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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stuffed Karela (Bharwa Karela)

I learnt the recipe of stuffed bhindi from my maternal grandmother. Tried to use the stuffing in karelas and it turned out to equally tasty. Though the stuffed karelas may retain some of the bitterness, but it is sure to be relished with rice.
While looking for the recipe, found out everybody has their unique style of preparing stuffed karela.

I am writing the way, using the stuffing, I learnt from my grandmother.


  • 10-12 small karelas (bittergourd / uchchhe)
  • 2 medium onions, finely sliced
  • 2-3 tbsp mustard oil


  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 100 gms besan
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • A pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder (to taste)
  • 1 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1 ½ tsp mustard oil


Preparing the karelas:

  1. Wash the karelas, scrap the skin with a knife and cut the tips.
  2. Very carefully make a slit cut on each of the karela on one side from start to end (be sure not to pierce the other end).
  3. Scoop out the seeds & flesh from inside the karelas. Keep aside.
  4. (If you don’t want the stuffed karelas to be bitter, scrap the karelas, cut a vertical slit, rub the surface & inside of the karela with salt. Squeeze water and pat dry.
  5. Alternatively put the karelas in salted water for 15-2- mins to remove the bitterness. Squeeze water and pat dry).


  1. Sieve besan, add turmeric, salt, sugar, asafoetida, red chilli powder & mustard oil and mix well till all the ingredients are mixed properly.
  2. Carefully hold the slit karelas in one hand and stuff the karelas with the besan filling.
  3. (Do not put too much of filling inside as the karelas may be halved).
  4. Arrange the stuffed karelas in a cooker bowl (alumimium)

Pressure Cooking:

  1. Take a pressure cooker, add 2 cups of water and lower the cooker bowl inside the pressure cooker.
  2. (Remember boil karelas (4-5 whistles), switch of gas and remove cooker from fire.
  3. Check whether the karelas are cooked properly or not by piercing with a fork.
  4. (If not, pressure cook with 2-3 whistles or till karelas are done).


  1. Take a kadhai / non-stick pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds to splutter.
  2. Add the sliced onions and sauté till golden brown.
  3. Add the seeds & scooped out flesh of the karelas and stir fry till tender.
  4. Add the cooked karelas and mix well. Stir fry for 2-3 mins.
  5. Turn of heat and remove from fire. Transfer in a serving dish.
  6. Serve hot with rice / roti.


Tiyash Bandyopadhyay said...

Hey I love the slideshow and you know I love the recipe.

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