Karela Gosht
Karela Gosht
5 from 4 votes
Bitter gourd, aka, karela in Urdu is loved for its benefits and despised for its bitter taste. However, with this recipe, even karela critics will fall in love. Tender lamb pieces paired with the karela make this curry delicious and tasty!
Karela Gosht

Karela Gosht is a delightful blend of lamb and bitter gourd, seasoned with aromatic spices. Dive into this article to explore its roots, diverse versions, and the art of preparing it flawlessly.

Karela Gosht! Just the name itself can take me on a culinary journey through time and regions. This exquisite dish, boasting lamb and bitter gourd as its main protagonists, has its roots deeply embedded in the rich and diverse culinary landscape of South Asia.

Originating from the Indian subcontinent, it’s a delicacy that showcases how two seemingly opposite ingredients can dance together in a flavourful symphony.

Making Karela Gosht isn’t a walk in the park; it’s more of a rhythmic waltz. While it does require some patience and a bit of finesse, I wouldn’t necessarily dub it the most challenging dish on the block. But, just like any dance, it’s the little twists and turns that make all the difference.

Diversity is the hallmark of any enduring recipe, and Karela Gosht is no exception. The recipe I’m about to delve into represents one of its finest versions.

However, depending on the region and family traditions, you might encounter slight variations in ingredients and cooking methods. Some might add a dash of yoghurt for creaminess, while others might sprinkle a handful of fenugreek leaves for an added aroma.

So, what’s the secret behind the impeccable harmony of lamb and bitter gourd? The lamb, with its robust and meaty flavour, balances out the sharp bitterness of the karela.

But it doesn’t just stop there; the magic is further amplified by the symphony of spices like turmeric, chilli, and the staple garlic paste.

Tomatoes and green chillies, the supporting actors in this play, bring a tangy kick and a hint of heat, respectively. And trust me, when all these elements come together, the result is nothing short of a culinary masterpiece.

Karela Gosht is more than just a dish. It’s a testament to the beauty of culinary experimentation and the timeless allure of traditional recipes.

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a newbie, this dish promises a flavourful adventure you wouldn’t want to miss. So, tie up that apron, gather your ingredients, and let’s dive into the world of Karela Gosht.

What Ingredients to Use & Why

The building blocks of any culinary creation. Every ingredient has its purpose, its unique contribution to the symphony of flavours and textures that a dish brings to the table.

In the realm of Karela Gosht, these ingredients not only offer taste but also have some deep-rooted cultural significance. Let’s embark on a flavourful journey, dissecting each ingredient and understanding its role.

Lamb (Gosht): The star of the dish, lamb offers a rich, succulent taste that makes it a favourite protein choice in many cuisines.

In Karela Gosht, the lamb lends a hearty and meaty flavour which, when simmered for an extended period, absorbs the spices and melds beautifully with the bitterness of the karela.

If you’re looking to experiment or are not a fan of lamb, goat meat is a close alternative, providing almost similar textures and flavours.

Bitter Gourd (Karela): Often misunderstood, the karela brings a unique bitterness which, when combined with the spices and lamb, creates a harmonious blend. It’s this contrast in taste that makes the dish so intriguing.

If you’re wary about the bitterness, zucchinis can be a milder substitute, though it won’t provide the same authentic experience.

Olive Oil: A healthier choice for frying, olive oil gives a subtle, earthy undertone to the dish. Though traditionally ghee or mustard oil might be used, olive oil provides a modern twist, making the dish lighter. If you’re looking for a closer taste to tradition, ghee is a wonderful alternative.

Onions: The backbone of many South Asian dishes, onions provide a natural sweetness and depth to the Karela Gosht. When caramelized, they give a richness that complements the robustness of lamb and the starkness of karela.

Tomatoes: Introducing a tangy zest, tomatoes balance out the flavours. They also aid in making the gravy slightly thick and give a beautiful hue to the curry. In their absence, you can use tomato puree or even yogurt, though the latter will add a creamy tang.

