Stuffed karela makes a great side dish to any meal. Karelas have many health benefits including  a home remedy for diabetes.

karela

Ingredients:

For the Marinate:
  • 4 bitter melon (karela)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
For the Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafetida (hing)
  • 2 tablespoons gram flour (besan)
  • 2 tablespoons coriander powder (dhania)
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds powder (saunf)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder adjust to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon mango powder (amchoor)
For Cooking Step:
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Also need some thread to wrap the filled karelas before cooking.

Method:

Preparing the Kerala
  1. Wash karelas thoroughly and using a knife, scrape the skin. Set the scrapes aside.
  2. Make a slit in the karelas length wise and remove the seeds.
  3. Add karelas and the skin scrapings to a bowl. Mix and sprinkle with salt and lemon juice. Let it marinate for at least an hour.
  4. Squeeze the karelas to remove all the marinade. Wash karelas twice with hot water and then squeeze out all the water.
  5. Separate the scrapings from the whole karelas.
Preparing the Filling:
  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil; if the seed cracks right away, the oil is ready.
  2. Add the cumin seeds and asafetida to the oil. After the cumin seeds crack, add the karela scrapings and stir fry for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add gram flour (besan) and stir-fry for another minute.
  4. Add all the remaining dry spices: coriander powder, fennel powder, turmeric, chili
  5. powder, and mango powder. Sauté for a minute and then turn off the heat.
  6.  
  7. Stuff the split karelas with this spice mixture (there should be some spice mix remaining, which will be used later). Tie the karelas with a thread so that the stuffing does not come out while cooking.
Cooking the Stuffed karelas:
  1. Add 2 tablespoons of oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Spread the stuffed karelas in the pan and sprinkle with salt. Cover the pan and let it cook for about 2 minutes.
  2. Turn the karelas over to the uncooked side and cook for about 1 minute. Repeat until all four sides of the karelas are cooked.
  3. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water and the remaining spice mixture over the karelas. Cover the pan and let it cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Remove the lid to see if the karelas are tender. Gently turn them over a few more times, making sure they are covered with the spice mixture.
  5. Stuffed karela can be served hot or cold and can be refrigerated up to a week.
Variations
For a slightly sweeter taste add 2 tablespoons of sugar to the cooked spice filling, prior to stuffing the karela.

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