Thursday, May 10, 2018

Stuffed Karela

Karela or the bitter gourd is not a veggie that turns up often on search engines. I haven't found too many people enthused by the idea of having karela for lunch. And the few who do, have it mainly for the health benefits it has to offer. Not for love of the vegetable. 
I genuinely do love karela. This puzzles as well as aggravates Mum. She absolutely abhors Karela. But love for her only child forces her to dish it up week after week! But there is only one way she deigns to consume it. Stuffed and deep fried. Health benefits be damned!
My grandmum makes this amazing bitter gourd curry with coconut and garlic. But nothing will induce mum to eat that. This recipe was handed to her by one of their neighbours. So for years these were referred to as Chandel Aunty Karelas!
These aren't as bitter as the other recipes. And the tangy, spicy filling is really quite addictive. Throw in a handful of french fries on top, and even kids will have a go!


Bitter Gourd                 6
Onions                          2
Ginger garlic paste        2 teaspoon
Garam Masala              1/2 teaspoon
Pepper powder              1/2 teaspoon
Dry Mango powder      1 teaspoon
Coriander powder         1 teaspoon
Salt                                to taste
Turmeric powder          1/2 teaspoon
Chickpea flour              2 tablespoons

Scrape the ridges of the karela. Slit it vertically and discard the seeds. Rub a little salt and turmeric inside and out. Leave in the sun for an hour. In the meantime, prepare the masala. Grate the onions, add salt and leave for 20 minutes. Squeeze the onions well to drain out all the water. In the drained onions, add all the rest of the ingredients, except the chickpea flour. Wash the karelas well and pat dry them with a kitchen towel. Fill the prepared masala into the cavity of the gourd. Now prepare a thick paste with the chickpea flour (besan), a little salt and water. Use this paste to seal the edges of the stuffed karelas. Heat oil in a wok and lower the karelas sealed side down. Cook on medium heat. You can choose to deep fry these. Or shallow fry them covered , turning them frequently to ensure they are well browned on all sides. Enjoy with some rice and plain yellow dal!