• The Talking Bee

Stuffed Karela / Bharli Karli - Maharashtrian Style Gravy

Karela or Bitter Gourd, one of the most underrated #vegetable. Rather one of the most hated vegetable and I don’t know why. I personally think it’s very versatile. Give me Karela prepared in any form ( except juice ) and I am happy.

So, here I am penning down a recipe of one of my favourite style of preparations of Karela. This is a #Maharashtrian style. You can keep it dry or make it into a gravy.


For Stuffing-

  • Take grated dry coconut about 4-5 tablespoons. Dry roast this with 1 tsp cumin seeds, 4 cloves of garlic and 1 inch ginger. Roast this till it becomes completely brown.

  • Let it cool down and later grind it into coarse powder.

  • In a mixing bowl add ---- 1 onion finely chopped, above roasted coconut powder, 5-6 tbs roasted peanut powder, 4-5 tbs gram flour, 2 tsp red chili, 1 pinch turmeric, 1 pinch asafoetida, 1 tsp coriander powder, ¼ tsp cumin powder and one small ball of jaggery.

  • Mix it well and let it rest for a bit.


For Karela -

  • Take about 5-6 medium sized bitter gourds. Wash them and cut them into pieces of about 3-4 inches each. Now make a slit on only one side of it so that you can remove the seeds from the inside and later you will be able to add the stuffing through it. Don’t cut open too much.

  • Apply little salt and turmeric on the inside of Karela. This enhances the flavour later. Trust me !

  • Now steam this in a steamer ( I steamed it in Idli Steamer) for about 15 mins.

  • Into these pieces of Karela, add above stuffing. You may add litter water into the stuffing, but I didn’t.

  • In a pan, heat 3-4 tbs oil. Once heated, add half an onion finely sliced, 4-5 curry leaves, 1 tsp mustard seeds.

  • When the onion is golden brown, add 1 tsp coriander powder and 1 tsp red chili powder.

  • When it turns aromatic, roast some of the leftover stuffing into the pan. Let it become golden brown and release oils.

  • Now place all the pieces of karela carefully into the pan.

  • Add all the remaining leftover stuffing to the pan.

  • Add 1-1.5 cup water, some more salt. It will be watery and it will help Karela take up the flavour of the gravy.

  • Cook on low-medium flame for minimum 15 mins. The gravy will reduce and become very thick.

  • You can add more Jaggery or more groundnut powder as per your taste. You can skip onion in the stuffing too. But according to me all these ingredients bring out the flavours so beautifully!

  • Enjoy the Stuffed Karela Gravy with steaming hot chapatis or bhakris.


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