VoW Bharela Karela: Mango stuffed Bittergourd

I HATE Bittergourd / Pavakka / Karela. Or did, until I tried my Mothers recipe for Stuffed Karela. I had not eaten it for a good fifteen years, until Pooja's VoW Bittergourd event forced me to try it again.

But the things I do for Vow, sigh. Pooja owes me big time!

So I called up my mom to get the actual recipe, and she was ecstatic that I was making it. It is amusing that I now voluntarily make and eat the things my mom used to have to twist my arm to even try.

I tried it. And surprisingly enough....liked it! If a karela hater like me can be converted, I am sure karela enthusiasts will love this recipe.

So here it is.

I only had the heart to try out the recipe for two karelas, so please scale up as necessary.

1/2 unripe mango, peeled and roughly grated
1/4 small onion, finely sliced in long
1 tsp saunf
2 tsp dhana jeeru powder ( equal amounts of dhania and jeera , toasted and powdered)
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp red chilli powder or to taste
2 tsp Besan/ kadala maavu

First,take a knife/ peeler and remove the outer rough skin. Then slit the karelas along its length. Remove the seeds. At this point, add salt, the turmeric and half the red chilli powder to the karela. Rub it in and let it rest for about half an hour or so. This should draw out some of the bitter juices.

Prepare the mango and onion, and saute in a pan with a little oil with the red chilli powder, dhana jeeru and saunf until cooked through.Cool.

Add the besan to this mixture and stuff the two halves of the karela and join them together again. My mother used to tie it up using a string. I was too lazy so I just placed the stuffed karelas in a pan with a little oil and fried them up.

The verdict:
The tangy sourness of the mango is really good in counteracting the bitterness of the karela. Next time I would steam the stuffed karelas in an idli steamer or microwave it for five minutes before frying it. That would make it a little easier to bite. Also feel free to increase the quantity of the saunf seeds- they refresh the mouth very well too.

So Pooja, heres one for you!


Pooja said...

What ??? you didnt eat karela for 15 years :O .... I am not much of karela lover but I am good girl of my mom , I eat it every time she makes :) he he he.
That's really too good stuffing for Karela ms. I loved it , a big thanks to you for your efforts and to your mom for this recipe. This surely has very creative things to stuff it with , and with lot of sauna, I gonna try this soon.
Thanks buddy for this lovely entry :)

Medhaa said...

same here, I too got a moms recipe for karela and loved it, thanks to Pooja, but I was lucky my mom cooked it for me I just took the picture and ate it.

Thanks for sharing this great recipe

sra said...

This is very interesting - never heard of this combination. I recently ate a fry with no bitterness in it whatsoever, and they didn't add any jaggery/sugar either!

ms said...

pooja- dahi dikri no.1 tu :) I wish this blog would allow me to type in gujarati!
medhaa- you are lucky your mom cooks for you! Mine is 9000 miles away!
sra- I did not notice that my moms recipe did not have any sugar until you pointed it out. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

hello. ur recipes sound nice and easy to make... karela yes that bitter mytery vegetable... one wud turn up ones nose at it.. however after so many years ...i have (i feel) given the vegetable its due... i just love it ... with sukki rotli... i make it along with besan... lotyu.. as we call it in gujarati.. for a change u can get hold of the baby karelas and deep fy them .. they are just awesome..Rupa

Anonymous said...

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