How to Make Bharwan Karela (Stuffed Bitter Gourd)

Updated on December 21, 2019
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Rajan writes to share his knowledge of health, yoga, pranayama, alternative therapies, natural remedies, food recipes, and more.

Stuffed Bitter Gourd
Stuffed Bitter Gourd | Source

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 time: 15 min
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: 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

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© 2018 Rajan Singh Jolly


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    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      2 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Mitara, karela has a lot of health benefits especially controls blood sugar levels. Glad to know it's your dad's favourite.

    • MitaraN profile image

      Mitara N 

      3 months ago from South Africa

      A beneficial and healthy dish, I make it more often when my parents come over, it's my dads favourite.

      Thanks for sharing Rajan

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      18 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Scraping the skin does remove some bitterness. Seeds as such are not bitter. Sprinkling some salt after scraping the skin and letting them sit for 15-20 minutes will remove most of the bitterness. Hope you give it a try, Peggy. Thank you.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      18 months ago from Houston, Texas

      This sounds like a good way to eat bitter gourd. Question: Does removing the seeds and scraping off some of the skin remove some of the bitterness of bitter gourd?

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      18 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Haha manatita. Thank you and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      18 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Thank you, Bill. Wish you and your family Merry Christmas.

    • manatita44 profile image


      18 months ago from london

      I may have had this meal. Perhaps it kept my blood sugar in check. Haven't used it much though. Interesting kind of preparation.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I enjoy growing them; eating them is Bev's thing. I'll share this recipe with her. :) Wishing for you peace!


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