Kalara Chadchadi | Bitter Gourd in Mustard Paste


a healthy side dish using the bitter vegetable, Karela / Kalara / Bitter Gourd from Odia cuisine

Karela !!!!

Karela (in hindi) / kalara (in odia) / bitter gourd is one of the healthiest vegetables in the food world and is considered as a staple in many types of Asian cuisine. This has either long or medium short length with pointed ends, the outer skin is rough with jagged spikes all over. In addition to its sharp flavor (bitter) and distinct appearance, there are many impressive health benefits by the regular consumption of bitter gourd. It is an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B3, C, magnesium, folate, zinc, phosphorus, manganese and has high dietary fiber. It is rich in iron and contains twice the beta-carotene of broccoli, twice the calcium of spinach and also twice the potassium of a banana, according to a health source. Even drinking raw karela juice is full of advantages as it contains essential vitamins as well as antioxidants.


Some more health benefits of bitter gourd :

  • Helps to reduce blood sugar
  • Acts as a blood purifier
  • Helps in weight loss
  • Boosts immune system
  • Great for diabetes etc.


Culinary uses : 

Bitter gourd aka karela is easy to prepare and can be used in many different recipes. It can be enjoyed raw or in cooked form. One can use it as a vegetable, pickle or as a juice. Chips of this vegetable sounds a perfect crispy snack, even some paratha can be prepared with this vegetable as a stuffing.

Here I have come up with a odia special recipe using this healthy vegetable, karela as Kalara Chadchadi / Bitter gourd in mustard paste.

Do check some karela based recipe from this blog –

Ingredients for kalara chadchadi :

  1. Bitter gourd – Bitter gourds are here used in cubes form. One can simply slice the karela and use it to make the chadchadi. 
  2. Potato – For the uniformity, potatoes are also cut in cube forms.
  3. Onion – This is used in tempering part in chopped form.
  4. Pancha phutana – A combination of cumin seed, mustard seed, fenugreek seed, fennel seed and onion seed is this pancha phutana / panch phoron. This is a must in most odia dish tempering part.
  5. Garlic clove, whole red chili, cumin seed, mustard seed – All these 4 ingredients are used to make a fine paste along with very little amount of water and this paste is the main flavor in the dish.Turmeric powder & Red chili powder – These two are the spice powders used in this dish.
  6. Badi (sun dried lentil dumplings) – It gives nice crunch to the dish. This is an optional addition, if using then simply fry them with or without oil first and then use.
  7. Mustard oil – Mustard oil gives the authentic flavor, still one can use any other oil.
  8. Salt – This is added as per the taste.

Making procedure of this dish :

In a mixing bowl first all the bitter gourd (karela / kalara) cubes and potato cubes are mixed well with turmeric powder, red chili powder and salt. Then mustard oil is heated in a pan. When oil is hot enough, pancha phutana (panch phoron) along with 1 whole red chili are added and allowed to crackle. Then chopped onions are added and saute till slightly transparent. Next bitter gourd and potato cubes are added and everything is well mixed using a spoon and also saute for 4-5 minutes. 

Meanwhile, a fine paste of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, 2 whole red chilies, garlic cloves are prepared in a grinder jar. After 4-5 minutes, the masala paste is mixed well. Around 1/2 cup water is poured and stirred well. The pan is then covered and allowed to cook till all the vegetables are well done over low-medium heat. At last, some fried badi (sun dried lentil dumplings) are roughly crushed and sprinkled  over. The dish is ready to serve now !

Dietary note :

    ✔ Vegetarian & Vegan
    ✔ Healthy side dish
    ✔ Odia Cuisine
    ✔ Dairy & Gluten free

      The event related to this post :

      Monday is here again and thFoodie Monday Blog Hop team has decided the 262th theme as ‘Bitter, but Good which is suggested by me this time. Basically we all have to make dish with a bitter ingredinte as the major part of the dish. So here I have come up with this Kalara Chadchadi | Bitter Gourd in Mustard Paste and contributed for the theme.

      And, yes !!!

