Stuffed Pan Fried Karela ( Bitter Gourd)


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! 😀

Ingredients :

  • 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)

Procedure :
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.

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