Stuffed Karela - A Delicious Bitter Gourd Recipe
A traditional Punjabi dish, the Stuffed Karela is an enormously loved vegetable dish that is popular everywhere. High in medicinal value, it's curative properties are well known for controlling diabetes, breast cancer and skin disorders. Being low in calories, it helps in weight loss as well.
As this vegetable is bitter, mango powder, tamarind or lime are often used in preparations of this veggie as they reduce, or neutralize the bitterness. I have also used a little sugar which enhances the taste of the cooked dish.
So, let's take a closer look at preparing this yummy vegetable dish.
- 250 gms medium to small Karela (bitter gourd)
- 2 medium size onion
- 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- 1 tsp amchur (dry mango powder)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp sabzi masala
- Salt (according to taste)
- 5 tbsp oil
- 1 tomato
1. This is optional, but for all who prefer not to use the ridges of the karela, peel them off lightly. I, on the other hand, am going to use them.
2. Cut the karelas across the longitudinal section, but not completely - leave a little so that your karela does not break off into two pieces.
3. Marinate the karelas with a little salt and turmeric powder, and keep aside for 10 minutes.
4. Boil them for 5 minutes (in water). Then, squeeze the water off the karelas and keep aside.
5. Cut the onions and tomato finely and stir fry these in a table spoon of oil till they are cooked a bit.
6. Mix all the ingredients from the Ingredients list above (except the karelas) with the fried onions and tomato properly.
7. Fill the masala proportionately into the karelas. This is optional but you may tie each of the karelas with a thread to avoid the masala spilling out.
That's all the preparation there is. Now, we move to cook these yummies.
Instructions for Cooking
1. Heat oil in a pan, and on a slow to medium flame, put each karela in and cook them evenly by rotating until they turn brownish in color - we thus stir fry the veggie. Avoid cooking them on a high flame as you'll likely not get your karelas cooked evenly and from the inside.
Note: It's up to you but you may deep fry the karelas as well.
2. Slowly remove the thread from each karela.
3. Your delicious Stuffed Karela is ready to be served.
A preparation for the karela that's totally awesome, and incidentally off topic from what we are looking at here in this recipe, is fried karela rings. For this, slice the karela into thin rings, marinate with a little salt and turmeric powder and keep aside for 15 minutes.
Then, squeeze the water out and deep fry them till they turn golden brown. Serve it with chapattis and dal, or rice and dal.
You know, I never got into this as a kid like many other vegetables whose recipes I have laid out. But I fell in love with it as I grew up. Now, I absolutely adore these karelas, stuffed or fried as rings. As with the fried rings, you can serve the stuffed karelas with chapatis or rice, and dal.
So, try it out and enjoy.