Garlic Paste: An aromatic booster, garlic paste lays the foundation of flavours. Its pungent kick elevates the overall taste of the dish. If you’re in a pinch, garlic powder can be used, but nothing beats the taste of fresh garlic.

Salt: The quintessential flavour enhancer, salt brings out the best in every ingredient. While table salt is commonly used, rock salt or sea salt can provide a different taste profile.

Chilli Powder: Lending heat and vibrant colour, chilli powder is indispensable. For those who like it hotter, you can up the ante. Conversely, if you prefer milder flavours, paprika is a less fiery alternative.

Turmeric Powder (Haldi): Beyond its health benefits, turmeric gives a lovely golden hue to the dish. It’s a staple in South Asian cuisines, offering a mild earthy bitterness. A pinch is enough; otherwise, it can overpower.

Green Chillies: These provide a fresh, fiery punch. Depending on their type and size, the heat can range from mild to scorching. If you prefer a milder taste, bell peppers can be used as a substitute, but they won’t offer the same kick.

Remember that while the mentioned ingredients are classic choices for Karela Gosht, cooking is an art.

Feel free to bring your spin, adjust according to your palate, and most importantly, enjoy the process! After all, it’s the heart and soul you pour into your cooking that makes it truly special.

The Historical Roots of Karela Gosht

Karela Gosht is a dish that instantly brings back memories of family dinners, laughter, and tales from generations past. Now, while I relish every bite, I often find myself pondering its origins. Where did this delightful dish come from, and how has it evolved over the years?

Tracing back the roots, Karela Gosht finds its origin in the rich culinary tapestry of South Asia.

Here, food isn’t just about satiating hunger. It’s an art, a science, and most importantly, an expression of love. The merging of Karela, with its distinctive bitterness, and Gosht (lamb), symbolizes the essence of life: a blend of sweet, spicy, and bitter moments.

Historically, the usage of Karela (bitter gourd) was predominant in many South Asian cultures, not just for its taste, but its remarkable health benefits. But its bitterness was always a challenge for the uninitiated palate.

Thus, came the ingenious idea of pairing it with something as rich and flavourful as lamb, thereby balancing its bitterness.

The Mughal era, known for its grandeur and opulence, witnessed the evolution of many dishes. And while it’s not documented if Karela Gosht had its inception during this period, the cooking style, emphasizing slow cooking and spices, can certainly be attributed to this era.

Over time, as people moved and migrated, they took with them this cherished recipe, tweaking it a bit here and there, adding their local flavours, making it a universally loved dish. It’s fascinating how a simple meal tells tales of centuries, wars, trade, and love.

I often say, that each time I cook Karela Gosht, I don’t just prepare a dish; I travel back in time, revisiting the bylanes of history, appreciating the generations before me, who’ve passed down this gem of a recipe.

The Health Benefits of Bitter Gourd in Your Diet

The bitter gourd or as I, and many others in South Asia, affectionately call it, Karela.

While its name might not inspire the fondest of memories for everyone (thanks to its bitter taste), I’ve always been a staunch defender of this underappreciated vegetable. Why, you ask? Because of its myriad health benefits.

First and foremost, Karela is a powerhouse of essential nutrients. It’s packed with vitamins A, C, and E, all of which are known for their antioxidant properties. So, while you’re enjoying your delicious Karela Gosht, remember that you’re also feeding your skin, and trust me, it thanks you for it!

Moreover, Karela is known to have hypoglycaemic properties. It’s been traditionally used in many cultures to regulate blood sugar levels. As someone who loves indulging in sweet treats now and then, it’s comforting to know that there’s a natural remedy to balance things out.

But that’s not all. Bitter gourd promotes good digestion. We’ve all had those days when our digestive system feels like it’s on strike, refusing to cooperate. Including Karela in your diet can be a great way to soothe your digestive tract.

