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How to Make Bharwan Karela (Stuffed Bitter Gourd)

Rajan writes to share his knowledge of health, yoga, pranayama, alternative therapies, natural remedies, food recipes, and more.

Stuffed Bitter Gourd

Stuffed Bitter Gourd

Bitter gourd, also called bitter melon, is known as karela in India. This recipe of stuffed bitter gourd is prepared in the North Indian Punjabi style with a stuffing of onions and a variety of spices.

Bitter gourd is a healthy vegetable that provides several health benefits, including one related to the lowering of blood sugar.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

45 min

1 hour

2 servings


  • 250 grams bitter gourd, washed and the skin scraped off then seeds removed by making a long slit on one side
  • 3-4 tbsp besan or gram flour
  • oil, for frying
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1 teaspoon anardana (pomegranate seeds), ground
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala


  1. Heat oil in a kadahi (wok) on high heat, then reduce heat to medium or a bit less and fry the karela until they are golden in color and cooked right through.
  2. Add the baking powder and a pinch of salt to the gram flour. Add as much water as needed to prepare a medium-thick smooth batter.
  3. Prepare the stuffing now. Squeeze out the water from the onions and then add the coriander powder, anardana, salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and garam masala. Mix well and check for salt. Add if needed.
  4. Fill this stuffing in the slits made in the karela. Roll a thread around the karela so that the stuffing does not spill out.
  5. Heat oil in the kadhai and reduce heat to medium. Dunk each stuffed karela in the batter to coat well all over and then place in the hot oil.
  6. Reduce heat to low and then fry the karela until they are crisp and golden. Keep turning them as you fry so that they brown evenly.
  7. Remove the strings and serve.

Bharwan Karela (Stuffed Bitter Gourd) Recipe

© 2018 Rajan Singh Jolly