Bharwa Karela Recipe – Maharashtrian-Style | Bharli Karli Recipe

Maharashtrian-Style Bharwa Karela Recipe | Stuffed Bitter Gourd Recipe

Bitter gourd or karela is one of the most nutritious vegetables with some major health benefits. It’s is an excellent source of phyto-nutrients known to keep blood sugars in check and vitamins that are good for maintaining a healthy body.That is why the diabetics and pregnant women should incorporate bitter gourd in their regular diet. Nevertheless, many of us do not like it a lot because of its bitter taste and make a sour face when we see it on our plates. But after trying this bharwa karela recipe you would have a different opinion.

This stuffed bitter gourd recipe is very unique. It’s not the run-of-the-mill karela masala recipe that calls for colossal amount of spices to overpower the bitterness of the vegetable. You can call this one khatte-meethe karele ki sabzi, because the sweet and sour taste from jaggery and tamarind complements the bitterness so well. In Marathi, it goes by the name bharli karli (भरली कारली). In addition, the ground roasted groundnuts give it an amazing nuttiness and incredible texture.

This is my mum-in-law’s fabulous recipe that she has passed on to me. It makes a delicious side-dish with hot rotis/phulkas. With some pickled raw mangoes, and shrikhand on the side, it becomes a complete meal. Let’s see now how to prepare bharwa karela recipe.

For more Maharashtrian recipes, please check out the links given down below.

How to Make Maharashtrian-Style Bharwa Karela Recipe

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Bharwan Karela Recipe | Stuffed Bitter Gourd Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Bitter gourds stuffed with spicy peanut filling, and cooked with jaggery and tamarind.
Author:
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: Indian, Maharashtrian
Serves: 3
Ingredients
To Make the Stuffing:
  • Dried coconut – 8 tbsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
  • Cumin powder – ½ tsp
  • Garlic – 7 to 8 cloves
  • Roasted and ground peanuts – 3 tbsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Other Ingredients
  • Bitter gourd/Karela –6 medium (about 500 grams)
  • Water - a bowlful + ¼ cup
  • Oil – 1 tbsp + 3 tbsp
  • Salt – 1 tbsp
  • Jaggery – 4 tbsp, grated
  • Tamarind pulp – 4 tbsp
  • Garam masala – ½ tsp
  • Turmeric – ¼ tsp
Instructions
  1. Peel the bitter gourds. Cut them into 3 pieces. Slit the bitter gourds like it’s shown in the picture. The slit should be deep enough but not split the gourd into two. Soak the bitter gourd in a bowlful of water and 1 tbsp salt for 30 minutes.
  2. After 30 minutes, heat 1 tbsp oil in a pressure cooker. Strain the bitter gourds and add them to the cooker. Sauté for a minute and add ¼ cup of water.
  3. Pressure cook the bitter gourds for 1 whistle till they get soft. Set them aside.
  4. Let’s prepare the stuffing now. Take the dried coconut, cumin powder, coriander powder and garlic in a grinder jar.
  5. Grind it without using any water.
  6. Take it out onto a plate. Mix it with roasted, ground peanuts, salt and red chili powder.
  7. The stuffing is ready. It should look like this.
  8. Fill the cooked bitter gourds with this stuffing.
  9. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a skillet. Add the garam masala and jaggery. Sauté for a few seconds.
  10. Add the stuffed bitter gourds.
  11. Add the tamarind pulp.
  12. If any stuffing is left, add that in as well.
  13. Cover the skillet and cook on low heat for 6 to 7 minutes. Stir once in between.
  14. Maharashtrian-style bharwa karele is ready. Serve hot with rotis. Enjoy!

Stuffed Bitter Gourd Recipe with Step by Step Pictures Below


Step 1

Peel the bitter gourds. Cut them into 3 pieces. Slit the bitter gourds like it’s shown in the picture. The slit should be deep enough but not split the gourd into two. Soak the bitter gourd in a bowlful of water and 1 tbsp salt for 30 minutes.

peeled and cut bitter gourd for making bharwan karela


Step 2

After 30 minutes, heat 1 tbsp oil in a pressure cooker. Strain the bitter gourds and add them to the cooker. Sauté for a minute and add 1/4 cup of water.

