Bharwa Karela (Stuffed Karela/Bitter Gourd)

Karela, hmmmmm... not a big fan of it while growing up but mom takes special interest in making the curries. It is one of her favorite vegetable. She has various different recipe for Karela. Last year when she was here for my delivery she thought me lot of Rajasthani dishes and Bharwa Karela was must to learn as it had become my hubby's favorite curry :).

4-5 Karela
8-10 Garlic pods
3-4 green chilies
1 1/2 tbs red chilli powder
2 tbs dhaniya powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 1/2 thick tamarind paste (Alternatively use lemon juice or dry mango powder)
1/2 tbs cumin seeds
1/4 tbs mustard seeds
6-8 seeds of Saunf 
Pinch of hing
Few spoons of water
Few curry leaves
Salt to taste
4 tbs of Oil (You need more oil for this curry then other regular curry)

How I Prepare
1. First peel roughly just the bumpy outer skin of Karela. Then with the peeler shave the skin and keep it aside as show below.

2. Once the Karelas are completely peeled, do a slit in between and cut into half. If the karela is too small you can leave it as is with just a slit.

3. Place the Karelas in microwave safe bowl, add little water, salt and turmeric powder and heat it for 2-3 minutes. This will make the karela a bit tender and remove the bitterness.  If you like the curry to be bit bitter then you can skip this step.

4. Allow the Karelas to cool down and then squeeze the water out and keep it aside.

5. Make a coarse paste of garlic and green chilli. To this add the Karela skin by chopping it into small pieces.

6. Add red chili powder, dhaniya powder, tumeric powder, salt, tamarind paste and make a paste as shown below.

7. Now fill the above paste into the cut karela. Keep the remaining paste as is.

8. Heat up the oil in a wide pan. Add hing, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, Saunf and curry leaves. To this drop the stuffed karelas, left over masala and gently give a toss.

9. Cover the pan with a lid and allow it to cook for 15-20 minutes on a low flame. Stir it occasionally and if water is required add spoon by spoon.

10. Once the Karelas are cooked, you will see oil coming out of masala. Also make sure you are not getting the raw smell of the masala still.

11. Serve it hot with roti. 

1. This curry stays good for 2-3 days at room temperature.  
2. Additionally you a fry the masala for 2-3 minutes before stuffing. 


  1. It's really great post and nice information about the Karela (Bitter-Melon) in your website.
    and Anybody get right information by your website and your post #Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia), also known as Karela, is a vine that is native to India. The fruit of the plant contains several active compounds called bitters (especially charantin and momordicin), vicine and a polypeptide (p-insulin) which help support healthy blood sugar levels.

  2. Awesome! i found blog today. good blog ! kerela dish so healty indian dish. i wil try. looks for spicy indian recipe. thankyou for shearing this

    information with us
    !chowringhee recipes