I love bitter gourd or bitter melon (called Kakarakaya in Telugu, Pavakkai in Tamil, and Karela in Hindi) and I like it bitter. And of course my love for podis and pachadis is also well-known by now. So this Kakarakaya Podi is something I love.

Kakarakaya Karam Podi | Andhra Bitter Gourd Chutney Powder for Rice
Kakarakaya Karam Podi | Andhra Bitter Gourd Chutney Powder for Rice

I never made or had this podi till recently. I discovered a version of this Andhra Bitter Gourd Chutney Powder when I ordered some pickles during the lockdown and was give a small packet of this Karam Podi free with my order (the people I ordered from were very apologetic about the high courier rates they were having to charge me. :)) And it was love at first taste.

I researched quite a few recipes for this podi and then made my own version. The highlight of my version of Kakarakaya Karam Podi is that I have retained the bitterness of this gourd because that’s how I like it. Most recipes I saw, added salt and turmeric to either grated or sliced bitter melon and then after a while squeezed all the juice from it. I did not do this. I shallow-fried slices of the bitter gourd “as is” to make my version of this podi.

Tip: If you want to reduce the bitterness of this podi, you have three options.

  • Option 1: Double the quantities of all the other ingredients I have used.
  • Option 2: After slicing the Kakarakaya, add 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp turmeric. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, Squeeze the slices well to remove all the juice. Discard the juice and deep-fry the bitter gourd slices. The deep-frying is essential.
  • Option 3: Lightly scrape the skin off the bitter gourd.

Note: The health benefits of the bitter gourd are largely from its bitter components and so I did not do any of the three things I described.

If you have a liking for different types of Podis, do try my recipes for:

How to Make Kakarakaya Karam Podi | Pavakkai Podi

  1. Getting Started
    1. {Optional} If you want to reduce the bitterness, lightly scrape the skin off 2 medium-sized kakarakaya (bitter gourd). 
    2. Slice each kakarakaya into 1/8″ discs. I got about 1 cup of slices.
  2. Making the Spice Powder (The entire frying should happen on low flame)
    1. Over low flame, warm  a heavy bottomed pan or wok.
    2. Now, add 1/2 tsp oil. 
    3. First add the 1.5 tsp chana dal or senaga pappu, and fry till it just starts to change colour. Chana dal or bengal gram takes the longest to fry and so this is the first step.
    4. When the chana dal is just starting to change colour, add 1.5 tsp udad dal or minapa pappu.
    5. Now, fry the dals for 1-2 minutes till the udad dal starts to change colour and becomes light golden brown.
    6. At this stage, add 1/2 tsp Jeera or Jeelakarra, and 1.5 tsp Dhania or Dhaniyalu.
    7. Stir-fry for a few seconds.
    8. Now add 15-20 kadipatta and 1″ ball of tamarind.
    9. Stir-fry for 5-10 seconds. The curry leaves or kadipatta would have just lost some moisture at this stage. 
    10. Now, add 8-10 spicy red chillies or Endu Mirapakaya and 1.5 tsp til or Nuvvulu.
    11. Stir-fry till the kadipatta dries out.
    12. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  3. Frying the Bitter Gourd (I do this in another pan as the spices are frying)
    1. In a heavy-bottomed pan, over medium flame, heat 2 tsp oil. Do not add too much oil or the podi will become a paste when you grind it.
    2. Add the bitter gourd slices and fry them till them till they are golden brown and crisp. Frying the bitter gourd slices slowly and till they are brown removes the moisture.

    3. Transfer the fried kakarakaya slices to a plate and let them slices cool.
  4. Making the Kakarakaya Karam Podi
    1. First, add all ingredients except the fried bitter gourd pieces to a chutney grinder.
    2. Add some salt.
    3. Now, pulse to get a coarse powder. Do not make it a fine powder.

    4. Finally, add the fried bitter gourd pieces and pulse for a few seconds till you get a coarse chutney powder. Do not grind because it may become a lump. It is best to pulse the ingredients or grind in short bursts of a few seconds.

  5. Storing the Bitter Gourd Chutney Powder
    1. Store in an air-tight bottle. This Kakarakaya Karam Podi remains fresh for about 1 month.
  6. Serving Ideas
    1. Serve with some hot rice topped with a dollop of ghee or sesame oil.
    2. Serve as an accompaniment to Idli or Dosa.

