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