Bharwan Karela | Stuffed Bittergourd | Bharwa Karela

Loaded with tasty masala stuffing, bitter sweet bharwan karela
12/28/2018 6:22:09 PM vindhyadesai

Bharwan Karela

Bitter gourd or karela is always advertised as a vegetable not preferred by many. But infact it is one of those vegetables made regularly in many Indian homes. Karela, lauki or kaddu (bitter gourd, bottle gourd or pumpkin) atleast one of them will definitely feature on the menu. This might be the reason why it is not liked by many as it is dull, routine and boring. But how about we make the boring bitter gourd or karela interesting and a bit fancy. Bharwan karela is a very commonly made Punjabi dish.
Bharwan karela or stuffed bitter gourd as the name indicates has a flavourful masala stuffing filled into the cavity of karela and then cooked off in a sweet onion base. The flavours mingle so well in this dish and balance the pungent bitterness of the karela really well. Along with bharwan karela I served a simple Methi kadhi and some steamed rice, I say comfort food at its best!

I simply love the flavours of this bharwan karela, of course the same can be made with parwal (padulkayi) or tendli (tondekayi). Prepare the stuffing in advance and then cook the bharwan karela when required, easily and quickly! Try haagalkayi gojju recipe from FOI, a Bangalore-Mysore special. More simple sabzis from FOI, aloo matar palak, gobhi matar etc.

Bharwan Karela | Stuffed Bittergourd | Bharwa Karela
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Loaded with tasty masala stuffing, bitter sweet bharwan karela
Author:
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4-5 people
Ingredients
  • 4-5 small karela/bitter gourd
For Stuffing:
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 Tsp amchur powder
  • ½ Tsp red chilli powder/lal mirch/acchu mensina pudi
  • ½ Tsp garam masala
  • 1 Tsp dhania powder
  • ¼ Tsp turmeric
  • ¼ Tsp jeera powder
  • 2-3 Tbsp besan
  • Salt to taste
For Masala:
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • ½ Tsp jeera
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 1 Tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ Cup water
Method
  1. Wash karela/haagalkayi very well and pat dry
  2. Lightly peel the karela and make a slit down the centre without cutting into half
  3. Scoop out the seeds and remove the hard part if there is any
  4. Apply little salt and keep aside
  5. In a pan, heat oil, add all masalas mentioned under stuffing except besan
  6. Saute the masala for 10-20 seconds on low flame
  7. When the masalas release their aroma, add besan
  8. Fry the besan very well till raw smell disappears
  9. Once the besan is aromatic, sprinkle salt, mix
  10. Keep aside, this is the stuffing
  11. In another pan, heat oil and splutter jeera
  12. Add onions and saute till they are sweet and roasted
  13. Sprinkle salt and sugar to taste
  14. When onions are sauteing, stuff the karela. Place a spoonful of stuffing in the cavity of each karela
  15. Tie each karela with a clean white thread so that the stuffing stays inside
  16. Place the stuffed and tied karela in the onion masala
  17. Spread the remaining besan stuffing on top
  18. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, flip mid-way
  19. Sprinkle sugar to taste
  20. Now pour water, cover and let it cook further 5 minutes
  21. Once the karela is cooked through and changes colour, garnish with chopped coriander
  22. Bharwan karela is now ready to serve!
Notes
Ensure the bitter-gourds are tender and do not have hard skin or seeds

Add sugar as per your taste, skip to make it diabetic-friendly

Adjust masalas as per your taste, add more red chilli powder or garam masala for a spicier masala

Wash the karela in salted water if they are too bitter but this washes away the nutrients, lightly sprinkling with salt is sufficient

Bharwan Karela Stepwise:
Wash karela/haagalkayi very well and pat dry
Lightly peel the karela and make a slit down the centre without cutting into half
Scoop out the seeds and remove the hard part if there is any
Apply little salt and keep aside
In a pan, heat oil, add all masalas mentioned under stuffing except besan
Saute the masala for 10-20 seconds on low flame
When the masalas release their aroma, add besan
Fry the besan very well till raw smell disappears
Once the besan is aromatic, sprinkle salt, mix
Keep aside, this is the stuffing
In another pan, heat oil and splutter jeera
Add onions and saute till they are sweet and roasted
Sprinkle salt and sugar to taste
When onions are sauteing, stuff the karela. Place a spoonful of stuffing in the cavity of each karela
Tie each karela with a clean white thread so that the stuffing stays inside
Place the stuffed and tied karela in the onion masala
Spread the remaining besan stuffing on top
Cover and cook for 5 minutes, flip mid-way
Sprinkle sugar to taste
Now pour water, cover and let it cook further 5 minutes
Once the karela is cooked through and changes colour, garnish with chopped coriander
Bharwan karela is now ready to serve!

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