Bitter Gourd, Potato and Onion Sabzi

20 Nov

This is a simple, no-spice dry vegetable dish that I like to carry as packed lunch to work or on a journey. No spill, no stain. Easy on the intestines. Nutritious. And tastes great – if you are a bitter gourd hater, this is the best bet to bring you over to the other camp.

The proportion of ingredients in bitter gourd, potato and onion sabzi goes by the "measure of twos" in my book. Adjust it as you like.

You Need:

  • Bitter gourd – 2 small
  • Potatoes – 2 small
  • Onions – 2 small
  • Mustard oil – 2 teaspoons
  • Water – 2 teaspoons
  • Salt – to taste

How To Make Bitter Gourd, Potato and Onion Sabzi:

1. Cut the veggies

Scrape the skin of the bitter gourd, slit vertically and slice into thin half-moons.

To reduce the bitterness: follow tip#A from How to Reduce the Bitterness of Bitter Gourd. [The sharp-eyed will notice that this recipe follows tip# D from the same article.]

Scrape the skin of the potatoes , and as with bitter gourds, slit vertically and slice into thin half-moons.

Peel, cut off the top and root ends of onions, slice in half lengthwise through the center and then slice the onions from pole to pole. [It doesn’t really matter to the taste how you slice it – rings will do just as well – but it brings symmetry to the shapes and sizes in the stir fry.]

2. On the fire

Heat mustard oil in a non-stick kadhai. When smoking hot, add the potato slices and set the heat to medium-low. Cook covered for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bitter gourd slices. Cook covered for another 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onions next, and continue to cook covered.

At any time, if the vegetables stick to the bottom of the pan, sprinkle a few drops of water and pry them out gently. Bitter gourd will give off its own water too, you don’t need to add too much.

When the onions begin to brown, sprinkle salt. Cook uncovered for the last 3-4 minutes so that all the water evaporates.

Serve with parathas and raita – I like this with a sweet-tinged one like anar raita or carrot onion raita to complement the flavour of bitter gourd.


Bitter Gourd, Potato and Onion Sabzi


The word "sabzi" is Hindi/Urdu for a cooked vegetable dish. Interestingly, the word also stands for a raw vegetable. So, raw potato (aloo) is a sabzi, and dum aloo i.e. potato curry is also a sabzi.

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