Now, for the ones amongst us who are constantly waging a war against those pesky pimples – Karela is your ally. Its blood-purifying properties mean fewer breakouts and clearer skin.

The more I dove into the health benefits of Karela, the more I’ve come to respect this humble vegetable. It’s not just about the taste; it’s about nourishing our body.

Over the years, I’ve realized that sometimes, the most beneficial things come in challenging packages. And in the culinary world, Karela is a testament to that.

While I completely understand the hesitance of some to include it in their meals due to its bitterness, remember, it’s this very bitterness that carries the essence of its goodness. So, the next time you see a Karela, give it a nod of respect, because now you know the treasures it holds within.

I hope these articles capture the essence of what you’re looking for. If they align with your vision, I’ll proceed with the other articles in the same vein. Let me know your feedback!

The Art of Balancing Flavours in Karela Gosht

When I first embarked on my culinary journey, the balancing of flavours felt more like an art than a science.

And among the dishes that truly embody this principle, Karela Gosht stands out as a masterpiece. The melding of the bitter Karela with the rich, savoury lamb is not just a play of ingredients but an ode to the craft of cooking.

Delving into the intricacies of this dish, one cannot ignore the foundational role that spices play. The charm of South Asian cooking, to me, lies in its lavish use of spices.

However, the real skill isn’t in adding a plethora of spices but in knowing how much to add. A pinch more or less can dramatically shift the palate. In the case of Karela Gosht, the salt, chilli powder, and turmeric powder are not mere additions; they’re protagonists, setting the stage for a culinary drama.

Then, there’s the olive oil. I always insist on a good quality olive oil, for its rich undertones elevate the dish from great to phenomenal. The olive oil doesn’t just provide a medium to cook; it adds a subtle depth of flavour, a mild earthiness that complements the strong flavours of Karela and Gosht.

But it’s not just about individual ingredients. It’s about the sequence, the rhythm, the process. I find solace in the sizzle of onions, in the aroma of garlic paste mingling with ginger.

When the spices are added, they dance in harmony, ensuring every piece of lamb is coated, caressed, and marinated in a symphony of flavours.

The addition of tomatoes and green chillies in the latter stages does wonders. Their juiciness and tang cut through the richness, adding layers upon layers of taste. The final touch, the fried bitter gourd pieces, is like the crescendo in a musical piece, bringing the dish full circle.

I’ve learned that balancing flavours is akin to orchestrating a song. Each ingredient, each step, is a note, and when played in harmony, it creates a melody that lingers, long after the last bite.

My Love Affair with Lamb: The Star of Karela Gosht

I’ve often been asked about my favourite protein in cooking, and while there are many contenders, lamb holds a special place in my heart. Particularly in a dish as layered and complex as Karela Gosht, lamb becomes more than just meat; it’s a medium of expression.

In the landscape of meats, lamb stands out with its distinct taste and texture. Unlike other meats, lamb carries a unique earthiness, a depth that’s unparalleled. When I cook with lamb, I respect its individuality, ensuring it shines without overshadowing others.

In Karela Gosht, the lamb undergoes a transformative journey. When it’s first introduced into the pot, it absorbs.

It takes in the flavours of the spices, the sweetness of the onions, and the zing of the garlic and ginger paste. Then, as it simmers in water, it tenderizes, becoming soft, melt-in-your-mouth, and utterly delectable.

Adding to its charm is the interplay with Karela. While Karela introduces a hint of bitterness, lamb counters it with its robust, meaty flavour. It’s this balance, this tug-of-war of flavours, that makes Karela Gosht a treat for the senses.

Moreover, lamb is not just about taste; it’s about nutrition. Rich in proteins, essential vitamins, and minerals, lamb is a powerhouse of health benefits. So, every time I indulge in a plate of Karela Gosht, I not only satiate my taste buds but also nourish my body.

Lamb is not just an ingredient; it’s a character with its own story, its own journey. And in the tale of Karela Gosht, it’s the hero, taking the dish to soaring heights.

