Stuffed Bitter Gourd(Karela)

The bitter goodness of Karela makes it a commended herbal remedy for many aliments including diabetes and cancer.Cherished in South Asian cuisine,spicing up the Karela can even out some of the overwhelming bitterness.The thick skinned variety sold in US seem a lot bitter than those tender succulent Indian kind,I figure boiling it in turmeric water can also ease some of the bitter taste(beware boiling can also drain away some of the nutrients).While some eat this vegetable for its health virtues,don't be surprised ,some with acquired taste ,count Karela as a favorite delicacy.With variety of ways to cook it, why not give this nature's best food a chance?.
Here are some other Tasty Karela creations :
*Mythreyee Karela Pulao
*Jai and Bee's Bitter gourd Crisps
*Sharmi's Bharwan Karela
*Seena's Bitter gourd recipes
*Indira's Karela recipes

Stuffed Karela
This recipe comes from my MIL's Hot n spicy Andhra Kitchen.A popular side with rice and sambhar,stuffed with spicy Onion mixture is also how I enjoy eating Karela.Do adjust the spice as per the heat tolerance,while my mom-in-law likes it as spicy as it can be with genuine hot guntur mirchi(chili peppers),I'm pretty much satisfied with moderate heat from the tiny green chillies commonly sold in Indian stores here.

2 medium bitter gourd\bitter melon,each cut in to 2-3 pieces,slit and seeded[Available in most South Asian stores] .
for stuffing
1 big or 2 small onions,chopped
1 big clove garlic,chopped
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder or seeds
2-3 green chillies
4-5 curry leaves or 3-4 sprigs cilantro
1 teaspoon Dry Mango Powder(optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Vegetable oil

Boil a pot of water and add a pinch of turmeric ,drop the Karela pieces and allow to cook for about 10 minutes.Drain.This helps in reducing the bitterness of a thick skinned Karela,it not necessary to boil for a tender variety of karela.
Prepare the filling by blending together stuffing ingredients. Stuff the cored Karela with this mixture and keep aside.Reserve any remaining stuffing.
Heat oil in a non stick skillet(preferably) on medium heat,place the stuffed karela ,let cook for 5 minute before turning.Cooking another 5 minutes,pour the remaining stuffing if any,cover and let cook another 8-10 minutes until soft and cooked through depends on the thickness of the karela.Serve with rice and Sambar.I served up with some Lemon Brown rice(recipe coming up in following posts)

The recipe is my entry for Shama's Grammathu Kaimanam,featuring Village Special recipes.

Interesting Read:
*Karela for Diabetes.
*Karela for HIV and Cancer


Nice recipe yasmeen. Never tried stuffing Karela.
Subhie Arun said…
cool recipe yar....neva tried stuffing ...
Gita Jaishankar said…
Nice photos Yasmeen...the stuffing you have used here is different for me...I have to try yours soon :)
Unknown said…
wow.. my fav karela.. last week i made stuffed karela.. looks really yummy..
Renus Kitchen said…
Nice yasmeen...have a question, does boiling Karela with turmeric helps in educing bitterness??
ARUNA said…
karela looks so gorgeous, i simply love the dish!
Sharmila said…
This stuffing sounds great Yaseen! Never tried anything beyond potatoes. :-)
Lena Jayadev said…
nice recipe yasmeen..this dish is new to me...i hav never tried stuffing..your recipe is bookmarked.. :)
Loved the first pic where the stuffing is trying to ooze out from the karela...yummy..hubby favourite
Cham said…
I ve seen recently lots of karela stuffing recipes, it should taste yum :)
Ammu said…
Lovely clicks. I wonder how this would have tasted :) yummy !
Priya Suresh said…
Wonderful dish Yasmeen...i just love anything with karela, stuffed karela looks gorgeous!
Parita said…
Thats very delicious and healthy dear..never tried stuffing karela's with onion..sounds yum yum :)
Finla said…
I never liked bittergourd even mom uses to force us to eat them saying they ar so good, love the recipe , stufffed one is really new to me.
Looks good.
Anonymous said…
Stuffed gourd sounds like a great idea - delicious!
Maria Verivaki said…
i've never seen this vegetable - this is a wonderful creative use for it
Yasmeen said…
thank you dearies:)
Renu,the kind of karela i used had a very thick skin,you could proceed to stuffing without boiling if the karela is young and tender.
Ashwini said…
Yummy recipe Yasmeen. Bookmarked.
mona said…
'Sukhe Bhare Karele' look yummy. Inshallah will definitely try your MIL's recipe, always looking for new recipes with bitter gourd. Jazakallah khair for sharing!
Camilla said…
meen, this is stunning. I have never tried karela before, but I've seen it at Central Market in Houston. You have inspired me to buy and try next time I am there. Thank you too, for all of the related health information, too--that much more inspiration to try and experiement. Beautiful!
Soma said…
One of my favorite veggies. This is a totally new way to stuff. i do a completely dry stuffing.. should try this out.. i planted karela this time in the backyard:-)
Poornima Nair said…
Sounds bitter gourd recipes.
Raks said…
Thats a unique recipe and great pics as usual!
sangeeta said…
the first photp is a winner.
nice recipe .........stuffed karela is a fav in my reduce the bitterness we use alot of amchoor or even raw mangoes and keep the stuffed uncooked karela in the fridge overnight,so the tartness of raw mangoes balances the bitterness.try it ...boiling n draining is not a good option.and this thick skinned variety is available in north india too.
Rush said…
i hate it and u make it look so yumm!!
Anonymous said…'s a vegetable I've never heared about before.Very interesting!
Manju said…
ive always loved karela but have never made stuffed karela..wonder why? thanks for the recipe..this looks nice and spicy and thats how i like my karelas to be :)
Pooja said…
Great recipe Yasmeen. The stuffed karelas look spicy and delicious! Though I'm not a fan of karela my hubby is..would love to make for him.
Indhu said…
lovely recipe... have never tried stuffed karela.. love the pictures!
Purva Desai said…
Karela has always been my fav sabji and stuffed karela my looks delicious...I usually boil them with salt to reduce the bitterness
notyet100 said…
yummy post even i luv bhrva karela,..specially with dal chawal
Kalai said…
On of my favorite veggie.Nice recipe.
CurryLeaf said…
Wow Wow Wow.Karela is one of my favourite veggies and love this stuffing.i would go with guntur mirchis here.Hot and spicy
syeda said…
omg Yasmeen! bharwaa karele look great,does it have the bitter taste even after it geting cooked?
mmm those stuffed bittergourd looks heavenly... Those green colored gourds over the yellow rice clearly speaks of spring in the air!!!
AnuSriram said…
Looks lovely! Infact, healthier too.. Gr8 post!
Yasmeen said…
thank you all!
thanks for the tips Sangeeta and Purva:)
Syeda,Yes it was bitter but not too much with the spicy stuffing :)
Shaheen said…
It takes guts to make something with karela! I think you've done a wonderful job with it.
Anonymous said…
It was rather interesting for me to read that post. Thanx for it. I like such topics and anything connected to this matter. I definitely want to read a bit more on that blog soon.
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