Browsing the Karela ( Bittergourd) category

KARELA RECIPE 7 : Stuffed Karela

June 7, 2013 by Snigdha

Stuffed Karela ( Bittergourd / Kalara)
Just too yummy, despite its  bitterness !!
Halve whole karelas lengthwise in the middle. Wash and boil in water, adding salt and haldi. Discard the excess water.
When a little cool, scoop out the middle seedy portion from the boiled karela pieces to make space for the stuffing.
Fill the stuffings* into each half of boiled karela. Heat a little oil on a flat non-stick frying pan and fry the stuffed karelas on low fire  – first on karela side and then on stuffing side. Press lightly on each stuffed karela while frying the stuffing side to flatten it as much as possible. Fry till nicely brown. Serve as side dish with rice.
*Variations of Stuffing :
1 : Heat mustard oil – add finely chopped onion. Fry a bit and add mashed boiled potato, salt, red chilli powder. Fry well on sim stirring the mash till it leaves a nice fried aroma and turns brownish.
2 : Heat oil. Add mashed potato, salt, red chilli powder. Fry a little. Add a bit of mustard-garlic-haldi paste and fry well.
3.   Mix together besan, chopped onion, chopped green chilli, salt to taste and a few drops of mustard oil and use this as stuffing.
Variation :  Boil Karelas whole, adding salt and haldi. Take out, cool and make half slit on the body of each boiled karela – in the middle portion on one side. Scoop out the seedy interior and stuff with any of the above three stuffings.
Otherwise, fill with another simple badi stuffing as under:
Heat oil. Saute onion, green chilli, garlic – all finely chopped. Fry a little. Add crushed badi . Mix well and fry. Use this as stuffing inside the whole karela.
Dust the stuffed whole karelas with a sprinkle of rice flour/cornflour and fry on pan nicely, rolling all over. Or deep fry.
Stuffed karelas are great accompaniments with plain rice

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KARELA RECIPE 6 : Karela fried with badi

June 7, 2013 by Snigdha

Karela fried with badi
Heat oil ( mustard oil/ refined ) and add the karela slices. Fry a little on high flame. Add chopped onion and chopped green chilli – keep on frying till frying smell comes. Cover and cook, as it gets fried. Add salt, haldi, chopped tomato and dhania powder . Fry well till done.Top with fried & crushed badi  and finely chopped dhania patta.

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KARELA RECIPE 5: Karela Chatpata

June 7, 2013 by Snigdha

Karela Chatpata
Slit karelas in the middle – scoop out if big seeds are there; then slice into half-rings – cut  slightly thick .

Heat oil ( refined). Put a pinch of hing. Add karela pieces. Put haldi and salt. Fry a little; then add some water, enough for the karela pieces to get cooked. Cook covered on low fire till karela is just tender. Take off the lid. Sprinkle aamchur powder, red chilli powder and dhania powder. Fry uncovered for 2-3 minutes.

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KARELA RECIPE 4 : Karela Manpasand

June 7, 2013 by Snigdha

Karela Manpasand 

( I do this once in a blue moon – as it consumes a bit more oil .)
( For 2 moderate servings – use 4-5 small to medium tender karela)
Slit karelas in the middle (scoop out the middle portion if big seeds are there); then slice into thin half-rings.
To lessen bitterness, you may put salt and soak karela pieces  for an hour in water. Then squeeze them out.  Otherwise, you may use the freshly cut karela straightaway to retain its nutrition value still better.
Heat oil (Refined veg oil) and deep fry karela chips on medium to high flame till brown. Keep aside. ( IMP TIP : As excess oil in which bitter karela is fried can not be re-used, fry karela chips in very small batches using  as little oil as possible – say, about  2 tbsp oil at one go. It may take more time; but oil consumption will be remarkably low. Check this out !!  )
Remove the excess oil, if any, leaving just a few drops of it in the same pan. Heat it and add onion slices (I-2 small onions), chopped green chilli (1 small) and chopped ginger(a bit). Fry a bit and add the deep fried karela chips, chopped tomato(1 medium), salt, haldi and dhania powder. Mix well and fry for a while. Garnish with  finely chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot.
This is an elaborate bittergourd dish, which tastes nice and much less bitter; and can go as accompanying dish with roti or rice for most.A favourite of most in North India.

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KARELA RECIPE 3 : Karela Simple fry / Kalara Bhaja

