Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stuffed Karelas (bittergourd)

The first time I ever tasted stuffed karelas was when we visited my mom's second brother and family in Hyderabad. Our aunt made this dish for dinner one day and we all enjoyed it a lot.. at that time however, I wasn't too fond of this bitter vegetable. So though I really liked what my aunt made, I would never had bothered to make it...

All that changed when I was pregnant... guess what I craved most at that time...??? yep... bitter gourd... I had severe 'morning sickness' that lasted the whole day, for the first 4 months... at the least provocation I had to run for the loo.. anything from the smell of rice to the sound of daily TV serials ..!!! but I would drool at the smell of bitter gourd cooking and I sometimes would just saute it with a little onions and tomato and have it semi-cooked... my husband never could understand that.. he told me normal people would puke at smelling half-cooked bitter gourd and there I was, in my delicate condition, shoveling it down like it was the tastiest thing in the world..!!!

Four years later, I still love bitter gourd, and if it is fried to cinders, even my husband likes it with curd and rice. When I bought the tiny karelas, I had decided to try stuffing them..but when i checked for recipes, many of them were very complicated, so I just read them and then decided to go ahead and give it my own twist as I normally do to most of my cooking.

Bitter gourd/ karelas /paavakka - 6 small ones

Wash them well, scrape all the spines slowly with a knife and keep it aside to include in the stuffing.

Slit one side of the karelas. Scrape off the seeds inside.

For the stuffing

Oil - 2 tsp
Onion - 1 diced fine
Tomato - 1 diced fine
Aloo mash flakes - 1 and 1/2 tbsp (or mash a very small boiled potato)
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Jeera/ cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander/ dhania leaves - finely chopped about 1 tbsp

Heat oil in a pan, saute onions, then add the tomatoes and saute till the oil comes out. Add the scraped bitter gourd spines, chilli, turmeric and jeera powders, saute and cook for 5 minutes.Add the mashed potatoes, the dhania leaves and the salt to taste.

Now stuff the bitter gourds and shallow fry in a non-stick pan till brown on all sides.

We had it with rice, curd and omelettes. They will be great with chappatis too.I will definitely make them as soon as possible, since I got a thumbs up from my husband too... !!!


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  2. In Trinidad and Tobago we call this Kalounji. Nice blog btw! :-)

  3. I do not like karelas.. but the picture you have here tempts me to try it out.
    Your write-up for this dish is hilarious and makes the receipe more interesting.