I trust these articles weave together the rich tapestry of flavours and emotions that Karela Gosht evokes. Let me know if they’re in line with your vision, and I’ll continue crafting more articles in a similar vein.

The Hidden Benefits of Bitter Gourd in Karela Gosht

Whenever I mention Karela Gosht, the initial reactions range from intrigue to utter surprise. How can a bitter vegetable like Karela be a star in a dish? However, when you delve deeper into the world of Karela, it isn’t just about its unique taste, but its incredible health benefits.

From a young age, I was introduced to the concept of embracing foods for their health properties. Karela, or bitter gourd, was often heralded as a powerhouse of nutrients.

Packed with vitamins like A, C, E, and B9, this bitter delight offers more than one could imagine. Every time I toss those Karela pieces into the pan, I’m not just adding flavour; I’m injecting a dose of wellness.

Beyond vitamins, Karela is rich in minerals like iron, potassium, and calcium. These aren’t just fancy names on a nutritional chart; they’re essential for our body’s well-being.

The iron boosts blood circulation, potassium manages blood pressure, and calcium strengthens the bones. With each bite of Karela Gosht, I’m fortifying my body.

But the tale doesn’t end there. Bitter gourd is also renowned for its medicinal properties. Known to regulate blood sugar and combat diabetes, its inclusion in my dishes is a nod to the ancient wisdom of holistic well-being.

However, as much as I vouch for its benefits, Karela’s bitterness can be a point of contention.

This is where the Gosht comes into play. The richness of lamb balances the bitterness, creating a harmonious palate where every flavour has its moment to shine. Thus, in the dance of flavours and health benefits, Karela Gosht emerges as a culinary marvel.

Journey Through the Spices of Karela Gosht

Spices have always fascinated me. Their aroma, their texture, and their ability to transform a dish are nothing short of magical. And in the world of Karela Gosht, spices play a pivotal role, taking the dish from ordinary to extraordinary.

Let’s embark on this journey starting with turmeric. When I add this golden powder, I’m not just adding colour but introducing a myriad of health benefits. Turmeric, with its active component curcumin, is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Each time I sprinkle it into my Karela Gosht, I know I’m making a choice for wellness.

Then comes the red chilli powder, adding a touch of heat and vibrancy. It’s not just about the kick; it’s about awakening the senses, making each bite memorable. Chilli, for me, represents the zest of life, the spice that reminds us to cherish every moment.

Salt, often taken for granted, is the unsung hero. It binds the flavours, amplifying the essence of every ingredient. A dish without salt feels like a song without rhythm. It’s essential, irreplaceable, and the backbone of any dish.

Lastly, the hint of green chillies, adds layers of heat and depth. For someone like me, who thrives on the play of flavours, green chillies are the perfect addition, bringing freshness and zest.

In the world of cooking, spices aren’t just ingredients; they are the storytellers, narrating tales of regions, traditions, and histories. As I navigate through the spices of Karela Gosht, I’m reminded of the timeless beauty of culinary tales, where each spice has a story to tell.

I hope these articles capture the essence and beauty of Karela Gosht from different angles. Let me know if they resonate with you, and I’ll continue in a similar vein for the next set.

Why Lamb is the Perfect Pairing with Karela

The allure of Karela Gosht goes beyond its unique combination of ingredients. I’ve often been asked, “Why lamb? Why not any other meat?” My culinary journey has taught me that every pairing has a purpose, and the union of lamb and Karela is a testament to that.

When I first tasted Karela Gosht, the tender lamb caught my attention. Lamb, with its rich and slightly gamey flavour, complements the bitter gourd in a manner most meats cannot. As I delved deeper into the craft of cooking, I began to appreciate the nuances of this pairing.

Lamb is rich. It has an inherent depth that brings out the subtleties of any dish. When cooked slowly, as in Karela Gosht, it releases its juices, which mingle with the spices and the Karela, creating a rich gravy that’s hard to resist. Each bite of the lamb is a reminder of the dish’s layered intricacies.

