If you want to make it quicker then just boil the karela for few minutes in water with salt and a little sugar added.This is a traditional and authentic bharwa karela recipe from Uttar Pradesh.We follow this same recipe from generations in my community and my household. Addition of raw mangoes and fennel powder make it delicious, different and special. Try this and you will surely love it.
The main taste comes from the addition of fennel and raw mango, if you don’t have raw mango then you can substitute it with mango powder or thick tamarind paste. The stuffed karela should be cooked in a heavy bottom broad pan on slow flame and don’t stir it too much, just gently flip the sides 2-3 times. No need to tie karela with thread.
How To Make Bharwa Karela, Stuffed Karela Recipe
- 500 grams Bitter Gourd / Karela
- 3/4 cup Raw Mango / Kachcha Aam grated
- 3 tbsp Fennel Seeds / Saunf coarsely grated / moti pisi huee
- 2.5 tbsp Coriander Powder / Dhaniya Powder
- 1.5 tbsp Red Chilli powder / Laal mirch powder
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder / Haldi Powder
- 1/2 tsp Sugar / Chini
- 5 tbsp Cooking Oil
- To Taste Salt / Namak
- Lightly scrape the bitter gourds on the outside and slit it length wise from the center keeping the base intact.
- Now generously apply salt inside and outside of bitter gourds .
- Collect the peels in a bowl and apply salt (use of peels is optional but I prefer to use peel in the stuffing). Then keep aside for minimum of 30 minutes..
- Now wash the karela and peels 2-3 times with enough water and squeeze properly.
- If you are in a hurry then boil them in slightly salted water for 3 - 4 minutes, drain and squeeze well.
- Take a bowl add all the spices,washed and squeezed peels and 2 tsp oil and mix it well.
- Stuff the masala mix in all the bitter gourds, and press the masala mix tightly with your thumb so it will not come out while cooking.
- If you still have some masala mix left, then slice the potatoes in thick roundels, slit them from the center to make pockets and stuff the masala in it, or stuff the masala mix in some thick green chilies.
- Heat about 5 tbsp oil in a thick bottom pan, and add a pinch of turmeric then add place stuffed bitter gourds (and potatoes and chillies if any) in the pan.
- Cover the pan and cook on slow flame. Keep turning the sides occasionally, so they can cook from all the sides. (It will take a minimum 15- 20 minutes to cook properly)
- When done take out in a bowl and serve.
- It will remain fresh for minimum 3 days at room temperature.