Easy 15 Minutes Stuffed Bitter Gourd or Bharwa Karela

Stuffed Karela or Bitter Gourd Using Ready-to-use Curry Paste & Pickle Spice Mix

bharwa karela

Read my earlier post regarding ready to use curry paste & pickle spice mix to prepare the mixtures and store to reduce the cooking time. Normally it takes almost around 1 hour to prepare stuffed karela in this way. But if you have these two basic ingredients readily available then you can cook this in 15 minutes plus  minutes preparation time. Just imagine you have saved 40 – 45 minutes by smart cooking. You can invest that time in creating some other fabulous recipe ideas or spend quality time with your family with kids. Isn’t it a great idea.

In this recipe I have used the same pickle spice mix as in stuffed eggplant stir-fry. Similar way stuffed brinjals, stuffed capsicum, stuffed tinda etc are prepared quickly.

Again I have not discarded the outer skin. Either you can use the clean skin of bitter gourd in making juice or mix them with onion paste for stuff. It gives similar flavor as fried flower buds of neem plant. My mom used to make lots of neem and karela for us. We initially hated the bitter taste but gradually started liking these healthy bitter vegetables, their edible flower buds etc. So I have tried using peeled skin along with onion paste. In that case first fry the skin and then add onion paste and saute.

While selecting the smaller ones as they are perfect for this dish and takes lesser cooking time. Also they are not hard and matured ones else you will have to remove the seeds from karela then stuff it.

This is Keto friendly, Diabetic friendly (one of the best food for diabetic patients). Though its a healthy food option, it’s not meant for weight loss as it consumes lots of oil in the process. Kids surely will not like the bitter taste but try to add smaller portion to their regular meal. Moms are so smart infact they always find some or the other way to feed healthy food to their kids.

Lets make this bharwa karela or stuffed bitter gourd or bharwa karela.

Easy 15 Minutes Stuffed Karela or Bitter Gourd

Stuffed Karela is made by stuffing spices in the slits made on karela. Tie the stuffed karela with thread and stir fry them on low flame.
Course Keto Recipe, Sabzi & Curry, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian, North Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 People
Author daintykitchen


  • 5 tbsp Oil
  • 250 gm Bitter Gourd
  • 3 tbsp Curry Paste (cooked paste on onion, garlic, ginger, chillies, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder)
  • 2 tbsp Pickle Spice Mix (refer link above or instuction below)
  • 1/2 tsp Aamchur/ Dry mango powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt as per taste


Preparing the stuffing

  • To make pickle spice, Dry roast these spices and grind to a fine paste. 2 tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 2 tsp fennel seeds, 1/2 tsp yellow mustard halves, 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds, 1/4 tsp (pinch) onion seeds (optional).
  • Add 3 - 4 tbsp ready to use curry paste (refer link in text), 2 tbsp pickle spice mix, salt and dry mango/ aamchur in a mixing bowl and mix well all ingredients
  • Wash and peel the skin of the bitter gourd. Make slits vertically from one side. Carefully do this to make a pocket only to stuff the masala mix.
    stuffed karela
  • stuffed karela

Stuffing the Karela

  • Take one spoon of mixture and try to fill as much enters into it. Repeat for all and keep aside on a plate.
    stuffed karela
  • Take a small thread and try to tie the karela as shown in picture.
    stuffed karela
  • The idea is to seal the karela so that the masalas won't come out while frying. Some excess masala will come out in this process. But don't worry about it.

Stir-frying the stuffed karels

  • Heat 5 - 6 tbsp oil and once oil is hot place stuffed karela into the pan. cover with lead and cook on medium low heat. Occasionally flip the karela with help of a tong.
  • If you have more quantity karela then do it in batches of 5 - 6 at a time. Don't over crowd the pan. It takes 8 - 10 minutes on low flame to cook the stuffed karela completely. If you have more in quantity or in large size karela then it might take bit longer to cook the whole lot.
  • Bharwa karela is ready to serve.
    stuffed karela



Happy Cooking Friends. 

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