Karela or bitter gourd is a very nutritious vegetable. But it is disliked by many because of its strong bitter taste. Bharwan Karela is one of the Punjabi Dishes without the bitter taste of Karela which is loved even by kids. Karela’s nutritional values become an added advantage when this dish is served with Indian Breads, Rice etc.
Bitter Gourd (Karela/ Pavakkai) – 500 Gms
Onion -3 Nos (finely chopped)
Cumin (Jeera) Seeds – 1 tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
Turmeric (Haldi) Powder – ½ tsp
Roasted Coriander (Dhania) Powder – 2 tbsp
Fennel (Saunf) Powder – 1 tsp
Dry Mango Powder (Amchur) – 1 ½ tsp
Red Chilli Powder- 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Sugar – 1 tsp
Roasted Gram Flour (Chickpea Flour/Besan) – 2 tbsp
Roasted and coarsely Pounded Ground Nut (Pea Nut) – 3 to 4 tbsp
Lemon Juice – 1 tsp
Oil – 2 tsp
Oil – 2 tsp
Salt – ¼ pinch
Red Chilli Powder – ¼ tsp
Wash and wipe the Bitter Gourd. Scrape them. Preserve the peels (Do not discard).
Slit the Bitter Gourd vertically on one side only and scoop the seeds and flush out. Discard the tough seeds and preserve the tender and soft seeds and the flesh also.
Transfer the scooped out Bitter Gourds, Seeds and flesh to a bowl. Add the Lemon Juice and Salt to them. Mix well and set aside for 30 minutes. This helps in reducing the bitterness. After 30 minutes, squeeze together the seeds and flesh.
At the same time, steam the scooped out Bitter Gourd for 3 to 4 minutes.
Heat Oil in a non-stick pan. Add Jeera. When it crackles, add Onion and stir fry in medium flame till the Onion becomes light brown in color.
Add the flesh and the seeds, Add Turmeric Powder, Coriander Powder, Saunf Powder, Amchur, Salt, Sugar, Ginger Garlic Paste and Red Chilli Powder. Stir fry all of them till the raw smell go away and the peels (skin of the Bitter Gourd) have been cooked well. It takes 10 to 12 minutes of cooking.
Add Roasted Gram Flour and continue cooking for another 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in between. Transfer to a plate. Add the pounded Ground Nut Powder and mix well. This is the stuffing.
Fill the stuffing in the steamed Bitter Gourd. Tie each Bitter Gourd with a thread.
Add 1 tbsp of oil in the non-stick pan. Arrange the stuffed Bitter Gourd in the pan. Gently turn them around till the Chilli Powder coats all the Bitter Gourds evenly.
Add Salt and Chilli Powder and spread it evenly. Cook in medium flame for 4 to 5 minutes.
Keep turning the Bitter Gourds gently in between. Cover the pan with a lid and continue cooking for 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in between.
Remove the lid and continue cooking till the outer skin of the Bitter Gourd becomes crispy.
Remove to a plate. Cut off the thread and discard before serving.
- Use Tender Bitter Gourd for this dish
- Steaming the Bitter Gourd removes the bitterness of the Gourd and reduces the cooking time.