Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Gujarati Series: Stuffed Karela

I admit, I can't warm up to these bitter Karelas......I can't get past its taste, unless it is smothered in some jaggery and cooked until burnt-crisp. Kartik, however, LOVES them. When he came back from his business trip last week, he bought fresh Indian veggies......and these Karelas were one of them. I stuck my tongue out at him, because, I knew that for dinner the next day, he would want Stuffed Karelas- his favorite.

Here is a recipe that is different, and quite tasty- even for Karela haters like me. Well, not really. I mean, its tasty, I still don't like Karelas though.

You will need:
  • 5-6 Fresh Bitter Gourd or Karelas - split in half, with its insides scooped out. Save some of the inside flesh.
  • 1 cup - frozen sweet peas- crushed coarsely.
  • 2 tbsp- Besan Flour
  • 3 or more cloves of garlic, 1 medium piece of ginger, Green chilies - all made into a paste
  • salt, turmeric, some garam masala, sugar, dhania-jeera powder - to taste
  • 1 tbsp Oil - to temper the filling, 1 tbsp Oil- to temper the Karelas

Scoop out the insides from the Karelas by cutting them into small pieces, using a sharp knife. You don't need to peel the skin off the Karelas.

Reserve some of these insides to add to the filling, but make sure to salt them for 15-20 minutes to remove the bitter juices. Crush to a coarse paste.

Mix together the besan flour, ginger-chili-garlic paste, salt, sugar, turmeric, dhania-jeera powder, and garam masala powder. Set aside.

In a pan, heat some oil, add the peas and the karela paste. I used sweet peas so the bitter flavors don't overpower the curry. Cook until lightly browned. Now add the besan and spice mix. Stir until it forms a nice, dry filling. Cool for a few minutes and fill each Karela with this mixture.

In a separate, wider pan, heat some oil. Add the stuffed karelas, one by one, taking care not to over lap any. These should have plenty of room to cook. Cook until nicely browned, you will have keep turning them with a pair of tongs every now and then to ensure that they cook evenly. Serve hot with some rotis and another gravy type curry for a complete meal. Enjoy.

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