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Monday, 23 July 2018

Bharli Karli / Stuffed Bitter Gourd Recipe

Bharli Karli is a stuffed bitter gourd dish cooked in a Maharashtrian Style. This bharva karela curry has a unique spicy , sweet , tangy and bitter taste all in one go. The sweetness from jaggery and sourness from tamarind compliments very well with the bitter taste of the karela . The curry gets the creamy rich texture and nutty flavor from the roasted peanuts used in the stuffing along with other Indian spices. The bharli karli curry tastes great with hot phulka or chapati and some salad.

 I have a Karela Stir Fry recipe already on the blog. This stuffed bitter gourd curry is my mom's recipe and one of my favourite stuffed vegetable dish. There are many ways of cooking this curry. Some people cook the bitter melon first in a cooker and then stuff the prepared masala and cook the curry again. This recipe is very simple. You just make a masala using roasted peanuts, dry coconut, toasted sesame seeds, garlic and basic Indian spice powders. Stuff this filling inside the bitter melon pieces and cook the curry in a wok.

Coming to health benefits , Bitter Gourd /melon is very low in calories but dense with precious nutrients. It is an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, and B3, C, Magnesium, fol ate , Zinc, Phosphorus, manganese, and has high dietary fibre. It is rich in iron, contains twice the beta - carotene of broccoli, twice the calcium of spinach, and twice the potassium of a banana.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Servings : 3-4

  • 4 medium size bitter melon / karela
  • 2 tablespoon roasted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoon grated / thinly sliced dry coconut
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds/ til
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoon jaggery powder / gud
  • Small gooseberry size tamarind
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • Hand full of fresh coriander leaves 
  1. Wash the bitter melon , pat dry. Tip off both ends and make 3-4 pieces of each melon. Slit each piece in such a way that it remains intact, but has a cut on one side.

2. For the stuffing, make a coarse paste of roasted peanuts, dry coconut, toasted sesame seeds, garlic in a grinder jar. Add the red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder and salt to the paste. I did  not have fresh coriander handy , so did not use it but it certainly adds to the flavor of the curry. Add finely chopped fresh coriander leaves also to the stuffing.

3. Stuff the filling inside each bitter melon piece. Heat oil in a wok. Add cumin seeds to it . Once the seeds crackle, add the stuffed melon pieces and stir fry for 2-3 minutes on low to medium flame.

4. Add the extra stuffing if left followed by 1/4 cup water, tamarind extract , jaggery and salt to taste.

5. Cover cook the curry for 20-25 minutes or until the melons are cooked well. Stir the curry once or twice so that the gravy does not catch the bottom of the pan.

 6. Serve the curry with hot chapati and salad.

 This Bharli Karli recipe is submitted to the #154th #FoodieMondayBloghop with #StuffedVeggies as theme for the week.


If you ever try this recipe, do share your feed back with us in the comment section below. Follow us on #Facebook  #Instagram ,  #Twitter and #Google+  for more recipes and new updates. 

For more stuffed vegetable recipes, doc heck the following posts from my blog.


  1. My mouth is already watering!! Gonna try this bharli karli version for sure!

    1. Thanks Ravneet..looking forward to your feedback. Happy cooking !

  2. This sabzi looks really good! :) I don't think I have ever had stuffed karela. Should try this out soon. :)

    1. Yes Priya stuffed karela makes a flavorful curry..if you love bitter melon you will love this curry for sure. Do give it a try

  3. I am drooling Poonam. Stuffed bitter melon looks superbly delicious. Bookmaking it to try soon. Lovely share.

    1. Thank you di..would love to hear from you about the feedback

  4. I'm not a huge fan of karela, but would love to try this recipe for my hubby who loves them. Never made stuffed karela.

    1. Thank you for stopping by..I am glad you liked the re open. Hope your family like it too

  5. I lovvvvvvvveeee stuffed karela. I always make extra to have with paratha for breakfast the next day. The stuffing recipe is new for me though. Looks so tempting!!

  6. Thanks for sharing, but have you ever tried South Indian Andra Style Bitter Gourd pickle achar or kakarakaya pickle and various andhra pickles by SITARA at their online store , Bitter Gourd Means health and taste combination. Nice Recipe, I would like to try it this week

  7. I love Karela, will for sure try this version.

    1. Thank you Seema. Looking forward to your favorable reply.

  8. I love stuffed Karela that I have learnt from my mom . Would love to try your version as well Poonam. I love stuffed veggies. Fantastic share.

  9. Such a classic recipe and you have made it so well. I am so tempted to make some soon. Looks fabulous!