - 6 hours but cut the bitter gourd/karathem and cooked directly. Came out amazingly delicious and the one who never ate karathem in my house also complimented and relished it. Thanks for sharing.

  • Daisy Mathias, Mangalore/Mumbai

    Tue, Sep 22 2015

    I tried your recipe and it came out great. Thanks a lot.

    Please could you send me the recipe for pork meetache maas.

  • Meera Nazareth, Mangalorean/vancouver

    Thu, Sep 10 2015

    I too thought ambade is one thing we can't get in Canada. To my surprise I did find it in a Fijian Grocery Store.

  • H. Mendonca, Bendore, Mangalroe

    Tue, Jun 16 2015

    Mr. Kamat: Ambade is also called June Plums available in major grocery stores. They are bit bigger is size and fleshy.


    Mon, Jun 15 2015

    Hi Kamath, Canad,
    Not sure which part of Canada you are, bitter gourds are available in plenty in all grocery stores in GTA Ontario. If you are living far away, you should try in Indian or Chinese stores.

  • Kamath, Canada

    Tue, May 19 2015

    Ah! What a wonderful fruit "Ambade" was ! My mom would make some delicious recipes out of this fruit. It was some 75 years ago. Pity it is not available anywhere in N. America!

  • Philomena, Puttur/Goa

    Fri, Sep 20 2013

    whenever I cook Bitter Gourd, first I cut them into pieces, par-boil it in some water and give this water to everyone in the family to drink and then I add masala and make desired type of curry. Bitter Gourd water is good for health in many ways !!!!

  • Rita, Germany

    Mon, Sep 09 2013

    Dear NM:Mangalore,its left to you or anyone who likes it.But certain specially green bitter guards are so bitter ,you hardly can consume it without the Bitterstoff to takeout.can also add bit of roasted and powdered two tablespoonfullrice and teaspoonful methiseeds to enrich the taste.

  • Roshni Bhandarkar, Mangalore/Bahrain

    Tue, Sep 11 2012

    If you want to remove the bitterness of the karat hem or bitter gourd, try this, cut the gourd into desired pieces, and set aside. Wash rice do not discard the water after washing rice, instead use this water to soak the gourd pieces for at least half an hour, this reduces the bitterness of the karela to some extent, good luck

  • Catherine , M'lore /Dubai

    Mon, Sep 10 2012

    Dear Editor,
    I have tried this recipe on the Nativity Fest Celebration day. I had arranged to get Ambadde from India specially for this feast. It came out excellent. Thank you so much for the recipe. I will preserve and keep this recipe for future usage. I remember, our Mai used to prepare this kind of vegetable and its common in Mangalore. But I had completely lost this recipe and used prepare without Ambadde and jaggery
    Note to Charles and NM Mangalore : Its person to person how you want to use /live with it. Both don’t feel bad. NM gave his option and Charles advice his feedback. It’s up to you guys how you want to prepare and use the recipe’s. Only thing is we need to know the preparation method and its optional to use the ingredients .

  • Charles D'Mello, Pangala

    Sun, Nov 13 2011

    NM is upto you to change the recipe as you not consider everybody in the world are diabetic...!!?? recipe is upto the liking of the writer..!!???

  • deep suvarna, udupi

    Tue, Oct 25 2011

    nice recipe......

  • William Carlo, Bantwal

    Sun, Sep 25 2011

    Many people eat raw karethem/bitter gourd, why to squeeze it? With Ambade it tastes fantastic. Never throw any vitamins.

  • NM Mangalore, mangalore

    Sat, Sep 24 2011

    Bitter gourd sukka looks interesting, but what I feel is after squeezing and throughing away the juice of the the gourd what is the use in eating that? we lose all the good vitamins and goodness of the gourd instead and adding jaggery which is not good for diabetic people. Please never squeeze and disgard the juices of any veg. bitter gourd should be good eaten bitter not sweet. thanks.

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