No-Fry Karela Crispies (Bitter Melon)

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 45 mins

I was horrified, then fascinated, then in love with this strange (to me) little vegetable dish when I had it mixed with potatoes in a dry curry at my local Indian vegetarian lunch counter. It's a very strong flavor, so if you make this and aren't yet familiar with it, you've been warned! ;o) I haven't yet tried it, but I'm looking around for various bitter melon recipes (aka bitter gourd).


  1. Preheat the oven to about 375°F.
  2. Wash the bitter melon and slice them using a mandolin slicer into thin round slices.
  3. Mix with salt, turmeric and chilli powder and marinate for about 1/2 an hour. Squeeze excess moisture out.
  4. Spread foil on a baking tray and grease it with about a tbsp oil. Toss the bitter melon slices with 2 tbsp oil and spread them on the baking tray.
  5. Bake for about 5-7 mins and then broil it for 7 minutes Depending on the type of your oven, the broiling might be a few mins more or less. Crispy Karela -- without frying!
Most Helpful

Delicious and sooo healthy! This version is much more flavorful than the deep fried version I'm most familiar with. I like to add a small amount of lemon or lime juice to curb the bitterness.

mata bhumi February 03, 2013

My first taste of Bitter Melon and I found it very pleasing. The recipe didn't say to remove the seeds but I saw on another recipe that they removed them. After slicing the melon the seeds were all cut and looked weird so I removed them and the white mwmbrane leaving lovely green circles.. I put the sliced melon on paper towels , sprinkled salt over it and put a paper towel on top -left it for 45 minutes. A lot of moisture came out. Then I mixed the tumeric & chili (Iwas generous with the chili) in a zip lock bag added the melon, shook it well to coat all the pieces and put it in the fridge for a couple of hours. Just before baking I added 1 tbsp of oil and baked them at 375 for apprz 15 minutes. They weren't really crisp but they sure were tasty. The flavor is hard to describe -It is bitter but not unplesantly so. Will make again.

Bergy June 15, 2009

This is how we make karela at home. to snickels, all i can say is it is a very acquired taste, but to tone it down, best peel and coarsely grate a potato into straws, wash a few times in cold water, drain and and deep fry. Add this to karela to tone down the bitterness.

Sudika January 12, 2009