Stuffed Karela!

Last week I wrote about our excitement about finding Indian vegetables at our local market! Today I finally get to post about using one of them in a recipe! Last night I made dear hubby stuffed Karela! He loves these tasty strong gourds but these are by far my mother-in- laws favorite food. I am so glad that I have learned to make them correctly. I can now make these for her when she comes to live with us here in the USA eventually. They take some work but they are very tasty and great in the summer!

Karela also called a bitter gourd is commonly known to have a positive effect on diabetes.

“The fruit contains at least three active substances with anti-diabetic properties, including charantin, which has been confirmed to have ablood glucose-lowering effect, vicine and an insulin-like compound known as polypeptide-p.These substances either work individually or together to help reduce blood sugar levels. It is also known that bitter melon contains a lectin that reduces blood glucose concentrations by acting on peripheral tissues and suppressing appetite – similar to the effects of insulin in the brain.” (i)


  • 6-7 small karela/bitter gourd
  • ¾ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¾ tsp red chili powder
  • ¼ tsp punjabi garam masala
  • 1 tsp amchur powder
  • 1 tsp fennel powder/saunf powder
  • 2 medium sized onions, finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • salt as required
  1. Rinse and peel the karela. Do this gently, you do not want to peel off all of the skin, just the large bumps. I use a knife and rake it across rather than a peeler.
  2.  Make a long cut to open up the karela keeping the base intact.
  3. Remove the seeds and pith with your hands or scrape with a small spoon.
  4. Salt the Karela and place two tablespoons of lemon juice on them in a bowl. Let sit for an hour. You will then squeeze the juice from the Karela. This will cut some of the bitterness. Rinse the remaining salt water off the Karelas.
  5. Heat the oil and fry the karela in the oil till they are browned and cooked on all sides.Remove the Karela and place on a towel. 
  6. In the same oil, add the onions and fry them till they begin to brown add chilis and spices and cook until oil starts to release from the base and it is fully cooked.
  7. Use the cooked base and stuff the fried karela. Some people use thread to tie up the karela to keep the base in. Cook stuffed Karela until completely cooked and tender enough to eat. 
  8. Stuffed Karela are great with rotis, In our family we eat them with yellow daal and yogurt. They have a strong flavor that we all adore! I hope you enjoy!

5 thoughts on “Stuffed Karela!

  1. I like karela sliced and stir fried with just turmeric and salt. The most bitter part is the seeds in them, so to get a good Karela Fry the key is to scoop the inside out and only fry the green rind bumps and all.

    I love Karela, but my husband hates it with passion, he has memories of being forced to eat them as a kid 🙂

    • I really want to try them cut up they sound really good and easier to fry. My husband and I love them my daughter on the other hand hates them but I didn’t force her to eat it though hopefully in time she will like them as well lol

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