Bharwa Karela masala is a stuffed recipe in which bitter gourd is stuffed with grounded spices and roasted in oil. The Bharwa karela itself is a dry dish but when coupled with spicy gravy, it makes a delicious accompaniment for rice or akki roti. Bitter gourd is known for its health benefits but the bitter taste which it carries makes it difficult to be eaten by kids and even many adults.

Bitter gourds are chopped and soaked in salt to reduce it bitterness. Later, they are washed thoroughly with water and then stuffed with grounded peanut coconut spicy masala. You will be amazed to see that the bitterness would have reduced without jaggery and the bitter gourd tastes delicious with the masala. Serve with hot rice and roasted papad or roti .

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Bharwa Karela (Stuffed Karela)
Ingredients For stuffing
Ingredients For gravy
Ingredients For stuffing
Ingredients For gravy
Recipe Notes

Directions for Bharwa Karela Masala Recipe

To begin preparing the Bharwa Karela Masala Recipe, wash karela and grate their outer surface with a knife or grater and remove seeds inside. Cut them 2 inches long, add salt and leave aside for 10 minutes.

You would see that the vegetable would have given some water. Squeeze the excess water and wash them completely. Doing so will reduce bitterness to a considerate level. Slice the gourds half way through so as to facilitate filling inside them. Keep aside.

In a saucepan, add water and bring it to a boil. Cook pieces of karela in boiling water just until the skin becomes tender. Avoid overcooking since they need to retain their shape. Drain the hot water and allow it to cool down enough to handle.

Dry roast peanuts until it turns slightly brown. Half of it for is to be used for stuffing and the other half, for gravy.

In a kadai, add oil and once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds. Fry them until they turn brownish.

Add garlic pods and fry them until they turn brownish.

In a mixer, add half of the roasted peanut, roasted coconut, garlic pods, jeera, jaggery, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, salt and grind them coarsely. Do not add water

Add a teaspoon of oil to the grounded powder and mix them well

Stuff the spice powders inside the bitter gourd;

In a medium sized frying pan. Add remaining oil and heat them over medium heat

Place the stuffed karelas in the pan and roasted until the outer skin turns brownish.

In a medium sized pan, add a half teaspoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, add garlic pods and cook until they turn brownish

Add the roasted peanut, coconut and garlic pods in a mixer. Grind them into a fine paste. Fill in the karelas with this thick paste.

In the same pan, add remaining oil and heat it over medium heat.

Add the grounded powders, red chili powder, salt, coriander powder, jaggery, and cumin powder. Combine them well.

Cook over medium flame until the raw smell of powder goes off and looks cooked and combined.

At this stage, add tamarind paste and water.

Cook with lid covered over medium flame until the gravy is reduced and grounded powders are absorbed completely. Adjust salt and switch off the flame.

Pour the gravy over the karelas and serve Bharwa Karela Masala  with hot rice and ghee or with soft roti