Home / Recipes / Masala Stuffed Karela or Bitter Melon curry (Karela nu bharelu shak)

Photo of Masala Stuffed Karela or Bitter Melon curry (Karela nu bharelu shak) by Mina A at BetterButter

Masala Stuffed Karela or Bitter Melon curry (Karela nu bharelu shak)

Mina A
20 minutes
Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
2 People
Read Instructions Save For Later

ABOUT Masala Stuffed Karela or Bitter Melon curry (Karela nu bharelu shak) RECIPE

Karela is also known as Bitter melon or bitter gourd. It grows in tropical areas like East Africa and Asia. There are several species of Karela. I used the course and rough looking ones for my recipe. Karelas are supposed to be very good for diabetics – however if you use my Masala Stuffed Karela or Bitter Melon curry recipe for a diabetic, please exclude the jaggery. This recipe is a great favourite of mine.

Recipe Tags

  • Veg
  • Medium
  • Everyday
  • Gujarat
  • Side Dishes
  • Vegan

Ingredients Serving: 2

  1. 2 tablespoons Chickpea flour
  2. 2 tablespoons cumin powder
  3. 2 tablespoons coriander powder
  4. Salt to taste. I used 1 tsp for the masala and 1 tsp for adding to the water when boiling the karelas
  5. 1 teaspoon Chilli powder or more if you like hot food.
  6. 4 cloves of crushed garlic
  7. 1 tablespoon crushed fresh ginger (optional)
  8. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  9. 1 or 2 tablespoons jaggery
  10. 4-5 tablespoons cooking oil
  11. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  12. 2-3 medium sized karelas
  13. 1 medium onion - chopped into very small cubes


  1. 1. Wash and peel the karelas using a potato peeler or a sharp knife.
  2. 2. Cut each karela into 3 or 4 long pieces and slice them half way across to enable us to stuff in the masala. Remove any seeds that may be in the karela.
  3. 3. Boil a saucepan of water with 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the karelas to this water and cook until the karelas are soft.
  4. 4. Whilst the Masala Stuffed Karela or Bitter Melon curry are cooking – prepare the spices for the stuffing.
  5. 5. Mix the chickpea flour, cumin and coriander powder, salt , chilly powder, jaggery, crushed ginger and garlic in a saucepan. Add a couple of tablespoons of oil and stir the mixture.
  6. 6. This mixture needs to be warmed gently until you get an aroma of the spices. For Masala Stuffed Karela or Bitter Melon curry, the masala should be moist. If it looks dry, add a tablespoon of oil. Stir and allow to cool.
  7. 7. Once the karelas have softened, drain out the water and allow the karelas to cool. By doing this, a lot of the bitterness from the karela is removed. Squeeze the karelas gently to remove any water it may have soaked up.
  8. 8. Using a spoon or your hands, fill the masala in each piece of karela.
  9. 9. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and add one tablespoon of mustard seeds. Once they finish popping, add the onions to the oil and stir well.
  10. 10. Now add the karelas to sit on top of the onions. Do this even before the onions start cooking. Any masala you have left over should be sprinkled on top of the karelas.
  11. 11. Once this has cooked for 5 minutes, turn the karelas one by one and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  12. 12. Add the lemon juice and Masala Stuffed Karela (bharela karela) curry is ready to serve with hot chapattis.

Reviews (1)  

How would you rate this recipe? Please add a star rating before submitting your review.

Submit Review
sai jadhav
sai jadhav   Oct-02-2016

Similar Recipes

A password link has been sent to your mail. Please check your mail.