Bitter melon tarkari

Bitter melon is one of the common seasonal vegetables in Nepal. It is also considered to have many health benefits and although bitter in taste, it is desired by most of the people. It is good for various stomach and intestinal disorders including gastrointestinal (GI) upset, ulcer, colitis, constipation and intestinal worms and is also used for diabetes, kidney stones, fever, psoriasis and liver disease. It is also considered helpful to start menstruation and supportive treatment for people with HIV/AIDS. However, it also has some side effects.

Nevertheless, it is one of the favorite vegetable for many Nepalese and this article talks about a way of cooking bitter melon tarkari.


4 cups sliced in one inch length bitter melon

1 cup finely diced onion

1 cup sliced in 1 inch length red pepper

5 dried red chilies

3 minced fresh red chilies

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp minced ginger

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp curry powder

2 cups yogurt

3 tbsp cooking oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp chopped cilantro for garnish



First of all, take a large pot of well salted boiling water. Blanch the bitter melon slices for a few minutes and transfer them to ice bath, this reduces the bitterness of bitter melon. Then, heat a non-stick sauce pan and add oil to it. When the oil is heated, fry the mustard seeds and red chilies until they turn dark. Then, add onion and green pepper and fry the mixture until it turns brown. Add turmeric, curry powder, chilies, garlic and ginger and mix it thoroughly for a minute or two. Then, add the blanched bitter melon and stir fry it for about five minutes. Then, add yogurt and salt to the bitter melon mixture and mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Now, cover the pan and cook for another ten minutes on medium heat or cook until the desired consistency of stew has been gained. Then, garnish it with chopped cilantro and your bitter melon tarkari is ready to be served with steamed rice.