Note :Pick really good tender bittergourd without any blemishes or insect bite and rotten spots as we are going to pressure cook the bitter gourds as such so please double check all sides and corners.If u are unsure of going directly then wash the bitter gourd first make a slit and carefully scoop out the inside and check the pulp inside if its clean.
Continue to pressure cook the veggie and use the pulp directly in masala filling as given below.
Bitter gourd – 6 – 8 small tender ones
Groundnut/peanut – 1 cup / Use roasted besan instead
Red onion – 1 large
Garlic – 4-5 flakes chopped finely
Ginger – 1 ” inch piece chopped finely
Red chilli powder- 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1/3 tsp
Coriander powder- 1 tsp
Cumin / Jeera powder- 1 tsp
Amchur powder – 1 tsp ( Chaat masala powder is not a substitute for amchur but I am obsessed so I use it here 🙂
Salt to taste
1. Wash the bitter gourd many times. Cut just the black tip of head. I do not snip off the stalk.
Dry roast the peanut till crisp and oil shines on the nuts. Let it cool and powder it to kind of slightly coarse mix.
Mean while pressure cook bitter gourd with 1 cup water and salt until Just 3/4 cooked (for me it takes 8-9 minutes in medium heat no need to make it whistle). I reserve the cooked water from the cooker.(optional)
2. Remove the bitter gourd from the pressure cooker once slightly cool cut a slit carefully (only on top of bitter gourd in such a way that it will lay flat when u fry) as seen in pic.
Scoop the inside of the gourd with a small spoon (smooth spoon) keep aside.
3. In a pan heat few tsps of cooking oil add the ginger garlic chopped finely saute it for 2 minutes then add the chopped onion saute until slightly brown. Add the spice powders and continue sauteing until the spice aroma comes out add the inside of the bitter gourd scooped (seeds ,stringy flesh everything is good) saute well until masala coats then use the reserved salted water from pressurecooker (step 1) cover and cook until done.
4.Switch off flame and add the peanut powdered to the cooked masala mix well (oh the filling is really really yummy)
5. Fill the cavity of the bitter gourd with the prepared filling ( do not over stuff it will simply fall out and burn while frying)
**Note: If u cook the bitter gourd entirely in pressure cooker and stuff the filling it can be served as it is to diabetic patients without frying.
**From next step it is purely for taste and all the nutritional value is lost .
6. Close both the ends of the Karela / Bitter gourd using a cotton twine/ thread tie by running it in a criss – cross pattern so the filling does not fall out. Tie a tight knot.
Heat some oil in a pan and and shallow fry it till fully cooked and crisp (not burnt)
Remove and return to the remaining masala filling pan saute fo few minutes carefully so the outside is also coated well.
Serve along with buttered chapatti / paratha ,plain dal ,salad and pickle .(Remember to cut the tread before serving )
These masaledar karelas stay upto a week in fridge and can be served as a pickle too.
I have made Dal palak to go along with bharwan karela… oh yuummm is all I can say!
Hope you like it.