Kaju Karela (Bitter Gourd with Cashew Nuts) is a popular and tasty Gujarati dish. I tasted this recipe in a meal in a Gujarati Wedding. It tastes unique with a blend of sweet, spicy and tangy taste. It is also a part of the Gujarati Thali in restaurants. Try this unique Kaju Karela.
Bitter Gourd (Karela / Pavakkai) – 300 Gms
Oil – 1 tbsp
Cumin Seed – ½ tsp
Poppy Seeds (Khus Khus) – 1 tsp
Onion – 2 (sliced)
Raisin (Kismis) – 2 tbsp
Cashew Nuts – 2 tbsp
Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
Coriander Seed Powder – 1 tsp
Cumin Seed Powder – ½ tsp
Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
Salt to taste
Grated Jaggery – 2 tbsp (or more as required)
Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp
Scrape the skin of the Karela lightly and cut into lengthy pieces.
Discard the seeds if they are hard.
Take the Karela in a bowl. Add 1 tsp of Salt and rub the salt to the Karela and mix well. Allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Squeeze the Karela well with hands and take out the liquid which is formed when it was resting. Wash it well and drain the water. This process helps in reducing the bitterness of the Karela.
Heat 1 tbsp of Oil in a pan. Add the Karela and roast in medium flame till they turn golden brown. Remove and keep aside.
Heat 1 tbsp of Oil in the same pan. Roast the Cashew Nuts. Transfer it to a small plate.
Add Khus Khus and Cumin Seed to the oil in the pan. Let it crackle. Add Sliced Onion. Stir cook till the Onion turn translucent.
Add turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and chili powder.
Add the roasted Karela. Mix well for a couple of minutes. Add 1 ½ cup of water. Mix again. Cover with a lid and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes in medium flame.
Add Raisins, Cashew Nuts and the Jaggery.
Mix and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Switch off the flame.
Add Lemon Juice. Mix well. The consistency would be semi thick gravy.
Transfer to a serving bowl.
You can also deep fry the Karela instead of roasting.
Add Cumin Seeds first and allow it to crackle and then add the Poppy Seeds.