Karela Salad

Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it???I had this for the first time at a friends place not so long back and of course, I had to learn this recipe from her. Personally, I love Karela in any form, but my grown-up boys do not. After many years of spending their carefree childhood days with me, chasing and attempting to coerce them to start liking Karela, I gave up when my dear husband started drawing comparisons to us and Tom & Jerry.However, this salad has crispy, crunchy, bitter gourd slices, which they don’t mind eating at all, possibly because the bitterness gets diluted with the goodness & sweetness of fresh grated coconut.This is a salad so there is no fixed recipe really. Add more of or less of whatever ingredients are listed below, according to your preference. And there are simply 7 ingredients to choose from. So here goes…


  1. Small tender karelas about 150 gms
  2. Grated coconut 2 cups
  3. Cilantro leaves, a handful
  4. Mint Leaves, a few
  5. Onion, 1 large-sized one
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Black pepper powder


  1. Wash and Slice the karelas through a mandoline. We need them without the seed. After a few slices, you can scoop out the seeds with a small spoon. If not, try to pick out as many as you can. If some tender ones have got sliced up, not to worry.
  2. Wash these slices a few times, drain the water, and in a container, sprinkle salt, and once done, leave the Karela slices aside for a couple of hours. Once the juice sweats out, wash again, and dry on a kitchen towel.
  3. If you don’t mind fried, fry these slices until they’re crisp. Frying is a quicker method too. I took the long route and put it in the oven with a spray of oil for a good 2 1/2 hours to get them to be crisp. Of course, one has to keep turning and moving it around. Once done and cooled, store it in an airtight box.
  4. Now, in a large bowl take an onion which is finely chopped, also some chopped cilantro, mint leaves, and the grated coconut. DO NOT add salt before hand. Keep this covered and wait until the meal of the day has been laid out.
  5. For the final prep, add salt and black pepper powder according to your taste, and give it a toss. Throw in the crispy bitter gourd in the end, or it will get soggy. Voila, your salad is ready. Enjoy!

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