Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Bharwa Karela / Stuffed and stir fried Bitter Gourd

Karela or the Bitter gourd is almost always
hated by people.
But is needed in your diet due to its immense benefits to your health.
So there is no dearth of recipes to make it palatable.

While it can be fried or made into curries in numerous ways, the most popular way is to fill it with a stuffing of your choice.
I love to use the insides of the karela ( use them only if the karela is fresh
and the seeds still very soft ) for this stuffing,
but you can go ahead and experiment.

While vegetarians can use the versatile potato, paneer, chana
or the Posto / khus khus in different ways,
non vegetarians can use Chicken kheema
or the Fish kheema as a filling too.

Need :

Fresh Karelas / Bitter gourd
Chopped onions
Jeera / Cumin seeds
Garam masala powder
Hing / Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Haldi / Turmeric powder
Red chilli powder
Dhania / Coriander powder
Amchur / Dried mango powder - to taste
Besan / Gram flour
Salt - to taste

How to :

Wash the karelas and cut into half.
Some prefer to scrape off the outer skin ... I do not.

Core the karela.

Apply a little salt to the cored karelas.
Steam them (remember to cover the steamer ... I opened it to take the snap. )

While they steam ( will take around 15 minutes), prepare the stuffing.

To make the stuffing :

Heat oil in a pan.

Add jeera, hing, chopped onions and fry till the onions' edges are slightly brown.

Add the cored karela, haldi, mirchi, dhania powder, a pinch of garam masala and salt.
Fry well.

Now add the amchur.

Then add a little besan and fry well till properly cooked and browned.

Remove and keep aside to cool.

After the karelas are cooked ( check by inserting a knife, it should cut in easily ),
remove them and cool.

With a small spoon or your fingers, fill the steamed karelas with this mixture carefully.
Gently push in the stuffing to reach the ends.

Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry them.

Arrange them with the stuffing side down first. After the side browns, turn them carefully to brown all sides.

If you want you can add a little turmeric, red chilli powder and salt ...
or any other spices of your choice
while frying them.

Serve hot.

Goes great on the side with rotis and dal.

Enjoy !!

Other stuffed vegetables on Kichu Khon

Bharwa Mirchi

Potoler Chop

Other recipes using Karela on Kichu Khon

Dahi Karela


  1. You are so right, most of us do not prefer karela....but ei bhabe banale bhalo e laagbe....good preparation...:)

  2. I love this one ...looks yum..we do in different way..hav in my blog

  3. Stuffed karelas are my fav...can eat it on every meal...we too make stuffed ones in almost similar way, its just that we slit the gourds vertically and stuff them, shallow frying after tying these with threads...feeling hungry just at the thought of those....lovely looking gourds here..nice captures :-)

  4. That's one tasty bitter gourd recipe.

    Don't the innards of the bitter gourd make the stuffing too bitter?

  5. Karelas are very good for you but are an acquired taste. I like your style of presentation. I make it regularly but slice it vertically. Your way is much better as it must help keep all the stuffing in.

  6. Arundhuti ... thanks.

    Priti ... will check out soon.

    Alka .. thanks. I find it difficult to stuff them properly if I cut them vertically. :-)

    Indo ... thanks. No, honestly they do not ... all those spices do work I guess. :-)

    Mina ... thanks. :-)

  7. I am not a big fan of karelas either... but your presentation looks gorgeous... Tempts me to try it!

  8. You have made the Karela's look so delicious !! A non kalera eater like me also drooling :-)



  9. Sharmila,
    Korola khete hoye as medicine, kinto khete amaar O bhalo lagey na..ami O Alka r moton stuff korey thread diye bendhe -shallow fry kori..tumar method e pur ta ekdom berobe na, better way ..chicken mince diye besh noton idea laglo bharwa korbaar..thanks for sharing ..hugs and smiles

  10. I know for a fact that this is the best way to cook them. They taste fantastic. How can I be so sure? My mom makes them almost the same way, except she also adds some poppy seeds and peanuts to the stuffing.

  11. I have not made karelas ever, but my friend makes an awesome stuffed karela. She loves karela, so am passing this recipe to her.

  12. I love karelas for its unique bitter taste which is hard to find in many veggies. Like the stuffing and the presentation.

  13. Somoo, Satrupa, Sanjeeta, Anushruti ... thanks girls.

    Jaya ... it tastes great with the chicken or fish kheema ... my favourites.

    Jaya ... poppy seeds and peanuts filling sounds great ... must give that a try. Will check out your blog for the recipe.

    Aqua .. thanks. Hope she likes it.

  14. Hi, Bishon bhalo :) And also it is one of my most favourite vegetable, I know many people find it hard to believe , but I love karelas. Thanks for a lovely recipe and keep doling out more..

  15. but I love karela the negali way. mane oi tarkari kore. alu uchhe begun die ami puro bhat kheye nite pari. tomra bari ele eta banie khaio. konodin khaini.

  16. Dear Sharmila,
    Nice recipe and a good way of making non-Karela eaters have it without twitching up their noses;)I love Karela or 'Uchhe' as we know it as and have had eaten it either deep-fried or as 'Uchhe chorchori!'But your Bharwan version looks so good...have to give it a try definitely:)


  17. I LOVE karela and stuffed karela has to be the best. Ami mouri fill kori:-)

    Sharmila, ekta photo chara (i think the 2nd one) ar kono photo dyakha jachey na. Keno?

  18. Stuffed karela looks so delicious and yummy

  19. P will love this, Sharmila. He loves Karela and aamio or shonge aaj kaal khai. Khub shundor stuffed karela gulo. Meticulously written post too.

  20. I like this, as I like most of your recipes...never tried cooking karela excpting as in shukto and uchche bhaja, but will definitely try this one...

  21. Thanks everybody! Don't know how I missed replying to so many nice lines. :-)


Thank you for sharing Kichu Khonn( a few moments ) with me in my kitchen!