Bengali meals are incomplete without at least 5 to 6 types of curries, fries and side dishes. It gets even better when you have a munching and lip-smacking side dish with your meal.

One such dish is Stuffed Karela or Bharwa Karela or Stuffed Biter Gourd. Though there is lot of controversies around it. Some like this dish and some hate like anything and do never want to see the face of this Karela (Biter Gourd). This is a very common stories of all of us when we were kids.

But there is no denying of the fact that this dish has many health benefits. And there is other side of the coin too.

Yes. You got it right. It has certain side effects too. It is considered to produce more heat in the body and must be avoided if you have mouth ulcer or perhaps pregnancy plans.

However, taking all these points into consideration we thought to prepare this dish. Here goes the recipe-



5 big size Karela (Bitter Gourd) (irrespective of food, situation, a foodie will always say ‘bigger it is, better it is’)

2 to 3 tbsp of salt

6 to 7 cups of water


2 tbsp Coriander

1 tsp Cumin / Jeera

1 tsp Fennel / Saunf

1 tsp Kaloji/Kalo Jeera

¼ tsp turmeric

2 tbsp Aamchur powder (Dry mango powder)

1 tsp  Kashmiri red chili powder

6 tsp mustard oil

1 tsp of Hing / Asafoetida

2 finely chopped onions (big size)

1 chopped tomato (medium size)

3 to 4 finely chopped green chili

3 tsp chopped garlic

4 tsp curd

3 tsp salt

1 tsp Garam Masala

Thread to tie


Three steps and your Barwa Karela is prepared and ready to serve.


> Take the big size karela and start scrape the skin of Karela (bitter gourd) one by one and slit in the center.

> with the help of a spoon or fingers take out the seeds. Keep aside these seeds and the skin.

> Place the Karela (bitter gourd) into a large bowl.

> Sprinkle in 2 to 3 tbsp of salt and rub them well. Add sufficient water to the bowl so that all the Karela (bitter gourd) submerge well.

> Let them rest for 20 to 30 minutes to reduce the bitterness.

Karela (Bitter Gourd) with seeds


Take a relatively large Kadai and add 4 to 5 tsp of mustard oil and heat the oil with low flame.

> Add chopped garlic and sauté till you get the aroma of the garlic.

> Now add all the whole spices together and sauté them. Here you will get the aroma of the whole spices frying together. Add a pinch of Hing.

> Now add chopped onions, chopped green chili and keep frying until the color become transparent.

> Now add chopped tomatoes and add Haldi powder, Kashmiri Red Chili powder, salt & Aamchur powder and fry it for 2 min.

> Now add the scraped skin and seeds together and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.

> Now add 4 TSP of curd and sauté until the spices turn aromatic.

> Keep mixing the curd well until the stuffing turns moist.

> Take out this Masala from the Kadai and let it cool down.

Stuffing Masala is ready

> Now, after the Karela is marinated in salt water, take out the Karela and keep them on a dry plate and squeeze water from it, if required,  to make them completely dry.

> After you find the Karela completely dry, start filling the prepared stuffing into it

> When all the karela is filled with the stuffing, tie them with a piece of thread properly so that stuffing inside should not come out while frying.

Tie the stuffed Karela with thread properly


It is thought to be the most important & critical part of the recipe. So be careful of the steps.

> Heat 5 tbsp mustard oil in a Kadai and add 1 tsp of Garam Masala into it.

> Keep the flame low and add stuffed Karela one by one in the Kadai very carefully and roast for 5 minutes.

> Stir occasionally, cover the Kadai with a lid and simmer for 10 more minutes.

> Keep checking after every 2 min if the Karela is sticking to the Kadai.

> Check with a knife if the Karela is cooked properly. If not, cook until the karela is cooked completely without burning.

> When ready, take them out from Kadai and serve hot.

Enjoy this Bharwa Karela with onion and Bengali Kasundi (Mustard Sauce) as a side dish stand alone or you can have it along with your preferred meal, rice or roti.

You can have this Bharwa Karela with onion and Mustard Sauce

Some Fine points:

Here goes some of the fine points which are to be taken into consideration or discard as per the preferences of the user.

> If you use small Karela it takes less time to cook and tastes good.

> Always try to prepare the stuffing masala a little bit spicy to balance the bitterness. Bharwa Karela recipe tastes awesome when it is slightly bitter and spicy.

> If you use seeds and skin of the karela to make the stuffing Masala, it will taste slightly bitter but it has health benefits.

> Furthermore, after marination, you can even boil the Karela (post taking out skin & seeds) for 4 to 5 minutes with salt to reduce further bitterness.

> Always keep the flame of the gas low. Slow cooking always tastes better. If fried well you can keep this Bharwa Karela for 7 to 8 days in fridge and consume accordingly.

> If fried well you can keep this Bharwa Karela for 7 to 8 days in fridge and consume accordingly.

If you like this recipe and gonna prepare this Bharwa Karela, then Ek Like & Share to Banta hai Boss. Do share this recipe with your friends and family members.




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