Stuffed Karella – Bitter gourd at its glorious best!

I described this recipe as “Karella, at its best” because, nothing of this vegetable is wasted in the cooking process: whole pod of this vegetable, the skin, seeds and the ‘fleshy part’, is being used to make this glorious dish; not only is it delicious, but also is rich in medicinal value.

This particular cooking method stems from Punjabi cuisine tradition, which later on spread its way across India, favoured  by many cultures for its unique taste, enriched with numerous health benefits.

It has been renowned as a super diabetes buster for ages.  New findings through extensive research have proved that the seeds of Karella form a robust fighter against cancer cells, which guaranteed its rank among super vegetables provided by nature.

Although, stuffed karella is normally deep fried in some recipes, I took steps to to keep its rare medicinal value intact: I steam them, with little olive oil sprayed all over.  Hence, I can assure you that according to this recipe karella comes with its best to your plate!

You will need :

 Karella  (opt for around 3 inch long ones)  6
 Onion – big  1
 Ginger and garlic paste  1 tbsp
 Basan ( Gram flour)  3 tbsp
 Red chili powder  1/2 tsp
 Coriander powder, Mango powder  1 tsp each
 Turmeric powder  1/4 tsp
 Hing (Optional)
 Cumin seeds whole  2 tsps
 Lime juice  few drops
 Coriander leaves – Dhaniya
 Salt

Let’s make it :

Scrape it

  • Wash Karella and scrape the skin off.
  • Slit in the middle, take the seeds out from the cavity using a small spoon.
  • Chop the skin and seeds very thinly, sprinkle 1 tbsp of salt and keep aside for 1/2 hr.
  • Rub salt inside the cavities of Karella and keep aside at  the same time.

  • After 1/2 hr, wash both karella cavities,  chopped skin and seeds and squeeze, drain the water away using a sieve.

Stir fry it

  • Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan.
  • Splutter cumin seeds and hing.
  • Add chopped onion and saute until golden.
  • Add ginger garlic paste. Fry.
  • Add all the spices and fry.
  • Add gram flour and mix all thoroughly.
  • Add salt and check the taste.
  • Toss some chopped coriander leaves.
  • Your filling is ready!

Fill it

  • Fill cavities of each karella with the filling.
  • Spray olive oil around the pan and arrange karella side by side.

Stream it

  • Toss a bit of oil on top.
  • Cover and let the karella cook in the steam under low flame while turning occasionally, not letting them burn.

  • Finally, sprinkle little olive oil on top, toss some coriander leaves and serve warm with rice or rottis.

 

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