Masala Bharwan Karela
by Tarla Dalal
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Karela or bitter gourd, although quite bitter when raw, has a wonderful taste once it is cooked properly. It is a low calorie vegetable which has many nutritional benefits. In villages of the punjab people working on the fields need adequate amounts of nutrition. And the karela provides them with protein, calcium, iron and vitamins. Stuffing the karela with a blend of spices makes it very palatable and this recipe i used, with changes here and there, in many regions of india.
- Peel the bitter gourd and keep the peel aside.
- Slit each bitter gourd lengthwise, using a sharp knife. Scoop out the insides carefully creating a hollow in the centre. Apply a little salt to the inside and outside of the bitter gourd and keep aside for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Heat the mustard oil in a non-stick pan, add the cumin seeds and fennel seeds.
- When they crackle, add the onion paste and sauté till it turns translucent.
- Add the tomatoes, ginger, green chilli paste, turmeric powder, dry mango powder, punjabi garam masala, salt and coriander and mix well.
- Sauté till the mixture leaves oil and keep aside to cool.
- Drain the water from the bitter gourd and pat dry.
- Fill the prepared mixture into the bitter gourd and tie with a thread.
- Heat the oil in a kadhai on a medium flame and deep-fry the stuffed bitter gourds till they turn golden brown from all the sides. Serve hot.
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