Malai Karela


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The malai karela is sure to bring a delicious combination of bitter karelas cooked in a malaidaar or creamy and smooth gravy. The malai or cream masks the bitter taste of bitter gourds or karelas and make for an excellent party recipe.

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Malai Karela recipe - How to make Malai Karela

Preparation Time:    Cooking Time:    Total Time:     Makes 12 servings
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750 gms bitter gourd (karela) , sliced
oil for deep frying
1 onion , cut into rings
6 to 8 cloves (laung / lavang)
4 sticks of cinnamon (dalchini)
10 to 12 peppercorns (kalimirch)
3 black cardamom (badi elaichi)
3 tbsp oil
1 cup fresh cream
1 cup tomato puree
1/2 cup walnuts (akhrot) , soaked in water , peeled and ground to a paste
2 onions , chopped
1 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1/2 tsp chilli powder
salt to taste
  1. Heat a tava and lightly roast the cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns and cardamoms and blend in a mixer to a smooth powder. Keep aside.
  2. Rub salt on the karela pieces and keep aside for 1 1/2 hours in a perforated dish.
  3. Squeeze the karelas to remove excess salt.
  4. Heat the oil in a kadhai and deep fry the pieces till brown and crisp.
  5. In the same oil, add the onion rings and fry light brown and keep aside.
  6. Heat 2 tsp oil in a non-stick pan and add the powdered spices and saute for 30 seconds.
  7. Add the turmeric powder, red chillies and salt and saute for 2 minutes.
  8. Add the chopped onions and saute till they turn golden brown.
  9. Add the tomato puree and saute till the water evaporates and the mixture becomes thick.
  10. Add the cream and stir continuously till the cream melts and releases oil.
  11. Add walnut paste and saute for another 5 minutes till the gravy thickness.
  12. Add the fried pieces of karela and mix well.
  13. Garnish with fried onion rings and coriander.
  14. Serve hot.

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This recipe was contributed by Shikha Jalan on 01 Oct 2011

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