Karela is one of the healthiest vegetables. Its miraculous benefits are not appreciated and a lot of it is wasted. Who would prefer karelay who bhe “neem charha”, over aloo or palak? Just saying 🙂

The Thought – Why wasting Karela Peels?

I cook Karelay with qeema or gosht always with additional onions on dam, for the extra crunch in the recipe. One thing however, always bothered me – throwing away the skin peels. Yesterday when I was making my regular Qeema karelay, I thought of asking my friends on Instagram if anyone cooks the peels of karelay. I was surprised to see the feedback, but I was stuck to the one shared by a friend from India – Aria. 

The Idea – friends from across the border to rescue: 

Aria introduced me to Karelay ke Chutney that she makes with the skin peels and serves it as a perfect complement with everyday meals specially daal chawal. While I was prepping the chutney, I had a slight fear of unknown. What if we don’t like it and everything is wasted. But somehow, I was hopeful that this will work. She was very encouraging and explained to me how she makes this chutney at home. Understanding the foundation flavors of the recipe, I adapted and enhanced the flavors and created my take on the Karelay ke Chutney


The chutney – Perfect blend of flavors:

The key to enjoy the karelay is to balance the bitter flavor with spices and tanginess of other flavors. In this chutney the bitter flavor of karelay is subdued with the use of achari spices, tanginess of ilmi alu bukhara and sweetness from gur. Everything complemented each other such that the bitterness was not overpowering. This might sound unreal but if you have to try it to know what I am talking about. 

More ideas to create with Karelay peels

  1. Bake the peels as chips and serve it as a snack 
  2. Cook the peels with Aloo in Aloo Karelay Bhujiya 
  3. Add the fried or baked peels into the Qeema recipe 


Karelay ke Chutney

Karelay ke Chutney

A perfect chutney recipe made with peels of karelay. Balanced flavors from the bitterness of karelay, tanginess from imli and sweetness from alu bukhara and shakkar.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine pakistani, Pakistanicuisine
Servings 4 individuals


  • Karelay skin peels – ½ cup from 4 medium karelay    
  • Ghee – 1 tsp
  • Garlic cloves – 3 cloves,chopped
  • Rai – ½ teaspoon
  • Methi dana – ½ teaspoon
  • Kalonji – ½ teaspoon
  • Sanuf – ½ teaspoon
  • Cumin – ½ teaspoon
  • Salt – ¼ teaspoon or as required
  • Crushed red chili flakes – ½ teaspoon
  • Imli and Alu Bukhara chutney – 2 tablespoons
  • Gur / shakkar / sugar – 1 teaspoon  
  • Kari leaves 3 -4


  • Peel the karelay skin, rub salt on them well. Leave it for 30 – 60 minutes. 
  • Wash the karelay thoroughly and using a muslin cloth squeeze the maximum moisture out of the karelay.
  • In a fry pan, shallow fry the peels of karelay or bake them or air fry them until they are slightly crispy and set aside.  
  • Heat the ghee/ olive oil in a pot, sautee garlic in it. Once slightly brown, add the spices — methi dana, rai, sanuf, kalonji, cumin and haldi. 
  • Add ilmi alu bukhara chutney and season with crushed chillies, salt and balance the seasoning by adding gur or sugar.
  • Once the base of chutney is made with spices, add the fried peels of karelay.
  • Give it a good mix, cook for a minute and it is ready to serve.
  • Give it a good mix, cook for a minute and it is ready to serve.

Flavoring options:

  • Instead of crushed chilies and salt, use chili garlic oil 
  • Substitute achari masala spices, using the mint chutney flavors coriander, mint, green chilies enhance the flavor
Keyword Bittergourd, BitterMelon, Chutney, karelay, Karelaykechutney