Apr 182014
 

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Bharwan Karela also known as Stuffed Bitter Gourd is a specialty from the state of Punjab. When I married a Pahari, i.e. some one from hills, my Mother-in-law told me that her son hates karela and a few more vegetables. Everytime she makes them at home he makes faces and finds something else to eat. I took the challenge and when I made them he instantly fell in love with them. It was one of the biggest changeover my Mom in Law saw in her son after our marriage. She would jokingly tease him “biwi ne banaya tou kha liya, ma kay haath ka pasand nahin“. 😛 While we were in Mexico we literally craved for karelas as you get them only in few particular markets. So when we landed in India it was my husband’s demand to make them for him. And here goes the recipe for you.

Directions:

1. Wash and peel off the skin of karela with a peeler. Do not forget to cut off the tail from both the ends. My mother uses even the peeled skin to cook sometime but I am not trying this.

 


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2. Cut open the Karela from one end vertically so that you can stuff in the spices. Use the sharp corner of the knife to make this slit.

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3. Now carefully with the help of  a peeler scoop out the pith and the seeds. I read somewhere that the seeds of medium and big sized karela are toxic so should not be used. It is better to get small size baby karelas which are soft and tender from inside and are perfect for making this recipe. But if you can not lay your hands like me use the readily available medium sized karela.


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4. Now you have to evenly scrub the karela with a generous quantity of salt, both inside as well outside. This is done to take out the bitterness out of the karela.


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5. Let the karela coated with salt rest for three to four hours or overnight is best.

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6. After that squeeze the karela with your hand to remove the bitter water. Throw the water away and reserve the karela.

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7.  Wash them thoroughly and squeeze out the extra water and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Keep them aside.


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8. In a bowl add Salt, Turmeric, Garam masala, Coriander powder, Amchur,  Asafoetida , Sambar Powder, Chana Masala and Red Chili Powder and mix them evenly for the filling.

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9. Fill the dry karela with spoonful of spice mix and keep them aside.

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10. In a wok or karahi, preferably a cast iron karahi pour mustard oil. Bharwan Karela taste best in Mustard Oil but if you like you can use even Vegetable Oil. If some spice mix remains reserve it and if you fall short of masala for the size of karela you have to make little more 🙁 I hate doing this.

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11. After the oil has heated scorchingly well (if that is any word :P) and you can see the smoke coming out that is when you put the spice stuffed karela for frying. If you have any left over spice mix you can put it on top now.

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12. Toss them for five minutes and  then cover with a steel plate or lid and press tightly with a kitchen towel. Let them cook on medium flame.

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13. After every five to seven minutes open the lid and turn the sides of karela to cook evenly.

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14.  The karela will obtain dark brown colour after around fifteen minutes. Ensure you keep turning sides and cook evenly for they will burn.

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15. Remove the karelas in a serving platter and with the left over oil in the same wok or karahi add halved onions and green chili if you like. I added the chilies later.


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16. The onions will absorb the taste of karela from the burnt oil. Trust me they taste heavenly. My husband always requests extra onions everytime.

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17. Cover the onions with the lid like earlier and cook for couple of minutes.

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18.  This is how they look, purely divine. And look I did add green chilies I wasn’t lying.

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19. Mix them with the karela and Serve hot with Chappatis.

BharwanKarela-Featured_1
[whohit]BharwanKarela[/whohit]

Bharwan Karela | Stuffed Bitter Gourd
Serves 3
Bitter Gourd or Karela stuffed with spices and fried in Mustard Oil.Served with some fried Onions and Green Chilies.
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Prep Time
4 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
4 hr 30 min
Prep Time
4 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
4 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 6-8 Karela or bitter gourd, preferably baby size
  2. Salt, enough for scrubbing
  3. 1 tbsp Turmeric
  4. 1 tsp Salt
  5. 1 tbsp Amchur
  6. 1 tbsp Coriander Powder
  7. 1 tsp Chili powder
  8. A pinch of Asafoetida
  9. 1 tbsp Sambar Powder
  10. 1 tbsp Channa Powder
  11. 1 tbsp Garam Masala
  12. 4-5 baby onions, cut in fours or halved
  13. 2-4 Green Chilies, optional
  14. Mustard Oil
Instructions
  1. Wash and peel off the skin of karela with a peeler. Do not forget to cut off the tail from both the ends. My mother uses even the peeled skin to cook sometime but I am not trying this.
  2. Cut open the Karela from one end vertically so that you can stuff in the spices. Use the sharp corner of the knife to make this slit.
  3. Now carefully with the help of a peeler scoop out the pith and the seeds. I read somewhere that the seeds of medium and big sized karela are toxic so should not be used. It is better to get small size baby karelas which are soft and tender from inside and are perfect for making this recipe. But if you can not lay your hands like me use the readily available medium sized karela.
  4. Now you have to evenly scrub the karela with a generous quantity of salt, both inside as well outside. This is done to take out the bitterness out of the karela.
  5. Let the karela coated with salt rest for three to four hours or overnight is best.
  6. After that squeeze the karela with your hand to remove the bitter water. Throw the water away and reserve the karela.
  7. Wash them thoroughly and squeeze out the extra water and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Keep them aside.
  8. In a bowl add Salt, Turmeric, Garam masala, Coriander powder, Amchur, Asafoetida , Sambar Powder, Chana Masala and Red Chili Powder and mix them evenly for the filling.
  9. Fill the dry karela with spoonful of spice mix and keep them aside.
  10. In a wok or karahi, preferably a cast iron karahi pour mustard oil. Bharwan Karela taste best in Mustard Oil but if you like you can use even Vegetable Oil.
  11. After the oil has heated and you can see the smoke coming out that is when you put the spice stuffed karela for frying. If you have any left over spice mix you can put it on top now.
  12. Toss them for five minutes and then cover with a steel plate or lid and press tightly with a kitchen towel. Let them cook on medium flame.
  13. After every five to seven minutes open the lid and turn the sides of karela to cook evenly.
  14. The karela will obtain dark brown colour after around fifteen minutes. Ensure you keep turning sides and cook evenly for they will burn.
  15. Remove the karelas in a serving platter and with the left over oil in the same wok or karahi add halved onions and green chili.The onions will absorb the taste of karela from the burnt oil.
  16. Cover the onions with the lid like earlier and cook for couple of minutes.
  17. Mix them with the karela and Serve hot with Chappatis.
Notes
  1. The spice mix can be very spicy for few. You can moderate the proportions as per your wish.
  2. Making extra spice mix is always good, incase you fall short of the mixture.
  3. The use of cast iron karahi can bring some additional flavour.
  4. Cook the karelas on medium flame for on low flame they can turn dry and on high flame they can burn.
Adapted from Mommy Dearest
Adapted from Mommy Dearest
The Secret Ingredient http://www.thesecretingredient.in/
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Comments

  1. What a fantastic recipe anshu .Neat step by step pics as well .

  2. Came over from CAL.. sharing your recipe with mum.. Thanks 😀

  3. Vikas Rathor says:

    This is really mouth watering recipe……. I love to hv bharawan karele….but ur। Addittion of onion and green chilli make this dish awsm

  4. Thank you soo much Sathya Priya Karthik. 🙂

  5. How very sweet of you. I am glad you thought me worthy of this 🙂

  6. Vikas thankyou soo much 🙂 Yeah the addition of onions and green chilies makes it like a cake with icing 🙂

  7. Thankyou Surabhi 🙂

  8. Supper i gngg to serve karela lk tis

  9. Let me know if you like it 🙂