Stuffed Karela (Bitter Gourd)

by Kamala on September 18, 2009


Stuffed_Karela_Bitter_Gourd_1 Bitter gourd is called ‘Pavakkai’ in Tami and ‘Karela’ in Hindi. From olden days it is used as a medicine for diabetics. Bitter gourd is rich in potassium and other essential vitamins.

‘Stuffed Karela’ is a famous north Indian dish, nice to eat. Bitter gourd is stuffed with fried onion and dry masala mix. This is only a shallow fry and non-stick pans need even less oil. You don’t get the bitter taste in this.

Serves: 4


  • Marinating time: 30 to 45 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes


  • Bitter gourd (Karela) – 4 no
  • Lemon (squeeze and take juice) – 1 no
  • Potato (grated nicely) – 2 no
  • Onion chopped – 2 no
  • Green chilli chopped – 2 no
  • Cooking oil – 2 table spoon
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Dry masalas
    • Turmeric powder – ¼ tea spoon
    • Chilli powder – ¾ tea spoon
    • Coriander powder – ½ tea spoon
    • Roasted cumin powder – ½ tea spoon
    • Dry mango powder – ½ tea spoon (used for sour taste; can be replaced by lemon or tamarind)
    • Garam masala powder – ½ tea spoon

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Step 1

  • Wash and scrap the buds outside the bitter gourd lightly and keep it to to use in stuffing; slit the bitter gourd one side lengthwise with a sharp knife; remove seeds with a spoon’s back; if the seeds are tender, this also can be used in filling.
  • Now mix lemon juice with little salt and apply this both outside and inside the bitter gourd; keep it to marinate for at least 30 to 45 minutes.

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Step 2

  • Now heat a pan with ½ tea spoon oil; fry chopped onion and green chilli; when onion is transparent, add scrapped bitter gourd outer skin buds and tender seeds; fry for few minutes; add all dry masalas and salt; mix well, add grated potato; cook till all mixed and keep aside.
  • Now fill each bitter gourd with the mix; lightly wind 3 to 4 times with a thin cotton white thread so that after cooking you can take out the thread easily.
  • Now shallow fry in a pan with remaining oil in low flame; this will be done in 10 minutes; turn each side and cook; insert a tooth pick; if tooth pick goes smoothly it is cooked and if not, cook for few more minutes.

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  • Serve Stuffed Karela with Rice or Chapatti after removing the thread.

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  • Bitter Gourd is marinated to remove bitterness and to cook fast.

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