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Bharwan Karela / Stuffed Bittergourd / Karela masaledar
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Bharwan Karela / Stuffed Bittergourd / Karela masaledar

A yummy side dish made with onion, peanut and tart mango flavors fillings inside bitter gourd.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Natural pressure release 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 259kcal


  • 6-8 Bitter gourd Use only small tender ones
  • 1 cup Peanut Roasted
  • 1 large Red Onion chopped
  • 1 inch Ginger chopped
  • 5 cloves Garlic chopped

Spice powders

  • 1 tsp Paprika powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Amchur powder Check list above for substitutions
  • Salt to taste


  • 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.

In the regular pressure cooker

  • 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)

If using Instant pot / Electric pressure cooker

  • Put the bitter gourd on the trivet add 1 cup water to inner pot and switch MANUAL MODE / Pressure cook - 4 minutes . Nautal pressure release 15 to 20 minutes then open. Check for done ness.
  • 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 pulp and seeds inside from the gourd with a small spoon (smooth blunt spoon) keep aside.
  • 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 sprinkle reserved salted water from pressure cooker (step 1) cover and cook until done. 
  • Switch off flame and add the peanut powdered to the cooked masala mix well (oh the filling is really really yummy)
    Fill the cavity of the bitter gourd  with the prepared filling  ( do not over stuff it will simply fall out and burn while frying) Use only half the filling.
  • **PLEASE 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.

Next step onwards its purely optional / only for taste

  • 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.
    Check video to do without tying .
    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.

Serving suggestion:

  • 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 make Dal palak to go along with bharwan karela or wadi (yogurt curry)


The roasted peanut powder adds the nutty flavor and amchur powder/ tart flavoring  adds tang both together disguises all the bitter taste  you are expecting here so don't skip these two .
Adding jaggery makes it slightly sweet but I don't 
NOTE: Nutrition values are app generated. If you rely on them for your diet please consult a professional dietitian for nutritional advice.


Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 18mg | Potassium: 780mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 911IU | Vitamin C: 121mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 3mg