Bharwa Karela with Besan (stuffed bitter goard recipe) – A delicious semi gravy recipe with stuffed bitter gourd and potato.
Karelaaaa..!!! what!! no ways.. who eat that stuff? well apparently a lot of Indians do. Don’t go away yet. Let me first show you the recipe and then decide for yourself. Trust me you are going to love this stuffed karela sabji. No bitterness no odd taste. Simply spicy and masaledaar karela sabji.
A lot of people I know don’t like karela.. including my dear hubby. The primary reason why people dislike this vegetable is its bitterness. Karela needs to be prepared carefully otherwise the curry might turn bitter and spoil all the taste. That’s why I am sharing a detailed recipe of stuffed karela that you would love. Just follow the steps as I have made it and trust me you will not feel bitter taste at all.
Bitter gourd or karela has so many health benefits that one must include this vegetable in diet. It helps in purification of blood and also karela is a boon for diabetics as it lower the blood sugar level. Bitter gourds are very low in calories but dense with precious nutrients. It is an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, and B3, C, magnesium, folate, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, and has high dietary fiber. So its quite beneficial to have bitter gourd in diet in one or another form.
In this recipe of stuffed bitter gourd sabji, I have prepared stuffing from gram flour or besan. I have added different spices and flattened rice, groundnut powder in the stuffing. Also the taste of til (sesame seed) just lifts up the filling. Along with karela, I have also used potato and stuffed them using same mixture. The combination of karela and potato taste just amazing.
Usually the stuffed bitter gourd curry is dry. However I have tried this sabji with onion tomato punjabi style gravy. Bitter gourd in gravy taste superb and you must try once to know.
Tips to make perfect bharwa karela sabji
- To remove all bitterness from karela, apply salt evenly on its surface and leave aside.
- Squeeze and remove all the moisture from karela. The water should take out all bitterness. Throw away the water.
- Add sufficient amount of salt on karela. Too much of salt might turn karela salty.
- For making stuffing for bharwa karela, do not add water. Bind the stuffing using oil.
- After stuffing the karela if there is any left over mixture then you can add this mixture in gravy. Just cook the gravy with enough oil so that mixture is cooked nicely.
- I have added a little sugar in the sabji. It gives nice taste. However it is optional and you can avoid if you want.
Getting back to the recipe of stuffed karela in besan let us check the recipe with pictures.
Recipe of Bharwa Karela or Stuffed Karela with step by step pictures
Let us first begin with the ingredients. The list is quite exhaustive so I recommend you to check the recipe box at the end of this post. All the ingredients are described their with exact quantities.
Let us prepare the karela or bitter gourd. Peel the bitter gourd and cut into 1 1/2 inch thick pieces as shown here. Remove the seeds from center and create a hollow space inside. Remove the seeds from all karela pieces and take them in a bowl. Add salt to karela and apply salt through out thoroughly. Once the karela are salted let them rest for 40-50 min. By this time all the water will ooze out from karela taking all bitterness with it.
Once karela is rested for 40-50 min, squeeze them and remove all the moisture. Karela will become soft.
Now let us prepare bitten rice & peanut powder. Take the poha (bitten rice) and peanut in a mixture grinder and grind into powder.
In a bowl, take the roasted besan (roasted gram flour) and add poha & peanut mixture in it. Also add sesame seeds (til) and dry spices like red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, fennel seeds (saunf), salt and some sugar. Mix well all the dry spices. Now add garlic paste and squeeze 1/2 lemon juice. Mix well again. Now add 1 tbsp of oil and mix to prepare stuffing for bharwa karela.
The besan stuffing for bharva karela is ready.
Now stuff the mixture in each karela piece. I am also using potato with this karela sabji so I have cut the potato by giving two slits and stuffing the same mixture in it too.
Now place the stuffed karela & aloo in a steamer. If you do not have steamer then you can use a pressure cooker to steam these vegetables. Just place a plate inside cooker on top of some bowl. Add a little water and steam the vegetables for 10-15 minutes or until they are cooked nicely.
Now let us start making the gravy for stuffed karela sabji. Heat oil in a kadhai or deep bottom pan and add cumin seeds.
Once cumin seeds start browning, add hing (asafoetida).
