North Indian gravy Poriyal/Kootu

Stuffed karela

Karela or Bitter gourd or Bitter melon is a vegetable which most of them hate due to its bitterness. But the stuffed karelas are devoid of bitterness and people who hate bitter melons will also like this recipe. Though you can make this in normal bitter gourds available, it can be made best with the small bitter melons that are especially used for making stuffed bitter melons. My husband calls this as chintu bitter melon.  He hates bitter gourd when served as a curry or porichozhambu. But he loved to eat the bitter melons when it is presented this way. Since the bitterness is removed by marinating and stuffing, everybody likes to have this.

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For Marinate

Bitter melons – 4

Lemon juice – 1 tsp

Salt – 1 tbsp

For stuffing

Besan flour – 2 tbsp

Coriander seed powder – 1/2 tsp

Red chilli powder – 2 tsp

Cumin seed – 1 tsp

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Asafoetida – A pinch

Salt – To taste

Oil – 1 tbsp

Final step

Salt – If necessary

Oil – 2 tbsp



  • Wash and scrap the skin of Karela. Keep it aside.
  • Now slit the karela lengthwise and remove the seeds.
  • In a bowl place the karela and the skin scrapings. Sprinkle some salt and lemon juice over the karelas.


  • Allow it to marinate for an hour.
  • After an hour squeeze the karelas well. Wash it with hot water.
  • It removes the bitterness in the karela.
  • Separate the scrapings from the karela.


  • Heat oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds and asafoetida.
  • Once it cracks, add the karela skin scrapings and saute for a minute..
  • Add the besan flour and saute for 2 minutes. Then add coriander seed powder, red chilli powder, turmeeric powder, salt and saute well.
  • Mix everything together.
  •  Now fill the karela with this masala. Keep some filling aside to use later.
  • Tie the stuffed Karela with thread so that the filling cannot come out while cooking.


Cooking stuffed Karelas

  • In a kadai, add oil and place the stuffed karelas. Sprinkle some salt and close the lid.


  • Allow it to cook for five minutes.It will turn brown.
  • Repeat the same on all the sides.
  • Now add the remaining masala and cook for five more minutes.


  • Stuffed Karelas can be served hot or cold.
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