January 18, 2014

Kakarakaya Vepudu in Gravy (Fried Bitter gourd dumplings in Gravy)

How to make Kakarakaya Vepudu in Gravy

             After Paavakkai Pitlay, it's been a while since i posted anything like it. So here is yet another recipe with Bitter gourd (Paavarkaai in Tamil, Karela in Hindi), which is an unpalatable vegetable for some (although, there are a whole lot of people who would beg to differ). This is a two-in-one recipe cos' you can stop half way through the process & enjoy the Bitter gourd Pakodas as a starter or go all the way making the gravy to enjoy it with your meal. Either ways, you will not regret trying this recipe. As I've revealed earlier, I have grown to like this bitter vegetable over the years - if i can relish this dish; then the die hard Bitter gourd fans out there will love this for sure. These Pakodas are the soft kind (so they absorb the gravy & stay soft); if you want to make it a little crispier, you can add a Tbsp of Rice flour to the batter. This is one more recipe of Chef Jacob's that i had written down in my recipe diary. Sending this over to Srivalli's CCChallenge #4 week 3.

Kakarakaya Vepudu in Gravy (Fried Bitter gourd dumplings in Gravy)

Kakarakaya Vepudu in Gravy (Fried Bitter gourd dumplings in Gravy)

Ingredients for the Bitter gourd Pakodas (dumplings):

Mix the 1st three items & set aside-
Dilute Tamarind water
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 Tsp
Salt - 1/2 Tsp

6 medium sized bitter gourd - cleaned, seeded & chopped
2 medium Onions - Sliced
6 Tbsp Bengal Gram Flour
Turmeric powder - 1/4 Tsp
Salt to taste
1 Tsp Red Chilli powder/Paprika
1 Tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
1/4 cup Ground coconut paste
Oil for frying

Ingredients for the Gravy:

1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp powdered Jaggery
Salt to taste
1.5 Tbsp Tamarind paste/pulp (Or use a lemon sized ball of tamarind)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 Tsp
1 Tsp Red Chilli powder/Paprika
1 Tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
1/4 cup ground coconut paste
1 Tbsp cooking Oil

Directions for the Bitter gourd Pakodas (Fried dumplings) -

  • As the Bitter gourd is being chopped, add the pieces to the Tamarind water mixture. 

  • When all the prep work is done, heat some oil in a wok for frying.
  • Drain the Tamarind water mixture, out of the Bitter gourd pieces. Squeeze out any excess water from the Bitter gourd.
  • To the squeezed Bitter gourd, add Bengal Gram flour & other listed ingredients, except the Oil. Try not to add any water - as the moisture in the ingredients should be enough for the Pakodas (dumplings). Check seasoning. 

  • When the oil is hot, space out & drop couple of spoonfuls of the veggie-batter to the oil & fry until it's golden brown & cooked thoroughly.
  • Remove from oil & place on absorbent paper to remove excess oil. 
  • Your Bitter gourd Pakodas (dumplings) are ready to be eaten as such, if you like.

Directions for the Gravy -

  • Heat 1 Tbsp of Oil, in a pan - add chopped onions & saute until translucent, follow with Ginger-Garlic paste, saute for few more minutes.
  • Add all the dry ingredients listed & saute until you lose the raw flavors. Follow with Tamarind pulp, some water & let it come to a boil. 
  • Finally add the coconut paste, simmer for a few minutes & turn off the heat.
  • The final step is to toss the fried Bitter gourd Pakodas in this gravy & serve hot with Rice, Brinji or Roti.


  • The ingredients listed for the Pakodas, will yield in additional Pakodas for you to eat as a snack with some Chutney or ketchup. If you do not wish to have them for snack & only want to make enough for the gravy - reduce the quantity of Bitter gourd & other ingredients accordingly.
  • For the Pakodas - Make sure the batter is not runny - you will just need enough moisture to hold the ingredients together. 
  • If you would like to make crispy Pakodas, substitute a Tbsp of Rice flour for a Tbsp of Bengal gram flour in the batter.

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