Now add green chili, ginger and garlic paste in oil and saute for few seconds.
Add onion puree and mix well. Saute the onion puree for 1 minutes.
Add tomato puree and mix well. Let the tomato puree get nicely cook for 3-4 minutes. Onion and tomato puree will be cooked once the gravy start leaving oil.
Add red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, sugar and some salt.
Mix well and let the dry spices get cooked with gravy for 3-4 minutes.
The gravy is ready. Add steamed potato & bitter gourd (karela) in the gravy and mix well so that it is nicely coated with gravy.
Add little water to adjust the thickness of gravy. Let the sabji get cooked for 3-4 minutes. The delicious bharwa karela or stuffed bitter gourd with patota is ready. Garnish the bharwa karela sabji with fresh coriander (hara dhaniya) and mix well.
Delicious bharwa karela with besan is ready to serve.
Serve the bharwa karela sabzi with phulka, daal and steamed rice.
Bharwa Karela with Besan Recipe Box (Stuffed Bitter Gourd)
- Karela : 1 piece
- Potato : 2 small size
- Poha : 1 tbsp
- Peanuts : 1 tbsp
- Roasted Besan : 2 tbsp
- Sesame seeds : 2 tsp
- Garlic : 1 tsp
- Red chili powder : 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder : 1/2 tsp
- Garam masala powder : 1/2 tsp
- Coriander powder : 1 tsp
- Fennel seeds (saunf) : 2 tsp
- Salt : 1 tsp
- Sugar : 1 tsp
- Lemon : 1 tsp
- Oil : 2 tbsp
- Tomato : 2 medium, puree
- Onion : 1 large, puree
- Oil : 2 tbsp
- Sugar : 1 tsp
- Ginger garlic paste : 1/2 tsp
- Green chili paste : 1/2 tsp
- Red chili powder : 1/2 tsp
- Coriander powder : 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder : 1/3 tsp
- Salt : 1 tsp
- Water : 1/2 cup
- To make this delicious bharwa karela let us first start by peeling off the karela. Cut the peeled karela into medium pieces around 1 1/2 inch in thickness.
- Also we will use potato along with bitter gourd. Peel the potato and cut two slits across its length and make a way for stuffing.
- Remove the seeds along with center part of karela.
- Apply around 1 tbsp of salt on surface as well as inside thoroughly.
- Keep the karela aside to rest for atleast 40-50 minutes. Karela should start leaving all the bitter juice out.
- Once the karela coated with salt is rested, squeeze extra water from karela by pressing them in palm. This way all the bitterness should go away.
- Now to make the filling mixture, take the poha (flattened rice) & peanuts in a mixture grinder and grind into smooth powder.
- In a mixing bowl take roasted gram flour (besan) and add poha & peanut mixture, sesame seeds (til), red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, sugar and some salt.
- Mix well and add ginger paste and some lemon juice.
- Also add oil and mix well with the help of spoon.
- The mixture for stuffing is ready. Do a quick taste test and check if any seasoning is required in besan stuffing for karela.
- Now start stuffing the besan mixture in the karela. Fill a spoonful of mixture inside karela and also stuff the potato.
- Now steam the potato and bitter gourd in a steamer for atleast 10-15 minutes of until they are cooked all the way. You can use a pressure cooker to steam the vegetables.
- While the karela's are steaming we can start preparation of gravy. For that heat oil in a kadhai.
- Add cumin seeds and hing (asafoetida).
- Once the cumin starts browning add ginger , green chili and garlic paste. Saute for 20-30 seconds.
- Now add onion puree and mix well. Saute the puree for 1 min.
- Also add tomato puree, mix well and let it cook for 3-4 min until the gravy start oozing out oil.
- Now add all dry spices: red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt and some sugar. Mix and let the spices cook nicely in gravy for 2-3 minutes.
- Now add the steamed karela and potato in onion tomato gravy and mix nicely so that it is coated with gravy.
- Add little water if the gravy looks too thick and cook again for 2-3 minutes.
- Stuffed karela is ready. Garnish the bharwa karela with fresh coriander (hara dhaniya) and serve hot with phulka, daal, steamed rice and butter milk.
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