Recipes Cooked, Photographed and Written by Praveena
PrepTime:15mins CookTime:15mins Cuisine:Indian
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Bitter Gourd is a ‘not so well’ pampered vegetable. Agree with me? Obviously, the reason being its bitterness. Its called as Karela in Hindi and as Kakarakaya in Telugu language. On the contrary there are people who really love to make and eat Bitter Melons dish when prepared in any form.
There are not many recipes made using this bitter vegetable. Out of all, this stuffed bitter gourd is one such dish, many Indians are fond of. I always prefer making my Mom’s recipe which is a No-Onion No-Garlic recipe. But these days, I started to do with this different recipe (of my own) which is equally liked by my family.
We truly loved this new recipe of mine, that I had to make the same curry again, the same day. 🙂 So, just give it a try with this simple and quick recipe of Karela / Bitter gourd.
Possible Alterations for the recipe, ‘Stuffed Bitter Gourd / Karela / Kakarakaya Ulli Karam Koora’:
Using garlic powder, Instead of fresh garlic is very much suitable for this recipe.
Onion variety options: Though I have used red onions, the other onion varieties suitable white, yellow. Don’t use, shallots, green onions / spring onions.
For additional flavour, you might add a teaspoon of jeera / cumin powder (or) curry powder.
More Options to reduce the bitterness: I did try the same recipe by adding 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice, to the stuffing.
Adding coconut: Just before switching the stove off, add 2 tablespoons of freshly grated coconut or desiccated coconut. This assists in reducing the bitterness even more.
Health Benefits of ‘Stuffed Bitter Gourd / Kakarakaya Ulli Karam Koora‘:
Bitter Gourd / Karela / Kakarakaya, is rich in anti-oxidants, Vitamin C and ProVitamin A. It reduces blood sugar and promotes immunity. Above all, it is very low in calories. 100 gms of it gives only 19 cals of energy.
Hence, karela juice is specifically considered useful for Diabetic diet. Not just that, including Bitter Gourd / Bitter Melon in daily diet is one of the best remedies for Diabetic diets.
Less Oil Used: In general this recipe is deep fried, but to avoid heavy usage of oil, I prefer this pan fried stovetop method. Or best option would be to use an Air Fryer, which uses just few teaspoons of oil.
To conclude, this recipe is suitable for Plant Based, Vegetarian, Vegan, Soy Free, Nut Free, Gluten Free diets and more specifically for Diabetic Diets. Less Oil recipe with easily available ingredients.
Before starting to cook, don’t forget to see the Tips mentioned at the end.
Other Curry recipes here⇒ Curry / Koora / Stir Fry
Air Fryer recipes collection⇒ Air Fryer Recipes
Meal Platter collections⇒ Bhojanam / Thali / Meal Platter
- Kakarakaya Vepudu / Karela / Bitter-Gourd Stir Fry
- Stuffed Banana Peppers / Gutti Mirapakaya
- Stuffed Brinjal Dry Curry / GuttiVankaya Podi Koora
- Tender Bitter Gourd / Kakarakaya / Karela – 6 (size as per below pic)
- Hot Boiling water – 3 cups
- Salt – as per taste
- Besan / Chickpea Flour / Senagapindi – 4 tablespoons
- Red Chilli Powder / Kaaram – 3 teaspoons
- Turmeric Powder / Pasupu – ½ teaspoon
- Onions – 2 (medium size)
- Garlic Cloves – 4
- Fresh Coriander Leaves – 1 tablespoon (chopped)
- Cooking Oil – 4 tablespoons (for stove top method)
- “” – 3 teaspoons (for air fryer method)
- Chickpea Flour / Besan
Step wise pics Procedure for ‘Stuffed Bitter Gourd / Bharwa Karela / Kakarakaya Ulli Karam Koora’:
PREP WORK (for both methods):
STOVE TOP METHOD:
AIR FRYER METHOD:
- Always prefer to use ONLY TENDER bitter gourd / karela.
- As, I have selected tender bitter gourd / karela, the cooking time is very less.
- If the bitter gourd / karela is not tender, the seeds would be more bitter than the normal level, and the curry wouldn’t turn tastier enough.
- Adjust the salt and spice as per your taste.
- Do not add any water in the stuffing, the water that oozes out of the onion paste creates the wetness.
- For the Stove Top Method: Before switching off the stove, you might add a tablespoon of oil all over the bitter gourds. This adds more to the taste of the dish.
- For the Air Fryer Method: Though I took a total of 15 mins, from start to finish, you might remove them early too. Depend upon how tender the bitter melons are.
- Storage: This curry stays good up to 2-3 days at room temperature.
- It can be stored in refrigerator in an air-tight container, and used up to a week. Just re-heat before serving.
- The taste of this, Stuffed bitter gourd / karela / kakarakaya ulli karam koora, is truly worth trying and every single bite of it was an absolute delight to eat.
- The bitterness from the bitter gourd is not at all felt. Might be because of the onion based stuffing that we used.
Ingredients, Accessories on ‘AMAZON’ to ‘SHOP’:
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Stuffed Bitter Gourd / Bharwa Karela / Kakarakaya Ulli Karam Koora
- Small mixing bowl (for the stuffing)
- Small Frying pan (for stove-top method)
- Air-Fryer for air-fryer method
- 6 count Bitter Gourd / Kakarakaya / Karela (medium size / as per pic above)
- 3 cups Hot Boiling Water
- as per taste Salt
- 4 tablespoons Besan / Chickpea Flour / Senagapindi
- 3 teaspoons Red Chilli Powder / Kaaram
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder / Pasupu
- 2 count Onions (medium size)
- 4 count Garlic Cloves
- 1 tablespoons Fresh Coriander Leaves (chopped)
- 4 tablespoons Cooking Oil (stove top method)
- 3 teaspoons " " (air fryer method)
PREP WORK (common for both methods):
- Wash the bitter gourd/ kakarakaya, cut the tiny edges on both sides. Using the blunt side of the vegetable knife, gently scrape off the skin lightly.Cut each into half, then slit open only on one side by giving a cut across.Add little turmeric powder, teaspoon of salt, into a bowl of hot boiling water. Drop them into the bowl.Set aside for 10 mins.
- For the stuffing:Peel and then chop the onions finely. Take the onion pieces and garlic cloves into a mixie / spice blender, grind them into fine paste. Transfer this paste to a small bowl. Add the chickpea flour/besan, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder to the same bowl.
- Mix everything thoroughly and using a teaspoon, insert this stuffing into each karela/ bitter gourd through the slit we made at one end. Put everything aside.
STOVE TOP METHOD:
- Put a small pan on stove top under medium flame, pour the oil and let it heat.Gently place the stuffed karela / bitter gourd into the pan and close it with lid.
- After 5 mins turn each to the other side and close the pan with lid. Let it fry for more 3-4 mins.
- Then, open the lid,check if each one has softened. If not, let them get fried for more time.
- Once, all of them have softened, add the remaining stuffing. Mix everything. Switch off the flame after a min! Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Done!!
AIR FRYER METHOD:
- Spray / brush the air fryer mesh with cooking oil. Gently place the stuffed bitter gourd pieces onto the mesh. Again spray/brush each one with cooking oil. Close the air fryer, set the time to 10 mins, temperature to 200C / 390F.
- After 10 mins, pause the air fryer, gently turn each one to the other side. Brush/spray with oil. Close the air fryer again. Set the time to 5 mins, and temperature to 200C / 390F.
- Later switch OFF the air fryer, take the stuffed bitter gourd out of the air fryer onto a serving dish. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Done!
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