Now, consider the Karela, a vegetable with a pronounced bitterness. On its own, it can be overwhelming for many. But introduce lamb into the equation, and a beautiful transformation occurs.

The robustness of lamb counteracts the bitterness, striking a delightful balance. Every time I combine these two, I marvel at how they elevate each other, proving that in food, as in life, opposites truly do attract.

I’ve tried other meats. Chicken, beef, even fish. But none have the unique allure that lamb brings to the table. It’s a testament to the beauty of traditional recipes that have been perfected over generations.

While innovations are welcome, there’s a reason why some combinations, like lamb and Karela, stand the test of time.

The Art of Perfectly Cooking Bitter Gourd in Karela Gosht

Whenever I find myself prepping for a session of Karela Gosht, there’s a sense of excitement. The challenge? Getting the Karela just right. Over the years, I’ve realized the key to a perfect Karela Gosht lies in how you treat this enigmatic vegetable.

Bitter gourd, or Karela as I fondly call it, is a unique vegetable. Its bitterness is both its strength and its challenge. The first step, for me, is always the slicing. Thin slices ensure that it cooks evenly, allowing for a harmonious integration of flavours.

Then comes the crucial step: frying. The golden brown hue of Karela isn’t just for aesthetics.

Frying tempers its bitterness and brings out a mild sweetness. I remember the first time I achieved that perfect golden brown. It was a game-changer. The texture, the reduced bitterness, and the slight crunch made the dish stand out.

But, it’s not just about frying. The sequence of adding ingredients plays a crucial role too.

The onions, the garlic paste, the ginger, and the spices – they each have a role in taming and complementing the Karela. By the time I introduce the Karela back into the dish, it’s ready to soak in the flavours and truly shine.

It’s a dance, really. A dance of flavours, techniques, and timing. And as with any dance, it requires practice, patience, and passion. Every time I serve Karela Gosht, it’s a culmination of these efforts, a dish that celebrates the beauty of the bitter gourd in all its glory.

The Symphonic Dance of Spices in Karela Gosht

As I journeyed into the vast world of culinary arts, the spice array in Karela Gosht always stood out. They say, that in the realm of cooking, spices are akin to musical notes. When combined correctly, they compose a symphony, and this dish is a true orchestration of those notes.

When I think about the spices in Karela Gosht, turmeric, or ‘Haldi’ as we call it, comes foremost to my mind. Bright yellow in hue and earthy in taste, it doesn’t just add colour to the dish but offers an underlying warmth.

Turmeric brings forth an aroma that’s both grounding and uplifting. And it’s not just about the flavour.

Every time I add this golden spice, I’m reminded of its rich legacy in Ayurveda and its myriad of health benefits.

Following closely is the chilli powder. Ah, the Firestarter! Its vibrancy doesn’t just stop at the palate but warms the soul. Karela, with its bitter essence, finds a counter in this fiery spice. However, I’ve learned the key is moderation. Too much, and it overpowers; too little, and the dish feels incomplete.

Then there’s the salt, the ultimate balancer. It’s astonishing how this simple ingredient can amplify or diminish flavours. In Karela Gosht, salt has always been my guide to ensure harmony among ingredients. It enhances the meat’s richness and ensures the Karela doesn’t get lost in the mix.

Another green artist in this ensemble is the green chilli. Unlike the powdered counterpart, green chillies bring a fresh zestiness to the dish. Every time I add them, I’m adding a dash of spirited zest, an element of surprise in every bite.

Over the years, the one thing I’ve come to value is the importance of harmony in spices. It’s a delicate balance. Too much of one and the dish wobbles; too little, and it lacks character. But when gotten right, as in Karela Gosht, it’s sheer poetry.

The Olive Oil Touch: Taking Karela Gosht to New Heights

I must confess, that olive oil was not my first choice when I initially explored the nuances of Karela Gosht. However, once introduced, it completely transformed my experience of the dish.

