Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Karathe Nonche (Bitter gourd Pickle)

Karathe Nonche is a popular Konkani dish. In konkani, karathe means bitter gourd (bitter melon) and nonche means pickle. I got this recipe from my mother. 

This dish is not the usual pickle which can be stored in jars, for months. This pickle is cooked and served immediately, hot/ warm. My mother makes this once in a while. This pickle has a very different taste. The bitterness, spiciness, sweetness, sourness are all well balanced. Do give it a try and get the goodness from bitter gourd :-)

  • Bitter gourd, small sized- 2
  • Jaggery- 2-3 Tbsp (adjust accordingly)
  • Tamarind paste- 1/2 tsp
  • Salt- To taste
For roasting:
  • Dry Red chilli (byadgi variety)- 5-6
  • Mustard seeds- 2 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds/ Methi- 1/4 tsp
  • Asafoetida (hing)- 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1/8 tsp
For Seasoning:
  • Oil- 1-2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves- Few


Wash bitter gourd. Chop off the ends and then cut it open to remove the seeds.

Then chop it into small cubes.

Then put the chopped bitter gourd in a bowl and add salt to it. Keep it for half an hour. After half an hour, squeeze out the extra moisture (bitterness) from the bitter gourd pieces and then keep it aside.

Now roast the dry red chillies with few drops of oil until it changes its color slightly. Then transfer it to a plate. Now in the same pan start roasting the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds until a nice aroma is got. Then turn off the heat and add asafoetida and turmeric powder immediately. Mix well and fry for few seconds. Then transfer it onto a plate/ bowl and allow it to cool.
Now grind the roasted spices along with tamarind to get a fine powder. Then add few tablespoons of water, so as to get a fine paste. Set it aside.

Now start heating water in a small pot, just enough to cook the bitter gourd pieces. When it comes to a boil, add in the prepared bitter gourd cubes and allow it to cook for 8-10 minutes, on a medium flame.

Once the bitter gourd pieces are soft (not mushy), add the ground masala, jaggery and salt. Mix well. Adjust the consistency of the pickle by adding water (I kept it medium thick). At this point taste it and check if salt/ tamarind/ jaggery is required. Allow it to boil for 3-4 minutes. Then turn off the heat and then add the seasoning.

For Seasoning: Heat oil. Then add mustard seeds. Once it starts spluttering, add curry leaves and turn off the heat. Add this to the prepared pickle and mix well.

Serve it hot or warm, as a side dish to rice. Above measurement serves 3-4 people.

Note: You can also add chopped bamboo shoots (canned or brined) along with bitter gourd pieces. It adds a wonderful flavor and crunch to the pickle.