Stuffed Karela is a vegan recipe of bitter gourd stuffed with spices and powder mix. It is quite an everyday recipe in North Indian households.
Bitter Gourd is a vegetable that most people, unfortunately, hated despite being incredibly healthy and nutritious. For the apparent reason for the bitter taste, it possesses.
However, it can be eliminated if we rub them with salt and keep it aside for some time before cooking them. Curd is also an excellent option to use for reducing the bitterness of the vegetable.
Stuffed Karela in a Punjabi household is consisting of sauteed onion and sometimes fennel seeds powder in them. It provides a little bit of sweetness. However, we are using any of it here and giving the recipe a Gujarati approach.
You can use any ingredient in your stuffing as per your wish. It can even be a simple chutney that you stuff it with. But stuffing it with spiced potato will be a great combination. You can even make it sweet instead of spicy if you like.
Since it is a vegan recipe, everyone can enjoy it tension-free. Generally, this serves as a side dish with the main course. But you can have it with rice, roti or chapati. It is also a great recipe to have in a lunch box.
TR’s Extra Shots:
- Always choose the bitter melons that have dark green and thin skin and are smaller in size to make this dish. Don’t use the ones that are not tender and have a lot of seeds.
- The use of thread to wrap the melons after the stuffing and ensure it stays put can be helpful.
- The level of spiciness in this recipe can be flexible and adjusted as per your taste. Likewise, you can also add or subtract any other ingredient to your liking.
- You can add some jaggery to the mixture for some taste. This will also help reduce the bitter taste.
Questions About Stuffed Karela
How to remove the bitterness from the karela?
Most of the bitterness in a karela is from the seeds inside them. To eliminate or reduce the bitterness first remove the seeds. After that, rub the karelas with some salt and let it rest for some time. The salt will extract some bitterness along with excess water. Once the time is over squish out the water from the karela. This will immensely reduce the bitterness if not completely eliminate it. And for the gravy, you can add sugar, curd, or tamarind paste to reduce the bitterness.
Is it necessary to remove the skin of karela?
This completely depends on what you want and prefer. There is no compulsion to peel the skin of the bitter melon while making this dish. it is especially not necessary if the skin is thin and will get tenderised. However, it is advisable to remove the skin as its texture may not feel good on your tongue even after cooking the melons. Also, it can also disturb the overall flavour of the dish.
Can I air fry the karelas?
Yes, definitely. We have shallowly fried the karelas and some even deep fry them. But you also have the option to air fry the karelas. To do that, you need to preheat the air fryer to 200° C for 5 minutes. Spray or brush oil on the air fryer basket and place the karelas in it. Air frying the karelas for 6-8 minutes will be enough to get them brown and a bit crispy. This will be the healthiest method as it requires extremely less amount of oil.