karavila

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.

 

More Karella recipes

  • Delicious Karella curry – inspired by Panjabi cuisine

karavila

Delicious Karella curry – Inspired by Punjabi cuisine (Bitter Gourd/Karavila)

  • Karella stir fry with scraped coconut

Bitter gourd stir fry – Diabetes buster at its best!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Delicious Karella curry – Inspired by Punjabi cuisine (Bitter Gourd/Karavila)

karavila

This juicy karella curry,inspired by Panjabi cuisine so delicious, you wonder whether you really cooked the usually very bitter karella at all!

Bitter Gourd, also known as karella or karawila,  a sure diabetes buster, can be turned into a variety of dishes, depending on the type of cuisine you like to follow.  However, If you get the ingredients and their proportions right this is simply the best karella dish you can prouduce.

I am grateful to Munaza, my Pakistani friend and her mom, for her dedicated culinary guidance in making this dish.  The other amazing fact about this dish is that it only needs just three basic ingredients; chili powder, turmeric powder and salt despite its rich taste.

What you need:

Bitter Gourd/Karella/Karavila 4 medium
Onions(Indian Onion) 3 large or 4 medium
Chili powder 1/2 tbsp
Riped and Juicy Tomatoes 3 large or 4 medium
Turmeric 1 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Olive oil 3 tbsp

Let’s make it:

  • Cut the Bitter gourds in thin rounds. Do not wash before cutting.

karavila-300x203 Sprinkle Salt liberally, about 2 tbsp and leave for up to 4 hrs.  This will take out some of the  bitterness of Karella and make them soft enough to cook.   If you are serving this dish to a diabetic patient, leave only for 2 hrs in salt so that most of the bitterness is intact. karavila-3-300x263

  • Wash Karella in a colander under a cold water tap.
  • Squeeze out water.
  • Heat up  Olive oil in a wide pan.
  • Add the round Karella pieces and fry them until they turn Brown/Golden, while turning constantly. (Pls. see the pic for the colour)

karella-300x215

  • Meanwhile cut tomatoes in small chunks and onions thinly.

tomato-300x224

  • Once the Karella pieces turned into brown/golden colour , add tomatoes, onions, chili powder, turmeric and 1 & 1/2 tsp of salt, all at the same time.

tom-300x224 Now mix everything together and cook under medium fire, uncovered.  Remember to stir every now and again allowing it not to touch the bottom of the pan.  Do not lower the flame to minimum or cover the pan as the curry will become too watery.

  • The Karella will take about 1/2 hr to cook properly.
  • Taste and add more salt if required.
  • Drop three green bullet chilies , slit
  • Cover and lower the flame to the minimum and cook for about 5 min.  This will allow the juices to run.
  • Let the curry rest for a while before serving. (make it the day before for a juicier version)
  • Serve with hot white rice or chapatis.
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