June 7, 2013 by Snigdha

Karela Fry Simple  ( KALARA  BHAJA  in Odia)
Slit karelas in the middle, then slice into thin half-rings. If karelas turn out to have ripe seeds, simply scoop out the middle portion and then slice finely. In case of tender small to medium sized karela, just chop into fine round slices.
Fry – method 1:
Heat oil (mustard oil or refined veg oil). Add karela, haldi and salt to taste. Stir fry on high flame for a minute-then cover with a lid. Cook till fried properly – covering and stir-frying intermittently on medium to low flame, till brown and cooked. Take off the lid and let the fry turn crispy on sim. Keep stirring at intervals and flip so that each piece of fried karela turns brown and crispy. Serve hot.
Variations to method 1 : 
–           Add red chilli powder  while putting haldi n salt.
–          Add dhania powder and red chilli powder once karela chips are cooked, but before they are crispy.
–          Add dhania powder, red chilli powder and aamchur .
–          Add only sambhar masala , instead of above powders; or any other curry powder.
–          Add finely quartered slices of potato. Fry the potato chips first for 2-3 minutes and then add the karela slices. Follow the given method at 1.   May spice up with dhania powder, red chilli powder n aamchur in any combination as per your choice.
Fry – method 2
Heat oil, splutter paanch phutan(bits of mustard seeds, jeera, saunf, kalajeera & a very few seeds of methi) and 1-2 broken pieces of whole dry red chilli.  Add the karela slices, salt, haldi and fry, first on high flame with lid and then on low to medium flame without lid, till nicely fried and cooked. (No chilli powder)
Variations to method 2 : 
–          Add onion slices after the paanch phutan n red chilli pieces splutter.  Rest of the process same.
–          Add potato slices to karela, with or without onion.
–          Add sambhar masala/dhania powder/aamchur/any curry powder, in any combination

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KARELA RECIPE 2 : Mashed Karela/ Kalara Bharta

June 7, 2013 by Snigdha

Karela/Kalara Bharta  ( Mashed Bittergourd)
( 2 servings)
Halve 2 karelas length-wise and scoop out seeds. No need to empty the middle if karela is tender; just cut into 2-3 logs.
In pressure cooker, put the karela pieces together with 2-3 tomatoes( roughly chopped), a bit of onion (1/4th to ½ maximum), green chilli ( 1 or to taste), garlic cloves( 2-3), salt and 2-3 tbsp of water ( just enough to cook the stuff). Cook on high flame till one whistle. Switch off and allow to cool. Open and transfer to a plate. Mash everything together. Add a few drops of mustard oil for flavour.
This is perhaps the healthiest, simplest and quite tasty way to have karela with plain rice. Highly beneficial for all-especially for loved ones with diabetes and heart problems.The trick is to have this first with plain rice and then go for the other dishes in the platter.
( Though I make it quite often, I have not clicked it. Next time, I will click and upload a pic here, I promise! Looks good with the red tinge from tomatoes n green tinge from bittergourd!!)

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KARELA RECIPE 1: Karela Aloo Chips

June 7, 2013 by Snigdha

An Ode to ……….BITTER GOURD [ KARELA   ( KALARA in Odia)]
Karela, though bitter in taste, is known to be an extremely healthy vegetable. Having karela juice every morning or at least two to three times intake of karela dishes a week, keeps many ills away! It is anti-diaebetic, cleanses blood, brings shine to skin, and so much more. But as it tastes bitter, mostly people do not like eating it and mothers have a tough time making their family eat these dishes, howsoever innovatively they may prepare the same. Of course, there are some who relish this bitter taste ( I know a few North Indians who really love karela.) – but they are truly numbered!
Nevertheless, a little persuasion advocating the benefits, a bit of variation to the karela dishes and a special order of consumption can do the trick.
Benefits … I have already talked about.
Variety of preparation ….. please try out the different recipes I am going to share and I believe, these are very tasty to those who relish karela and palatable to those who hate the bitter taste, but have to eat for health reasons.
Easy way of consumption( for those who hate karela)  …. Treat the karela dish as some kind of unavoidable medicine and eat it FIRST with a little bit of plain rice, in 3 to 4 gulps.  The bitterness that lingers on as you finish the dish can  further get over with eating of a little more of plain rice and a bit of some other dish(es).  This way, you are done with your karela quota and now you are ready to enjoy your main course with other items on the platter!!  If you choose to eat karela at the end of your meal or along with your meal, everything would taste bitter and you would spoil your taste buds for the entire meal.  So, be done with karela first. Of course, choice is always yours – what matters is, you must have karela regularly.
RECIPE 1
Karela Aloo Chips
Chop karela ( 1-2 tender, long variety) into thin rings. Wash one large aloo ( potato) with jacket(skin) under running water and slice thin first and then chop through the slices first lengthwise in the middle, then breadthwise in the middle to have 4 quarters of each slice. Wash karela and aloo, drain out water well and transfer to a bowl. Add 1 tbsp rice atta ( chaula chuna), 2-3 tbsp besan, salt, haldi, ½ tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp curry powder/sambhar masala/dhania powder, 1/2 tsp aamchur, grated garlic( 1-2 healthy cloves), a few drops of vinegar and a few drops of oil. Mix up. May spinkle a few drops of water, only if needed for the pieces to get nicely coated with masala(spices). Let the mix be a bit dry and tight.
Heat ½ cup refined oil in a deep bottomed small frying pan( kadai) and deep fry the karela-aloo mix in 2-3 batches on high to medium flame till brown and crispy.
May flavour with a dash of black salt and pepper( optional).Serve hot and crispy as a side dish with rice and other accompaniments.
Tip : when you have to keep the mix ready for frying after sometime, add rice atta just before deep-frying. That way, excess moisture, if any released by the mix in the meanwhile, gets absorbed.

Well, this one is not high on a health quotient, but serves as a great side dish on a rice platter.

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