Stuffed karela makes a great side dish to any meal. Karelas have many health benefits including a home remedy for diabetes.
Recipe will serve 4 to 6
For the Marinate:
- 4 bitter melon (karela)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
For the Filling
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1/8 teaspoon asafetida (hing)
- 2 tablespoons gram flour (besan)
- 2 tablespoons coriander powder (dhania)
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds powder (saunf)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder adjust to taste
- 1 1/2 tablespoon mango powder (amchoor)
For Cooking Step
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Also need some thread to wrap the filled karelas before cooking.
Preparing the Kerala
- Wash karelas thoroughly and using a knife, scrape the skin. Set the scrapes aside.
- Make a slit in the karelas length wise and remove the seeds.
- Add karelas and the skin scrapings to a bowl. Mix and sprinkle with salt and lemon juice. Let it marinate for at least an hour.
- Squeeze the karelas to remove all the marinade. Wash karelas twice with hot water and then squeeze out all the water.
- Separate the scrapings from the whole karelas.
Preparing the Filling:
- Heat the oil in a saucepan. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil; if the seed cracks right away, the oil is ready.
- Add the cumin seeds and asafetida to the oil. After the cumin seeds crack, add the karela scrapings and stir fry for about 2 minutes.
- Add gram flour (besan) and stir-fry for another minute.
- Add all the remaining dry spices: coriander powder, fennel powder, turmeric, chili powder, and mango powder. Sauté for a minute and then turn off the heat.
- Stuff the split karelas with this spice mixture (there should be some spice mix remaining, which will be used later). Tie the karelas with a thread so that the stuffing does not come out while cooking.
Cooking the Stuffed karelas:
- Add 2 tablespoons of oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Spread the stuffed karelas in the pan and sprinkle with salt. Cover the pan and let it cook for about 2 minutes.
- Turn the karelas over to the uncooked side and cook for about 1 minute. Repeat until all four sides of the karelas are cooked.
- Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water and the remaining spice mixture over the karelas. Cover the pan and let it cook for 2 more minutes.
- Remove the lid to see if the karelas are tender. Gently turn them over a few more times, making sure they are covered with the spice mixture.
- Stuffed karela can be served hot or cold and can be refrigerated up to a week.
For a slightly sweeter taste add 2 tablespoons of sugar to the cooked spice filling, prior to stuffing the karela.