Sauteing the bitter gourd


Step 3

Pressure cook the bitter gourds for 1 whistle till they get soft. Set them aside to cool.

Pressure cooking the bitter gourd / karela for making bharli karli


Step 4

Let’s prepare the stuffing now. Take 8 tbsp dried coconut, 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 1 tbsp coriander powder and 7-8 garlic cloves in a grinder jar.

Ingredients for stuffing


Step 5

Grind it without using any water.

Stuffing ingredients in mixer pot

ground stuffing mixture


Step 6

Take it out onto a plate. Mix it with 3 tbsp roasted and ground peanuts, salt to taste, and 1 tsp red chili powder.

adding groundnut powder, salt and red chili powder to the stuffing mix for making bharli karli


Step 7

Fill the cooked bitter gourds with this stuffing.

stuffing the karela or bitter gourd with the peanut stuffing

Stuffed karela or bharli karli maharashtrian style ready to be cooked


Step 8

Heat 3 tbsp oil in a skillet. Add 1/2 tsp garam masala, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, and 4 tbsp jaggery. Sauté for a few seconds.

sauteing jaggery, masala and turmeeric powder in oil


Step 9

Add the stuffed bitter gourds.

add the stuffed karela to the oil to cook


Step 10

Add 4 tbsp tamarind pulp.

adding tamarind pulp to the bitter gourd recipe


Step 11

If any stuffing is left, add that in as well.

adding left over stuffing mix to the maharashtrian style bharli karli


Step 12

Cover the skillet and cook on low heat for 6 to 7 minutes. Stir once in between. Maharashtrian-style bharwa karela recipe is ready. Serve hot with rotis. Enjoy!

Maharashtrian-style bharwan karela is ready

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    Shraddha J
    April 15, 2017 at 8:20 am

    very detailed and articulate recipe. thanx

  • Reply
    Pratima Raikar
    June 30, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    khupach chhaan…

    • Reply
      Monica
      July 1, 2017 at 4:56 pm

      Thanks, Pratima.

  • Reply
    Ojashri Saikia
    July 18, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    nice one.. adding imli n gur is so innovative

    • Reply
      Monica
      July 21, 2017 at 5:05 pm

      Thank you, Ojashri. Yes, it’s a lesser known combination for karela recipes. Do try it. 🙂

  • Reply
    Manisha Singh
    August 29, 2017 at 10:41 am

    nice

  • Reply
    KUNDA VENKATA SAVITRI
    August 30, 2017 at 10:47 am

    bittergourd nice vegetable curry

  • Reply
    foody shraddha
    October 3, 2017 at 11:50 am

    isnt the bittergourd bitter? how can you eat it?

    • Reply
      Monica
      October 4, 2017 at 6:38 am

      Yes Shraddha. Bitter gourd is bitter. Some people really love this vegetable. Also, soaking it in salt water helps reduce the bitterness.

  • Reply
    Sumedha R
    January 30, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    mastach haan! khup sundar distey bhaji ..

  • Reply
    Ginni K
    March 6, 2018 at 6:46 am

    Very yummy way to feed karela to your family. Will try it..

    • Reply
      Monica
      March 10, 2018 at 2:38 pm

      Please do. I hope you will enjoy it as much as my family does. Thank you. 🙂

  • Reply
    SUMANT ABHYANKAR
    July 18, 2018 at 11:22 am

    It’s a hit recipe in my family and Office…thank you!! try sprinkling Goda Masala and it tastes awesome… even karela haters would try it

    • Reply
      Monica
      July 20, 2018 at 11:23 am

      Thank you Sumant. I am glad you enjoyed the recipe. I will sprinkle goda masala next time I make it. Sounds yummy to me. 🙂

  • Reply
    Tushar Joshi
    August 19, 2018 at 11:10 am

    Nice one… Thank you so much

    • Reply
      Monica
      August 19, 2018 at 12:12 pm

      Thank you ?

  • Reply
    Rajkumar
    April 27, 2019 at 4:30 am

    Nice one going to try it out today. Hope it turns out as good as you!!!

    • Reply
      Monica
      April 27, 2019 at 8:18 pm

      Thank you. Hope it turns out delicious for you as well. Do let me know. 🙂

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