Keema Karela or minced meat with bitter gourd curry is an option for those who want to enjoy Karela without the tongue-shocking bitterness that comes with this green veggie.
Though I must admit that you will still taste a little bit of bitterness from this dish, nothing like when you eat karela-only curry on its own. Because, hey, the meat does a good job in balancing the taste of bitter gourd with its juicy sweetness. Plus, the spices and everything else in the ingredients work well together to present you with a mouthwatering curry that offers health benefits.
Just a little reminder, karela is a green vegetable from South East Asia that tastes very bitter but it is good for our health. It is also called bitter melon, and in Indonesia, it’s called Paria.
Though I’m familiar with this vegetable, I wasn’t too keen on it. Because the way the Indonesians cook this super bitter veggie was just too much for me. Now, I’ve learned how to cook it in a Pakistani way by mixing the veggie with minced meat, I’ve converted.
It’s one of the menu items I cherish whenever I make it.
Not only is it tasty to have, but it makes me happy to think about the possibility of the karela’s goodness for our health.
Ways To Enjoy This Bitter Gourd Curry With Mince Meat
Before I go on, let me remind you that this recipe can be cooked as a dry type of curry or curry with gravy. I suggest you make it dry if you want to enjoy this keema karela with flatbread like roti/ chapati, naan bread, or pita bread. But if you want to have it with rice, you may want to cook the curry with a bit of gravy. Your choice.
What You Need
Essentially, you only need five different types of ingredients for this dish, i.e. minced meat, karela/ bitter gourd, tomatoes, spices and oil.
As for the meat, you can use any type of meat. But red meat tastes better for karela. I prefer lamb mince any day. Though I sometimes cook it with beef mince/ ground beef as well.
The spices we use for the dish are more or less the same as any Pakistani curry using keema/ mincemeat such as Keema Matar or Aloo Keema. You will need onions, ginger, garlic, whole cumin seeds, ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric powder, ground black pepper, and red chilli powder. As an optional addition, I also use Kalonji the black seed Nigella Sativa. Because I love the fragrance and the benefits that the black seeds have to offer.
How To Cook Keema Karela
So, first, you get your karela ready. The following steps are optional. If you prefer to keep the bitterness in your karelas, you can just simply deseed and slice them. But if you want to slightly reduce the bitterness, you can try this method that I always do.
Deseed and slice the karelas then sprinkle a teaspoon of salt over. Rub it a little to ensure all the pieces are covered with salt. Leave it to rest for about 10 minutes before you rinse it under running water as you rub the karela pieces. You will feel the outer side of the vegetables get softened a little bit.
Next, you pan roast the bitter gourd on a large frying pan until it’s wilted and lightly golden. I often cook until it’s slightly turning brown. As the smell is nicer too.
Then, peel and slice the onion. Mince the ginger and garlic.
On a cooking pan, heat the oil and fry the onion with whole cumin seeds and black seeds until the onions become translucent and fragrant.
Place the minced meat in the onions and cook until the meat brown.
Then put the minced ginger-garlic, all the spices and salt into the meat. Mix well and fry further for about 2-3 minutes until the spices release aroma.
Add in the chopped tomatoes. You can use fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes. Let it cook with the lid on at medium heat for about 10-15 minutes. Keep checking every now and again as you mash the tomatoes.
When the tomatoes have become smooth gravy, put the roasted karelas in and stir well. You can add some water here. Then cook further with the lid on for another 10-15 minutes until the curry looks luscious and the oil slightly separated from the edges.
Thank you for reading the post. I hope you’re now intrigued to try this bitter gourd curry with minced meat. I would love to have your comments on what you think about the recipe to leave a reply below. And follow me on Instagram, Facebook and/ or Pinterest @soyummyrecipesbydevy to sneak a peek at what’s cooking in my kitchen.
Before you go, don’t forget to check my other recipes you may like.
- Aloo Gosht: potato and meat curry.
- Lauki Gosht: bottle gourd and meat curry.
- Lamb kofta.
- Keema Paratha.
- Chicken Karahi.
- Chicken Seekh Kabab.
Thank you and all the best.