Dry Curry, Sizzling Tastebuds

Hagalakayi Upkari | Bittergourd dry curry | Konkani Cuisine

Some dishes do have the ability to bowl you over with their sheer punch… I am a self confessed bitter gourd hater, and didnt like it in any form – gojju / sambhar or palya (dry curry). Sis on the other hand loved it to bits, so Amma used to make two different  curries the day she cooked Bitter gourd, and the situation was no different after marriage. S can have bitter gourd almost everyday – in fact he likes the bitterness so much that he forbade me to add any jaggery while cooking this veggie… 

Alas, the brain does mature, and being in the midst of knowledge explosion, one is bombarded with information on the goodness of Karela (bittergourd). So, while I was talking to my friend in Bangalore last week, she told me about this wonderful curry that she has started making almost twice a week with Karela, and with no bitterness at all. Now, I was a little sceptical, and the doubting Thomases took ground in my brain, till I finally tasted it, and apart from a tinge of bitterness, it was good to go.

Upkari is a catch-all term in Brahminical Konkani cuisine (and also extends to coastal Karnataka) to describe veg curries (mostly dry) made with veggies alone or with a mixture or any whole lentils (eg : Beans – chickpeas, potato-green gram etc) along with a coconut masala paste.. So, today I added boiled and mashed green grams along with a little gramflour. For all those Karela lovers out there, you dont need any new excuse to eat this, do you ? Sending this to Alphabet H under Blogging Marathon # 32and also to Valli’s Side Dish Mela…


Prep time – 15 mins | Cook time : 15 min | Serves : 2

Bittergourd dry curry with gramflour-coconut masala

Serving suggestions : Rasam / Kozhambu / Roti / Phulka


  • Fresh bitter gourd – 1 large or 2 medium
  • Boiled Green Gram – 4 TBSP (optional)
  • Coconut –  2 TBSP grated
  • Gramflour – 2 TBSP
  • Jeera – 1/2 tsp
  • Red chillies – 1 or 2
  • Asafoetida – a generous pinch
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  • Til seeds / sesame seeds – 1/2 tsp (toasted) – optional
  • Tempering :Mustard seeds, curry leaves


Scrape bittergourd slightly, and scoop out the seeds & cut into half moon thickish roundels

Wash the cut pieces and steam for 1 whistle in the pressure cooker with a pinch of turmeric.

Drain out all the water.

In 1/2 tsp of oil, roast the chillies separately. Dry roast the gramflour for 1-2 mins

Grind coconut, jeera, asafoetida, chillies, gramflour and salt to a smooth paste with very little water

In a pan, heat remaining oil. Splutter mustard seeds and curry leaves. Add the cooked bitter gourd and saute for 2 mins, taking care not to mash it up. Now add the ground paste and saute till the raw smell disappears…

Check for salt. and add the boiled and mashed green gram. Stir for 1-2 mins. Add the gramflour and toss it a bit

Finish with toasted sesame seeds and serve 



  1. oh that is so homey and comforting!!!


  2. Very comforting dish..

  3. This upkari sounds prefect for me since i love bittergourd very much..I'll makes some definitely.

  4. Gayathri Kumar

    Looks so yummy. I love bitter gourd and this preparation is quite interesting…

  5. vaishali sabnani

    Kalyani I am very fond of Karela and can eat them even if they ate bitter..normally I never use any sugar in them.

  6. cookingwithsapana

    This upkari sounds delicious ! Will try it ..

  7. wow upkari looks super yummy and make me hungry dear !! 🙂 very interesting recipe 🙂

  8. The Pumpkin Farm

    hmm strange, that simple recipes, behind your backyard go unnoticed thru a food blogger's eye…i love karela only in this form, my help, makes it awesome

  9. looks so yumm never made it but tempting me to try it.

  10. Look so delicious.

  11. Chef Mireille

    looks appetizing

  12. Ok picture looks very inviting, though I never eat bitter gourd!

  13. Very inviting picture..

  14. That's such an interesting way to cook bittergourd. It sounds delicious. Will definitely try it soon.

  15. Sandhya Karandikar

    I love Upkari. My friend who is a GSB always sends me when she makes some special Upkari. Your Karela recipe is very interesting and I am sure a hit with my husband and I as we both love Karela.

  16. We love bittergourd and you know this one is being bookmarked. I esp love the sesame garnish 🙂

  17. Very interesting dish..

  18. My all time favorite vege but nobody will eat at home liiks delicious.

  19. I too can't stand karela except in one dish. My parents are like your husband and my mom used to add a tiny amount of jaggery and growing up, I used to hate the bitter stuff. Now when you are vouching for this dish, let me try and tell you how this went.

  20. Sandhya Ramakrishnan

    I love bitter gourd and thankfully everyone in my house likes it as well…We grow a ton of this each year and I love this way of making it. I also add a little bit of jaggery when making the curry to get my kids to eat it 🙂

  21. I love karela and can have it in anyform. Pitla,mezhukku piratti ec are good ways o have it.will try this too sometime…

  22. This is new to me…should try soon

  23. I love karela so this one is bookmarked.Thanks

  24. I am a bit confused.. it's mentioned that roasted gramflour has to be ground with coconut. But then it's asked to be tossed later on. Can someone clarify this?

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