Karela or Bitter Gourd is a versatile vegetable. It can be stuffed with various fillings & tastes wonderful as a side dish with any Indian bread.
Many are averse to this vegetable & the moment the word ‘Karela’ is mentioned you will find people looking down upon this humble vegetable, others would want to turn up their noses & not want to hear about it due to its bitter taste. Very rarely you will find a person mentioning it as their favorite.
In my home, Karela is well appreciated & loved. In fact, they look forward to their meal if it is prepared. Actually, it depends on the way one prepares it. It has many health benefits. It has several essential minerals, vitamins & is a blood purifier.
Today’s recipe is simple & very tasty. Bitter Gourd lovers will enjoy this preparation. Do try this recipe … you may change your opinion in favor of Karela! 😀
- 500 gms. Karela (Bitter Gourd)
- 3 med. Onions (peeled & chopped)
- 2 fresh Tomatoes (chopped )
- ¼ tsp. Turmeric pwd.
- ½ tsp. Red Chilli pwd. or to taste
- ¼ cup roasted Ground nuts (roughly crushed)
- 1 tsp. fresh Garlic paste
- ½ tsp. fresh Ginger paste
- ¼ tsp. roasted Cumin pwd.
- 2 tbsps. Coriander pwd.
- ½ tsp. Sauf
- 1 tsp. Goda Masala (optional) or Garam Masala pwd.
- 4 tbsps. Vegetable Oil + 6 tbsps. for frying
- A pinch of Sugar
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsps. fresh Coriander (chopped)
Chop the ends & scrape the rough outer skin of the karela. Slit each karela lengthwise & discard the seeds & the pith. Rub it with a little salt from inside & outside & keep aside for an hour or overnight. Immerse in boiling water & let it boil till it is just tender. Do not over cook or the karela will break & not hold the stuffing. Drain & keep aside for stuffing later.
Preparation & filling of the stuffing :
Heat oil in a wok/pan.
Add chopped onions & sauté till tender.
Add turmeric, red chilli pwd., sauf, ginger-garlic paste & sauté till rawness disappears.
Then add chopped tomatoes & cumin pwd. & fry till tomatoes are soft.
Add the crushed groundnuts, coriander pwd., goda masala/garam masala pwd., sugar & salt to taste. Saute & add a few tablespoons of water. Let it cook for a couple of minutes.
Add coriander & stir. Keep aside to cool.
Stuff the karela with the prepared stuffing & tie it up with a thread.
Heat a frying pan with oil till hot.
Gently lower the stuffed karela in the pan.
Fry the stuffed karela; gently turning them on their sides regularly till they are a light brown on all sides. Make sure they do not burn.
Drain excess oil if any & place them on a serving plate.
Serve hot with chapattis, phulkas, parathas or rotis.