Recipe for Kakarakaya Podi | Andhra Bitter Gourd Chutney Powder | Pavakkai Podi

Kakarakaya Podi | Andhra Bitter Gourd Chutney Powder | Pavakkai Podi

Aruna
Kakarakaya Karam Podi is a chutney powder made in Andhra Pradesh with bitter gourd. We savour this Andhra Bitter Gourd Chutney Powder with rice and ghee or then with Idli and Dosa.
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Cooling Time 10 mins
Course Accompaniments, Podi, Sides
Cuisine Andhra, Andhra Pradesh, Indian
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 29 kcal
Equipment
  • Heavy-bottomed Wok or Pan
  • Chutney Grinder or Coffee Grinder
Ingredients
  
  • 2 Small Bitter Gourds, Kakarakaya, Pavakkai, Karela (~75 gms)
  • 1.5 tsp Udad Dal, Minapa Pappu, Black Gram
  • 1.5 tsp Chana Dal, Senaga Pappu, Bengal Gram
  • 1.5 tsp Sabut Dhania, Dhaniyalu, Coriander Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Jeera, Jeelakarra, Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Til, Nuvvulu, Sesame Seeds
  • 8-10 Endu Mirapakayalu, Spicy Red Chillies
  • 15-20 Kadipatta, Karivepaku, Curry Leaves
  • 1" ball Tamarind
  • 3-4 tsp Oil
  • Salt to Taste
Instructions
 
Getting the Bitter Gourd Ready
  • Slice the bitter gourd into 1/8" thick circles and set aside. If you want to remove the bitterness, scrape the skin off the bitter gourd before cutting it into slices.
Making the Spice Powder
  • Over low flame, in a heavy bottomed pan or wok, heat 1/2 tsp oil. The entire frying should happen on low flame.
  • Add the 1.5 tsp chana dal and fry till it just starts to change colour.
  • When the chana dal is just starting to change colour, add 1.5 tsp udad dal.
  • Fry for 1-2 minutes till the udad dal starts to change colour and becomes light golden brown.
  • Next, add 1/2 tsp Jeera and 1.5 tsp Dhania.
  • Stir-fry for a few seconds.
  • Now add 15-20 kadipatta and 1" ball of tamarind.
  • Stir-fry for 5-10 seconds.
  • Add 8-10 spicy red chillies and 1.5 tsp til.
  • Stir-fry till the kadipatta dries out.
  • Transfer to a plate to cool.
Frying the Bitter Gourd
  • In a heavy-bottomed pan, over medium flame, heat 2 tsp oil. Do not add too much oil or the podi will become a paste when you grind it.
  • Add the bitter gourd slices and fry them till them till they are golden brown and crisp. The idea is to get the moisture out of the karela slices.
  • Transfer to a plate and let the slices cool.
Making the Kakarakaya Karam Podi
  • Add all ingredients except the fried bitter gourd pieces to a chutney grinder.
  • Add some salt.
  • Pulse to get a coarse powder. Do not make it a fine powder.
  • Now add the fried bitter gourd pieces and pulse for a few seconds till you get a coarse chutney powder. Do not grind because it may become a lump. It is best to pulse the ingredients or grind in short bursts of a few seconds.
Storing Instructions
  • Store in an air-tight bottle. This podi remain fresh for about 1 month.
Serving Instructions
  • Serve with some hot rice and a dollop of ghee or sesame oil.
  • Serve as an accompaniment to Idli or Dosa.
Notes
Tips: If you want to reduce the bitterness of this podi, you have three options.
  • Option 1: Double the quantities of all the other ingredients I have used.
  • Option 2: After slicing the Kakarakaya, add 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp turmeric. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, Squeeze the slices well to remove all the juice. Discard the juice and deep-fry the bitter gourd slices. The deep-frying is essential.
  • Option 3: Lightly scrape the skin off the bitter gourd.
Nutrition Facts
Kakarakaya Podi | Andhra Bitter Gourd Chutney Powder | Pavakkai Podi
Amount Per Serving
Calories 29 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 1mg0%
Potassium 42mg1%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 247IU5%
Vitamin C 46mg56%
Calcium 16mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword Bitter Gourd Chutney Powder, Kakarakaya Karam, Kakarakaya Podi, Karela Chutney Podi, Pavakkai Podi, Vegan, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Do let me know how you liked it @aahaaram or tag #aahaaram!

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