Bharwa Karela with Besan
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
Bharwa Karela or stuffed bitter gourd with besan stuffing - A delicious stuffed karela sabzi with besan stuffing.
Main ingredients
  • Karela : 1 piece
  • Potato : 2 small size
Ingredients for Stuffing
  • 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
Ingredients for Gravy
  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Remove the seeds along with center part of karela.
  4. Apply around 1 tbsp of salt on surface as well as inside thoroughly.
  5. Keep the karela aside to rest for atleast 40-50 minutes. Karela should start leaving all the bitter juice out.
  6. 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.
  7. Now to make the filling mixture, take the poha (flattened rice) & peanuts in a mixture grinder and grind into smooth powder.
  8. 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.
  9. Mix well and add ginger paste and some lemon juice.
  10. Also add oil and mix well with the help of spoon.
  11. The mixture for stuffing is ready. Do a quick taste test and check if any seasoning is required in besan stuffing for karela.
  12. Now start stuffing the besan mixture in the karela. Fill a spoonful of mixture inside karela and also stuff the potato.
  13. 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.
  14. While the karela's are steaming we can start preparation of gravy. For that heat oil in a kadhai.
  15. Add cumin seeds and hing (asafoetida).
  16. Once the cumin starts browning add ginger , green chili and garlic paste. Saute for 20-30 seconds.
  17. Now add onion puree and mix well. Saute the puree for 1 min.
  18. Also add tomato puree, mix well and let it cook for 3-4 min until the gravy start oozing out oil.
  19. 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.
  20. Now add the steamed karela and potato in onion tomato gravy and mix nicely so that it is coated with gravy.
  21. Add little water if the gravy looks too thick and cook again for 2-3 minutes.
  22. Stuffed karela is ready. Garnish the bharwa karela with fresh coriander (hara dhaniya) and serve hot with phulka, daal, steamed rice and butter milk.
Recipe by WeRecipes at