Chutney stuffed karela/ Bitter gourd

  • Karela is a little neglected vegetable because of its bitterness. But with little easy steps you can remove the bitterness to some extent. Karela recipes are very healthy and tasty if proper steps are followed. In this recipe I used peanut chutney as stuffing and used minimum oil.
    Small size Karela ( 3 to 4″ length ) – 6 to 8, preferably sl. tender, (I used medium size gourds as small are not available with me),
    Onion – 1 medium, chopped very fine,
    For chutney:
    Dry fried and peeled peanuts – 100 Gms,
    Peeled garlic cloves – 4,
    Green chilli – 7 to 8, ( red chilli can be used or combination of both),
    Tamarind paste – 1 Tsp,
    Jeera – 1/4 Tsp,
    Fried Channa dal – 1Tablesp,
    Chopped coriander leaves – 2 Tablespoons,
    Curry leaves – few, ( optional, chopped and added to chutney),
    Oil – 3 to 4 Tablespoons,
    1).Lightly scrape the Karela ,give a vertical slit and smear a little salt all over them. Keep them aside.
    2).Lightly fry the chilli in a drop of oil and remove. Prepare a little course powder with peanuts, dal, chilli, jeera, Salt and garlic cloves. Check and mix the powder once. Add tamarind paste and 2 tablesp of water. Again grind it into a thick course paste. Add coriander leaves and raw onion pieces. Use pulse once and remove the chutney into a bowl.
    3).Wash the karela once and blanch them for a minute in hot salted water.Remove and squeeze the moisture completely. ( No need to remove seeds as they are tender).
    4).Stuff the chutney mix into karelas through the slit already made. Secure with a thread.
    5).Sprinkle 2 tablespoons Of oil on a grill pan or cast iron pan, arrange the gourds on pan without overlapping. sprinkle remaining chutney, mixed with little water.Cover and fry under low flame . Drizzle the remaining oil over them and turn twice or thrice so that they are browned well on all sides.
    6).These are not crispy as the stuffing is moist mixture. Serve as side dish for rice preparations/ roti.
    a).Instead of blanching them i kept the gourds in microwave oven for 3 minutes on micro high to reduce the moisture.
    b).Refer my kitchen tips on ways of reducing bitterness of karelas.

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