Shrimp and Bitter Melon (Karela) Recipe

10 Jan

If you don’t know what Bitter Squash/Melon or Momordica Charantia is, then I don’t blame you. As it’s not sold at local grocery stores in the US but you can find it in Asian or Spanish markets. In Goa it’s called as Karante in the local language( Konkani). Its a more popular vegetable in Asia, Africa and Caribbean.Bitter Melon or Karela shrimp recipe goan imports goan foods

In my family it was believed that it was good for diabetes but there is no proven record. You can check out the Bitter Gourd Project for more info.

Considering what you know about bitter melon this recipe will definitely surprise you with its spicy tangy and lightly sweet taste. One tip with regards to Indian food or recipes is that when you cook with all the spices it is much flavorful the next day.



Shrimp and Bitter Melon Ingredients

2 bitter melon

1 medium red onion chopped

10 medium shrimps chopped

3 tbsp of Recheado Masala (Goan Imports)

2 tbsp of ketchup

4 tbsp of oil

1/2 tsp of sugar

salt to taste


* Clean the bitter melon/ karela on the inside and thinly slice them. Apply 2 tbsp of salt and keep aside for an 1-2 hours. Rinse it in water. Pat dry with paper towel. The logic of applying lots of salt and letting it stand, is that it takes the bitterness away.

*Heat oil add the chopped onions and sauté till light brown. Add the recheado paste and sauté 2 minutes. Then put in the shrimps and fry for 3 minutes.

* Next add the bitter melon and sauté for 8-10 minutes. Finally add the ketchup, sugar and salt to taste and keep sautéing for another 5 minutes till done.


Shrimps and Bitter Melon Recipe

Serve it as a side with rice or any bread. If its kept for a couple of days it almost get’s pickled in the vinegar that’s in the recheado masala and it taste really yum! This is one of my husbands favorite Goan foods. If you don’t like bitter melon but want to substitute with another vegetable you can check out my recipe with cauliflower and shrimps.

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Shrimps and Bitter Melon Recipe (Shrimps and karela)


15 Responses to “Shrimp and Bitter Melon (Karela) Recipe”

  1. Ada ~ More Food, Please January 10, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

    I’m still getting used to eating bitter melon, but this dish looks delicious! The idea of a sweet, tangy bitter lemon sounds very interesting. 🙂

    • Nandini January 11, 2014 at 7:43 am #

      Thanks Ada :-). It does take time getting used to like this vegetable. But cooking it with a lot of spices mask the taste of bitterness.

  2. Julie January 10, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this, your dish looks very delicious.

    • Nandini January 11, 2014 at 7:45 am #

      Thank you Julie :-). I hope you try it.

  3. Glyn Ruppe-Melnyk January 11, 2014 at 6:05 am #

    What a fascinating site. I am just starting to use some of these spices and look forward to learning more. Glyn

    • Nandini January 11, 2014 at 7:50 am #

      Thank you Glyn :-). Spices do make food interesting and flavorful.

      • Glyn Ruppe-Melnyk January 11, 2014 at 10:03 am #

        and I am so glad you have a link to your shop. I ordered the pickles and the variety pack. Look for my experiments in the next few weeks! Glyn

        • Nandini January 11, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

          Thank you very much Glyn, I truly appreciate it :-). I hope you enjoy your dishes just as much as I do. And please do share your recipes.

  4. thehungrymum January 13, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

    My mouth is literally watering. Looks heavenly.

    • Nandini January 13, 2014 at 8:27 pm #

      Thank You thehungrymum 🙂

  5. Heidy L. McCallum January 15, 2014 at 11:47 pm #

    Looks wonderful ❤

    • Nandini January 16, 2014 at 10:08 am #

      Thank You Heidy 🙂

  6. elkee February 1, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

    I need to scout my local ethnic markets for some of that bitter melon. Thank you for the knowledge.

    • Nandini February 2, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

      Elkee, I hope you do find it 🙂


  1. Baked Stuffed Karela – Bitter Melon Recipe | Goan Imports - August 15, 2016

    […] Since karela is a bitter melon to rid the bitterness it requires 3 things that I think help cut the bitterness. First applying a generous amount of salt to each melon inside out and let stand for 30-45 minutes to drain out the bitter liquid. Second it need an acid and finally a little sweetness. Indian’s believe in many health benefits of karela/bitter melon you can check out more on my earlier blog post of Prawns and Bitter melon Fry by clicking here. […]

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