Kakarakaya Endu Kobbari Kharam | Andhra Style Karela Stir-Fry

I love Kakarakaya (called Karela in Hindi and Bitter Gourd in English). In my home, this is mostly made as Kakarakaya Vepudu or Bitter Gourd Stir-fry. I also make Pavakka Theeyal with it. However, yesterday I was looking for something different and discovered this recipe for Kakarakaya Endu Kobbari Kharam.

I found several versions of this recipe but I made a very simple version that was quite delicious. Essentially, Kakarakaya Endu Kobbari Kharam is stir-fried Karela flavoured with a garlic, dry coconut, and red chilli powder masala. In fact, if you have the Maharashtrian Lasoon Chutney at home then all this recipe calls for is stir-frying the Kakarakaya and the adding a generous amount of the chutney powder to it.

This dry curry is the perfect accompaniment to Tomato Pappu Annam, Varan Bhaat, Dal Fry Rice, or Daddojanam.

I retained the bitterness of the Kakarakaya/Karela by not peeling it and by just soaking it in salt water for 5 minutes. However, you can reduce the bitterness by peeling the Karela if you so wish.

Kakarakaya Endu Kobbari Kharam. Karela with Kopra, Lehsun, and Lal Mirch

How to Make Kakarakaya Endu Kobbari Kharam

Kakarakaya Endu Kobbari Kharam
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins
Kakarakaya Endu Kobbari Kharam is a Andhra curry in which stir-fried bitter gourd roundels are flavoured with a dry coconut (Kopra, Endu Kobbari), Garlic and Red Chilli Powder.
Course: Side
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 2 Cups
Author: Aruna
  • Kg Kakarakaya Karela, Pavakka, Bitter Gourd - 1/4
  • Cloves Garlic - 6
  • Cup Dry Coconut Endu Kobbari, Kopra -1/4
  • tsp Red Chilli Powder - 1 to 2
  • tsp Turmeric - 1/4
  • tbsp Oil - 2
  • Salt to Taste
Preparing the Kakarakaya
  1. Dissolve 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp turmeric in 1 litre water.
  2. If you wish to reduce bitterness, scrape the skin off the Kakarakaya.
  3. Cut the Kakarakaya into thin roundels.
  4. Soak the roundels in the salt water for 5 to 15 minutes (depending on how much bitterness you want to remove).
  5. Using a colander, drain all the water from the Kakarakaya.
  6. Set aside.
To Make the Endu Kharam Powder
  1. Grind the peeled garlic cloves, endu kobbari, and chilli powder together to a coarse powder.
  2. Set aside.
To Make the Kakarakaya Endu Kobbari
  1. In a kadhai, over medium flame, heat the oil.
  2. Add the Kakarakaya roundels to the oil.
  3. Stir-fry till the Kakarakaya is browned.
  4. Turn off the heat.
  5. Add the Endu Kobbari Kharam and mix well.
  6. Serve with Dal Fry-Chawal, Varan Bhaat, or Tomato Pappu Annam.



Pavakka Theeyal (Bitter Gourd in a Spiced Tamarind and Coconut Gravy)

Pavakka Theeyal or Bitter Gourd in a Coconut Tamarind Gravy
Pavakka Theeyal or Bitter Gourd in a Coconut Tamarind Gravy

One of my all-time favourite Kerala dishes is Theeyal. Theeyal can be made with many vegetables; brinjals, lady finger, shallots/madras onions,… I have already written about Theeyal with Lady Finger (Okra) and Madras Onions (Shallot).

This week I made Theeyal with Bitter Gourd (called Pavakka in Malayalam).

Time: 45 Minutes

Serves: 4


  1. Bitter Gourd, Karela or Pavakka – 2 Large
  2. Madras Onion/Shallots – 12
  3. Grated Fresh Coconut – 2/3 Cup
  4. Coriander Seeds – 2 tsp
  5. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  6. Pepper Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  7. Red Chillies – 3 or 4
  8. Grated Jaggery – 1/2 tsp
  9. Thick Tamarind Pulp – 2 tbsp
  10. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  11. Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp
  12. Curry Leaves – 6 to 8
  13. Asafoetida – A Pinch
  14. Salt to Taste


  1. Dissolve 1/2 tsp salt i 1 litre of water.
  2. Wash and dry the bitter gourd.
  3. Slice the bitter gourd into thin discs.
  4. Add the discs to salt water and let sit for 10 minutes. This removes some bitterness from the bitter gourd.
  5. Drain the water from the bitter gourd pieces and pat dry.
  6. Peel the madras onion.
  7. Powder the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and peppercorns.
  8. In a kadai, over medium heat, dry roast the grated coconut till it is golden brown.
  9. Add the red chillies and spice powder.
  10. Roast for 2 minutes.
  11. Grind the coconut spice mix with a little water into a smooth paste.
  12. In a kadai, heat the oil.
  13. Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  14. Add the madras onions and fry till they start to turn transparent.
  15. Add the bitter gourd pieces and stir-fry till the bitter gourd pieces start to brown at the edges.
  16. Add the ground coconut paste and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  17. Add turmeric powder, asafoetida, salt, and tamarind paste.
  18. Mix well.
  19. Add 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil.
  20. Add the jaggery and curry leaves.
  21. Serve hot with steamed rice and appalam.
Pavakka Theeyal - Kerala Recipes
Pavakka Theeyal – Kerala Recipes