Bitter Melon Indian Style

01 Bitter Melon

Bitter melon (bitter gourd) is one of the most bitter tasting of all vegetables as you can tell by its name.  Adding a few other vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, bell peppers and onions will help with the bitterness of this vegetable.

The bitter melon will look like this when you cut them length wise.

02 Bitter Melon

If the seeds are tender, leave them.

03 Bitter Melon

But if the seeds are tough you will need to core and remove them with a spoon because the tough seeds will harden even more after cooking.

04 Bitter Melon

I like adding lots of onions because it adds sweetness and makes it taste better.

05 Bitter Melon

First sauté potatoes in coconut oil for 5 minutes.

06 Bitter Melon

07 Bitter Melon






Then add onions

08 Bitter Melon

Cook onions for 7-8 minutes.

09 Bitter Melon

Add spices and salt, stir to coat well.

10 Bitter Melon

Add prepared bitter melons.

11 Bitter Melon

Stir them well to coat them with spices properly.

12 Bitter Melon

Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until done, stirring every 5 minutes or so.

13 Bitter Melon

Bitter Melon Indian Style

Servings: 6-8    Prep time: 30 minutes  Cook time: 35 minutes


  • 4 Tbsp coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 Lb bitter melons, washed and chopped into 1/4 inch pieces. Core them with a spoon if seeds are tough, discard tough seeds. 
  • Note: If you want to reduce bitterness of these melons – sprinkle 1 Tbsp of salt over chopped bitter melons, stir to coat them well and leave them for 20-30 minutes. Wash them well and drain in a colander.
  • 2 medium sized onions, 1 chopped into small pieces and 1 into bigger pieces, see the picture above (its not necessary to chop them into two different sizes, I like this way because the bigger pieces add sweetness to the dish.)
  • 2 medium sized potatoes (or sweet potatoes, carrots, beets or bell pepper or combination), wash them well. Quarter and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Leave the skin on if using organic potatoes, otherwise peel them before cutting.
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped


1 tsp turmeric

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp roasted and ground cumin

1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed

1 tsp coconut sugar or maple syrup (optional)

1 tsp salt


1. Heat coconut oil on medium heat in a thick bottom pan.

2. Add potatoes, sauté for 5 minutes.

3. Add chopped onions and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add spices and salt, stir them well with onions and potatoes for 1 minute.

5. Add prepared bitter melons, stir to coat them well.

6. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until done, stirring every 5 minutes or so.

7. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Enjoy bitter melon over rice, quinoa or millet or with Indian flat bread.

I am really interested to know how you like it when you try this recipe, please share your comments in the comments section below.

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