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keema karele ground beef bitter mellon

Pakistani Keema Kareley | Ground Beef and Bitter Melon

Ground beef and bitter melon (or bitter gourd) is a popular combination of Pakistani cuisine. Give this dish a try for a slightly bitter but very comforting experience!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Diet Gluten Free, Halal
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 426kcal


  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef washed and rinsed
  • 2-3 small tomatoes chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger crushed
  • 4-5 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1-2 green chili peppers chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp plain whole milk yogurt
  • 2 medium sized Chinese or Indian* bitter melons seeded and chopped into 1 inch pieces (about 1 lb)
  • 2 tsp salt for prepping the bitter melon
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • juice of a quarter of a lemon optional
  • coriander leaves chopped (for garnish)


  • First, sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of salt into a bowl with the bitter melon, mix and set aside. This helps take out some of the bitter flavors.
  • Now you're ready to cook! Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until lightly brown. If the contents are sticking to the bottom of your pan, add a bit of water to caramelize them.
  • Add the ground beef and cook until it is browned, using your spatula to break up the beef into small pieces to ensure no lumps.
  • Add garlic, ginger, tomatoes, and green chili peppers and continue cooking for a few minutes. Add the spices and salt as well as the yogurt. Lower the heat, cover, and let this mixture cook.
  • Meanwhile, wash the salt off of the bitter melon by rinsing through a strainer. Squeeze or blot the bitter melon with a tissue to remove excess water. Heat some vegetable oil and fry the bitter melon for about 5 minutes, or until it is cooked and crisp around the edges.
  • Add the fried bitter melon to the beef mixture, being careful not to add any excess oil. Lower the heat to the lowest setting, cover and let this mixture simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the sprinkle chopped coriander and squeeze the lemon (if using) over the dish.
  • Serve with roti, rice, bread or anything your heart desires!


*If using the Indian variety, you will need to scrape the bitter melons, slit them, and then deseed them.


Calories: 426kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 1838mg | Potassium: 651mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 831IU | Vitamin C: 50mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 3mg