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Hagalakayi gojju is super delicious side dish goes well with roti, rice and more…

Hagalakayi / Bitter gourd / hagalkai is one of the most beneficial vegetables used in South Indian Cooking. Bitter Gourd aka Karela, hagala kaayi .. is as the name says it is bitter in taste but has enormous health benefits. With mustard and coconut gravy it is too good to resist. Adding jaggery to this gojju  is optional but my mom says adding jaggery to it reduces it pitta effect. People with diabetes skip adding jaggery.

This is No Onion No Garlic Recipe

My kids love this Hagalkai gojju with rotti, hot rice and even with chapati.


  • 2 medium size bitter gourd/haagalakaayi cut into half, scoop the seeds and then chop it, or
  • 1.5 to 2 cup chopped bitter gourd
  • 3 to 4 TBSP Jaggery
  • 1 to 1.5 tsp salt or salt to taste
  • few curry leaves
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 to 2.5 cup water

For Grinding:

  • 1 to 1.5 cup grated coconut
  • 6 to 8 green chillies
  • 1 tsp dry roasted sesame seeds
  • little chopped cilantro /coriander leaves
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • small key lime size tamarind soaked in water

For seasoning:

  • 3 TBSP oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustards seeds
  • pinch of hing(skip for gluten free option)


Watch video for tips and instruction in kannada!

  1. Wash and chop the bitter gourd and keep it ready. Dry roast the sesame seeds and keep it aside.
  2. Heat 3 TBSP oil in a thick bottom pan. Add hing, mustard seeds. Once the seeds pops add curry leaves and chopped bitter gourd. Also add turmeric powder, mix it well and fry it until the bitter gourd turns golden brown. It may take 10 minutes on medium flame. Stir in between.
  3. Meanwhile, grind coconut, green chillies, sesame seeds, coriander leaves and soaked tamarind along with water to a fine paste. You can add more water while grinding.
  4. Once the bitter gourd turns brown color, add the masala, jaggery and salt. And more water to get the desired consistency. I used around 1.5 cups of water.
  5. Let it boil for 10 to 15 minutes on medium low heat. After 10 to 15 minutes, consistency will become little thick. Turn off the heat.
  6. Enjoy this gojju with rice, rotti, chapati and dOse.