Bharwa Karela Fry recipe with step by step photos and video is nothing but stuffing the masala in the bitter gourd and frying it. Yummy, delicious and spicy, this dish is just perfect for the winter days.
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what are the health benefits of bitter gourd
Bitter gourd is very good for health. It acts as a blood purifier and has antioxidant properties in it. With antimicrobial properties present in it, the bitter gourd is good for treating blood disorders and skin problems. So there is no excuse why you should be avoiding this awesome vegetable.
How to remove bitterness from the karela
The main reason, why everyone avoids this vegetable is because of it’s bitter taste. As the name goes, it is indeed a very bitter vegetable. But once you know how to reduce the bitterness from this vegetable, you will fall in love with this humble karela.
The following are some of the ways that you can reduce the bitterness from the bitter gourd:
- Scrap the outer skin of the bitter gourd
- Cut into slices or whatever shape you indeed to cook. Sprinkle salt and allow to rest for sometime. Squeeze out the juice from it and proceed to cook as per your recipe.
- You could add some buttermilk and lightly boil them. Again proceed to cook as per your recipe.
- Remove seeds from the bitter gourd.
- Add amchur powder towards the end of your cooking. This reduces the bitterness of the karela a great deal too.
How do you prepare bitter gourd
In our bharwa karela fry recipe, we will be scraping the bitter gourd and then boiling them with yogurt, lemon juice and salt. This totally reducing the bitterness from the karela. Though not one of the healthiest versions, this still makes you relish this otherwise infamous vegetable.
How do you make the stuffed bitter gourd fry
The spice mix is pretty simple to make too. All we would need is garlic, red chilli powder or whole dry red chili and some dried desiccated coconut. Sometimes I would just make it with only garlic and red chili powder if I do not have the dried coconut at home.
You have to boil the karelas and then stuff this garlic, chili, and coconut paste into them and proceed to fry them till done.
You could fill in this spice mix in the karela and then tie them up with a string before frying. The tying helps the masala to stay intact within the karelas. But if the masala spills out, then do not worry. It is perfectly normal for that to happen.
Pro tips / Important things to remember while making this stuffed bitter gourd fry
- Scrape the outer skin thoroughly to remove the bitterness.
- Do not add too much water as the karelas will turn soggy.
- Fry them on really low heat for the perfectly cooked bharwa karela fry.
- You can store this karela for up to 2 weeks.
Step by step pictorial of making the bharwa karela fry
- Scrape the outer part of the bitter gourds and make a slit in the middle. Remove the hard seeds. This will depend upon the type of karelas that you but. If you buy big bitter gourds, then the seeds will be hard. But if you buy smaller ones, then most of the seeds will be tender. It’s totally your chocie to remove those seeds or not.
- Take the yogurt, salt and lemon juice in a pan. Add little water and mix well. Add just sufficient water and not too much. If you overcook the karelas, then they will turn soggy and mushy. The stuffed karelas will not taste as good.
- Next, add in the bitter gourd in the yogurt water. Mix well and keep on heat.
- Bring to a boil. Keep on high heat and keep stirring occasionally.
- Cook until water dries up fully and the bitter gourd change their color. The yogurt will curdle a little, do not worry about it.
- Take a bowl and add the garlic paste, red chili powder and dried coconut powder. Add little salt if necessary to the paste.
- Mix thoroughly.
- Stuff the garlic chili paste in the boiled bitter gourds. Remove any excess masala from the sides.
- Tie the stuffed karelas with a thread.
- Heat oil in a pan and place the karelas. You can either shallow fry them or deep fry. Just remember to cook on really low heat. We want fully cooked crisp karelas.
- Fry on low heat till the karelas are fully fried and crisp. Add in any excess garlic paste you have towards the end and mix them well with the karelas. Your bharwa karela fry is ready to serve.
You can serve this bhawra karela fry with some hot plain rice and khatti dal.
Serve it hot or you can serve it at room temperature.
So let’s get started with the Bharwa Karela Fry, Stuffed Bitter Gourd Fry
Bharwa Karela Fry, Stuffed Bitter Gourd Fry
- 250 gms small bitter gourd / karela
- 2 tbsp yogurt
- 1 juice of lemon
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 pod garlic
- 2 tsp red chili powder
- 2 tbsp dried desiccated coconut
- 1/2 cup oil for frying
- thread or string for tying the karela
Preparing the bitter gourd
- Scrape the outer part of the bitter gourd. Make a slit on one side. If the seeds are too hard, then remove them. Wash and set aside.
- Beat the yogurt and add salt. Mix in a cup of water to this yogurt to make buttermilk.
- Next add the lemon juice to this buttermilk.
- Add the bitter gourd to this buttermilk and bring to a boil.
- Stir in between. Cook till all the water dries up. (You will notice that the karelas have changed their color by now and are tender.)
- Allow them to cool down while you get the masala for stuffing ready.
Preparing the stuffing for the bharwa karela
- Remove the cloves from the garlic and peel them. Grind this to a find paste.
- Add red chili powder and dried coconut to the garlic paste. Mix well to make a thick paste.
How to make the bharwa karela recipe
- Take one boiled karela, stuff the garlic masala inside it, tie with a thread firmly and set aside.
- Repeat with all the karelas.
- Heat oil in a kadai and fry the stuffed bitter gourd on low heat till they are crisp on the outside.
- Serve with plain steamed rice with a dash of ghee on it.
- The bharwan karela fry stays good for a week if you do not add any water in the masala.
- The bharwan karele stay good for up to a fortnight if you store them well. Do not add water or your hand into it.
- Fry them on really low heat for the perfect result.
Signing off until next time,
This recipe was originally published in November 2016. Step by step photos and video have been added for better understanding for the readers. The recipe has been made printable in October 2018.
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