Bharva Karela /Stuffed Bitter Gourd

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This is my mom's recipe. She had learnt from someone that if we cut and immediately cook the karela with its tail, it is less bitter in taste. She tried and found it correct, She has shared this recipe with many of her friends and they also felt the difference in the taste. I never have had problem in eating karela since my childhood. I think that because of my mom only, I have always cherished the karela's sabji.

  • 3-4 bitter gourd
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 2 tablespoon besan(gram flour)
  • 2 tea spoon minced garlic
  • 1 tea spoon minced ginger
  • 1 tea spoon red chilly powder
  • 2 teas spoon dhaniya(coriander) powder
  • 1/2 tea spoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tea spoon amchur (dry mango) powder
  • 1/2 tea spoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • salt to taste


  • Make stuffing mix by mixing all the ingredients in the bowl, except oil,cumin seeds and karelas.
1  2
  • Make a slit in each karela, scoop out the seeds.
  • Stuff the karelas with half of the stuffing mix. keep the remaining mix aside.
  • Heat the oil, add cumin seeds, when they pop add karela one by one.
  • Simmer the heat, keep it on the gas for about 20-25 minutes, keep turning them after every 5 minutes.
  • Now add remaining stuffing  mix, cook for another 5 minutes.
    Serve hot with chapatis.

Comments (4)

yesterday only i tried some karela recipe ( using microwave) --but burned them all --My mom maked awesome karela --but i am never able to make it --without the bitterness. Wish i had tried this one yesterday

forgot to ask my question :-

so is the besan (gram flour) and other dru masal pre-cooked ? how does the besan + other dry masala get cooked without oil ?( since oil+water is outside the karela)

@ nuts..
Actually oil enters in the karela. As we keep turning it,when the slitted part is down the oil enters in..and fry the masala.
We are cooking kerela for 20-25 minutes, if we use pre cooked masala, it get burnt in the 25 minutes as we are cooking kerela without water.
Rest of the masala which we add in the last, also gets cook in 5 min as there is no water.
Besan if you wish ,you can roast it before.

I have never tried making karela with the peel on. I always peel the extras. I am sure this would taste delicious. I love the bitterness of the karelas.