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Posted by on Aug 30, 2013 in Indian, Veggies | 0 comments

Stuffed Bitter Gourd(Bharwan karela)

Stuffed Bitter Gourd(Bharwan karela)

Have you heard of bitter gourd?
If you grew up in India, I am sure you may have. As the name implies, it is bitter, sharp bitter gourd. Not many people like it and you know why?

You would think why would my parents buy a bitter vegetable and cook it for a houseful of kids? Simply because they knew it is good for us, regardless of the opinions our taste buds had. Bitter gourd has been long known for its medicinal values. Guess what, we all got used to it over the time.


Bitter gourd is not available in our regular grocery stores. I get it from Indian stores. You will know it by the chiseled ridges.

My mom was very creative with it.She cooked it in many different way.One of my most favorite way to eat this has been stuffed bitter gourd.

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  • To subdue the bitterness, my mom boiled it, sometimes with lemon juice.

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  • Stuffing has generous amount of dry mango powder. It is easily available in Indian stores. However I have cooked it without mango powder. I used lemon juice and tomatoes for tart.


It is served as side dish to rice or bread. Preferably rice. Since you can mix it with rice. The way to eat it, you take every bite with the stuffing. In a spoonful, you will taste the bitterness of the gourd, tartness of the mango powder, aroma of ground coriander and cumin.


No one in my family liked it,as expected.It is one of those vegetable which i love but don’t cook it enough because i am the only one eating,top of that,it is not available easily to me.

Stuffed Bitter Gourd(Bharwan karela)


  1. 4 medium size bitter gourds
  2. Water
  3. Filling
  4. 2 medium size onion chopped fine
  5. 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  6. 4 cloves of garlic crushed
  7. 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  8. 2-1/2 tablespoons coriander powder
  9. 1-1/2 tablespoons cumin powder
  10. 3 tablespoons dry mango powder
  11. Cayenne pepper to your taste
  12. Salt to taste
  13. Oil


  1. Clean the bitter gourds.
  2. In a pot,add water.Add bitter gourds to it.
  3. Boil it until it is soft but not broken.
  4. Let it get cool enough to handle.
  5. Slice the boiled bitter gourds in half (width wise) in the middle.
  6. Scoop out the seeds.
  7. Keep it aside.
  8. Filling
  9. In a pan,add oil about 3 tablespoons.
  10. Add chopped onion.Let it get translucent.
  11. Add rest of the fillng ingredients,ginger,garlic,tomato paste,coriander-cumin powder.Cayenne pepper
  12. Season it with salt.
  13. Cook it until filling comes together.
  14. Now using small spoon or hand,stuff this filling inside the scooped out bitter gourds.
  15. In the same pan,add little oil.
  16. Cook the stuffed bitter gourds until it crisps up outside.Try not to break it.
  17. Serve it hot with rice/chapati
  18. Enjoy!


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