      If you like the recipe shared here and give a try at your place then do share in INSTAGRAM by tagging #firsttimercook. I would be so happy to see and surely share in my INSTA stories 😊😊

      Now let’s go through how to make “Kalara Chadchadi” at home 👇

        : Recipe Card :

        Kalara Chadchadi | Bitter Gourd in Mustard Paste


        Kalara Chadchadi | Bitter Gourd in Mustard Paste

        Author: sasmita

        Prep time: 10 MCook time: 20 MTotal time: 30 M

        a healthy side dish using the bitter vegetable, Karela / Kalara / Bitter Gourd from Odia cuisine


        • Bitter gourd (cubes) 1.5 cup
        • Potato (cubes) 1 cup
        • Onion (chopped) (medium) 1 no.
        • Garlic clove 6-7 no.
        • Whole red chili 2-3 no.
        • Pancha phutana 1/2 tsp
        • Cumin seed 1 tsp
        • Mustard seed 1 tbsp
        • Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
        • Red chili powder 1/2 tsp
        • Salt as needed
        • Water as needed
        • Mustard oil 2 tbsp


        1. In a mixing bowl, take bitter gourd (karela / kalara) cubes and potato cubes.
        2. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt and mix well.
        3. Now heat mustard oil in a pan.
        4. When oil is hot enough, add pancha phutana (panch phoron) along with 1 whole red chili and allow to crackle.
        5. Then add chopped onions and saute till slightly transparent.
        6. Now add bitter gourd and potato cubes and mix everything well.
        7. Saute for 4-5 minutes.
        8. Meanwhile, make a fine paste of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, 2 whole red chilies, garlic cloves in a grinder jar.
        9. After 4-5 minutes, add this paste and mix well.
        10. Pour 1/2 cup water and adjust salt.
        11. Give a nice stir and cover the pan.
        12. Allow to cook till all the vegetables are well done over low-medium heat.
        13. Serve hot as a side dish along with steamed rice dal combo or with pakhala pasara (water rice) !


        Some fried badis can be added towards the end of the dish. This gives a nice crunch to the dish. I have skipped this addition.
        As this is bitter, so I will recommend to make this a little spicy to balance. But this is optional.
        Mustard oil gives the authentic flavor, still one can use any other oil.


        Vegetarian side dish, Kalara, Mustard paste, Bitter gourd, Mustard oil, Potato, Onion, Karela, Kalara, Panch Phoron

        Side dish, Vegetarian, Odia dish, Kalara Chadchadi, Vegan, Gluten free, Healthy dry dish, Gluten free, Diary free


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        1. Priya Iyer

          A very unique and interesting way of cooking bitter gourd, for me. I can imagine the brilliant taste of the dish, with the mustard paste going in. Lovely recipe. Thanks for sharing it in so much detail.

        2. Mayuri Patel

          Sometimes I make a potato and karela mixture sabji but with Gujarati flavors. This one with panch phoron, mustard paste looks very flavorful and tempting. Love the idea of adding badis.

        3. Priya Vj

          This is a very new way of preparing karela with aloo ..the usage of mustard paste sounds really interesting.

        4. Sujata Roy

          This potato bitter gourd sabji looks so inviting Sasmita. I also used to make a bitter gourd sabji like this but without potato add amchur at the end. Next time I will try your version. Its looks so tempting. Loved adding badi. I will try with badi. Perfect to start a meal with hot steamed rice.

        5. Poonam Bachhav

          Interesting combination of bitter gourd and potatoes. Can imagine the flavors of mustard paste and panch photana on the dish.

        6. preethi'scuisine

          Karela Sabzi looks scrumptious. Never tried with mustard paste and badi. Another delicious recipe from your kitty.

        7. Vasusvegkitchen

          I love Odisha recipes a lot, Kalara chadchadi looks very tasty with stunning presentation. Love the flavors,taste of bitter gourd and potatoes in mustard paste.I like to add some crispy badi on it.

        8. Narmadha

          wow. bitter gourd and potato curry looks absolutely scrumptious and inviting. Mustard paste will add whole lot of flavor for the dish.

        9. Kalyani

          such a new dish with garlic, karela and badi… this would go so well with dal-rice, right ?

          1. Sasmita

            yes kalyani, with rice-dal combo this pairs perfect !

        10. Meera Girdhar

          Really Interesting recipe. Surely gone try this

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