Olive oil, with its fruity undertones and rich texture, has always been a favourite of mine. But using it in Karela Gosht? That was a delightful revelation. The olive oil doesn’t just serve as a medium for cooking; it adds layers of complexity to the flavours.

When the onions sizzle and turn translucent in that shimmering olive oil, they take on a sweetness that’s unparalleled. This delicate sweetness offsets the bitter notes of the Karela beautifully. I’ve often noticed that using olive oil makes the onions more aromatic, setting a fragrant foundation for the dish.

Another fascinating transformation happens with the lamb. Lamb gosht is naturally flavourful. But when it simmers and soaks in olive oil infused with spices, it absorbs those flavours, becoming juicier and richer. Each morsel of the meat sings of the spices, the Karela, and the velvety touch of olive oil.

Olive oil also has the magic to subtly lift the spices. The turmeric becomes brighter, the chilli powder more potent, and the green chillies – they sparkle with an added zest.

Every time I prepare Karela Gosht, olive oil is my go-to. Not just for its health benefits but for the depth and richness it introduces. It’s like painting on a canvas with an exquisite palette of oils, where each stroke brings the dish closer to perfection.

Check Out These Other Recipes

When I first savoured the depth and earthiness of Karela Gosht, it took me on a journey through the labyrinth of Indian cuisine. And if you’ve developed a penchant for it as I have, then let me share a few dishes that exude the same aromatic authenticity.

Remember that first time you smelled the tantalizing aroma of Chicken Biryani? Its perfect blend of spices and tender chicken nestled amidst fragrant rice has a unique way of making every mouthful a story.

Then there’s Bhuna Gosht, a dish that shares the robust meaty essence of Karela Gosht. Every bite will make you reminisce about the many family feasts and celebrations back in India.

Palak Gosht – oh, how it reminds me of home! The rich and creamy spinach mixed with tender pieces of meat is almost poetic in its delivery. And speaking of richness, Chicken Karahi is another dish that takes me back. Its spicy and hearty gravy always pairs perfectly with fresh Naan bread.

Lastly, the Lamb Curry is not just food; it’s an emotion. The tenderness of the lamb with a blend of aromatic spices offers a symphony of flavours, akin to the rustic charm of Karela Gosht.

Do these tantalize your taste buds? Dive into these recipes and find your own journey through Indian cuisine. I’d absolutely love to hear about your experiences and favourites in the comments below. Dive in and savour the experience!

Karela Gosht

Karela Gosht

by Nabeela Kauser
Bitter gourd, aka, karela in Urdu is loved for its benefits and despised for its bitter taste. However, with this recipe even karela critics will fall in love. Tender lamb pieces paired with the karela make this curry delicious and tasty!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 5
Calories 419 kcal


  • 500 g Lamb Gosht
  • 500 g Bitter Gourd Karela
  • 50 ml Olive Oil
  • 2 Onions
  • 3 Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Garlic Paste
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder Haldi
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 500 ml Water


  • In a deep fryer, fry the sliced karela pieces until golden brown then set aside
  • In a large pan add the olive oil and heat on medium heat until hot
  • Add the diced onions and cook for 5 minutes until softened
  • Add the garlic paste and ginger paste and cook for 1-2 minutes
  • Add the salt, chilli powder and turmeric powder then cook the spices for 4-5 minutes
  • Add the water and the lamb then cover with a lid before cooking for a further 1 hour until the lamb is softened
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and green chillies then cook for 5 minutes until soft
  • Add the fried bitter gourd pieces then cook for another 10 minutes
  • Serve alongside some homemade chapatti and enjoy!



Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 419kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 19gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 607mgPotassium: 779mgFibre: 5gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1205IUVitamin C: 100mgVitamin D: 0.1µgCalcium: 60mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Cooking, Curry, Food, Gosht, Karela, Lamb, Recipe
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Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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